Belgrade, June 4, 2012
CRISIS AT NORTHERN KOSOVO
NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: SECURITY OF ALL KOSOVO CITIZENS THREATENED
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – Serbia's National Security Council warned Friday that the security of all citizens of Kosovo was seriously threatened and called on UNMIK, KFOR and EULEX to prevent all attempts of the interim authorities in Pristina aimed at causing instability, while also urging people to refrain from confrontations with members of the international missions.The National Security Council has urged the international missions of UNMIK, KFOR and EULEX to prevent, within the scope of their mandates, all attempts of the interim authorities in Pristina aimed at causing instability and fear among the Serb population and to refrain from using force against unprotected citizens in the province," says a release issued after an emergency meeting held following incidents in northern Kosovo on Friday morning.The Council also urged people to refrain from confrontations with members of the international missions and thus help to calm the situation.All problems in Kosovo must be solved through dialogue, without violence and this is the only road to stability in the whole region, adds the release.The Council session was attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, the ministers of defense, internal affairs and justice, chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, and the heads of the Security Information Agency, the Military Security Agency and the Military Intelligence Agency.
NIKOLIC CALLS FOR END OF CLASHES IN KIM
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – President Tomislav Nikolic said late Friday that clashes in Kosovo and Metohija (KiM) had to be stopped and that it was vital to help the people living there get rid of their fears.Nikolic told Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) that the National Security Council had held a session in Belgrade Friday, and that "everybody received tasks to deal with within their respective jurisdictions.""Everyone is conducting talks with the services they are cooperating with in this field, the army with KFOR, and our government should have serious talks about this with EULEX and the UNMIK administration," he said.Nikolic added that efforts should be made to change the situation before long and that the continuation of talks with Pristina was the only way to "finally see what has been agreed on, what has not, what the interim institutions in Pristina are doing beyond the scope of the agreements.""Since we had the announcements about the massive removal of (Serbian licence) plates from cars owned by citizens in the north of Kosovo today, we cannot sit still, nor can we be silent while witnessing what is taking place in Kosovo and Metohija," Nikolic said.The Serbian president said that all the Council members attended today's meeting and all had a desire to tackle the tasks seriously.Besides the Serbian president, the Council meeting was also attended by Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac, Justice Minister Snezana Malovic and Kosovo and Metohija Minister Goran Bogdanovic.At just after 3 p.m. today, KFOR completed a roadblock removal operation in the Rudare village, part of the municipality of Zvecan in northern Kosovo. They removed all the barricades from the main road leading to the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.At least three Serbs and two KFOR soldiers were wounded in incidents that took place during the operation, but the situation has calmed down. Rudare is, however, left with visible marks from the action carried out by the international troops.
EU CONCERNED ABOUT VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO
BRUSSELS, June 2 (Tanjug) – The European Union (EU) is very concerned about Friday morning's violence in northern Kosovo and calls for restraint of all parties, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, said."The violence erupted during a KFOR's operation of barricade removal," Kocijancic told a press conference at the EU headquarters, and stressed that Brussels carefully monitors the developments in Kosovo.She noted that the European Commission, which is in contact with all the parties, urges restraint.Kocijancic also pointed out that the operation was carried out by KFOR, not EULEX, but that the EU stands firmly behind the principle of free movement.KFOR stated that the operation, which left three civilians and one KFOR soldier wounded, aimed at establishing the freedom of movement.
TONER: ROADBLOCKS AND SUPPORT SHOULD GO
WASHINGTON, June 2 (Tanjug) – The United States strongly condemns the violence against KFOR and EULEX in which two members of KFOR got wounded and calls for an immediate removal of the roadblocks in the north of Kosovo, State Department spokesman Mark Toner has said.In a statement delivered, Toner said that the U.S. urged the Serbian government to stop the financial support of the "illegal parallel" institutions in Kosovo and of the "hardline" policy.The State Department spokesman said that the U.S. provided full support to KFOR and EULEX in maintaining a safe secure environment and ensuring free movement of people and goods in Kosovo and in both directions over the Kosovo-Serbian crossings.
BOGDANOVIC: PROBLEMS IN NORTH SHOULD BE SOLVED BY DIALOGUE
LESAK, June 2 (Tanjug) – Minister for Kosovo and Metohija (KiM) Goran Bogdanovic has said that any use of fire against the Serbian people is unacceptable and that all the problems in the north of Kosovo have to be resolved through dialogue."We must sit down with representatives of the international missions in the province as soon as possible and see what to do. It is obvious that neither the roadblocks, nor the use of force, nor unilateral moves are the solution," Bogdanovic said in a statement for Tanjug on Saturday.He pointed out that the heads of the municipalities in northern Kosovo should not wait and should meet for talks with representatives of KFOR and EULEX as soon as possible, because impairing freedom of movement for members of EULEX was unacceptable.Much of the international community has not accepted the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, and therefore KFOR must remain a status-neutral organization, said the Minister for KiM, adding that the international troops in Kosovo must not go beyond UN Security Council Resolution 1244.By using force against the Serbian people in Zvecan on Friday, KFOR has damaged its credibility among the Serb population, said Bogdanovic.
IVANOVIC: KFOR TRIED TO USE INSTITUTIONAL VACUUM
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – State Secretary at Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija (KiM) Oliver Ivanovic said Saturday that the roadblock removal operation the day before was an attempt by KFOR to take advantage of the institutional vacuum on the eve of forming a new government in Serbia.Ivanovic stressed that the roadblocks issue cannot be addressed by use of force, but only through political means.Noting that the only motive the Serbs had for setting up the roadblocks was fear, Ivanovic said that the fear could be removed only through solid assurances that that the international forces would not allow any sudden intrusions in the north or endangering of the Serbian population.Asked by journalists for an opinion about further developments in northern Kosovo, Ivanovic said that the situation would now calm down as the KFOR troops that had removed the roadblocks in the village of Rudare, Zvecan municipality, had been replaced during the night between Friday and Saturday.
ROAD THROUGH RUDARE PASSABLE, KFOR CHECKS VEHICLES
ZVECAN, June 2 (Tanjug) – A northern Kosovo road, from Leposavic to Kosovska Mitrovica via Zvecan, from which KFOR removed a number of roadblocks on Friday, which led to clashes between KFOR soldiers and citizens in the village of Rudare, is now passable to vehicles.Greek KFOR troops in Rudare, Zvecan municipality, set up two checkpoints on the road and are now performing a routine traffic control.In addition to standard military jeeps, on one of the checkpoints could be seen a "badger" vehicle, designed to be able to overcome all kinds of obstacles on difficult roads, and a water cannon armored vehicle.The removal of the roadblocks sparked a conflict between local citizens and KFOR soldiers in Rudare yesterday, but the situation has calmed down and no citizens are gathering there today, apart from the crowd created by Serbs from Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvecan heading to the cemetery in the village.At least four Serbs got wounded in yesterday's clash, three of whom were admitted into hospital, while KFOR reported two of their soldiers receiving gunshot wounds.The Serbs who wanted to prevent the roadblock removal gathered in Rudare yesterday morning after sirens were heard in Zvecan and Kosovska Mitrovica. The clash with KFOR where stones were thrown and even gunfire used broke out soon afterwards.The international military forces removed all the roadblocks from the Leposavic - Zvecan - Kosovska Mitrovica road, including the biggest one that the Serbs had set up in the village of Dudin Krs last summer.KFOR removed the roadblocks using heavy equipment, blocking the entire area during the operation. Their helicopters were flying over the area all day.
UNMIK TRYING TO CALM SITUATION
PRISTINA, June 2 (Tanjug) – The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) said it was in contact with all parties in an effort to calm the situation following an incident which occurred Friday morning when KFOR conducted an operation to remove the roadblocks in the vicinity of Rudare in northern Kosovo."UNMIK is concerned by reports of a number of injuries to civilians and KFOR soldiers," said UNMIK officer Leonid Markaryan."While we continue to wait for additional clarification of today's events, we are in contact with all parties in an effort to calm the situation and are monitoring the developments very closely. KFOR has a mandate to fulfill and should be allowed to enjoy the freedom of movement. UNMIK is calling for calm and restraint and strongly encourages the continued dialogue," Markaryan concluded.
NIKOLIC KICKED OFF CONSULTATIONS
BELGRADE, June 4 (Tanjug) – The consultations between President Tomislav Nikolic and representatives of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) on formation of the Serbian government kicked off in the presidency building in Belgrade.The SNS delegation comprises: Aleksandar Vucic, SNS leader, Jorgovanka Tabakovic, SNS candidate for prime minister, Zoran Mihajlovic, Nebojsa Stefanovic, and leaders of the parties who took part in the "Let's Get Serbia Moving" coalition list, Velimir Ilic, Aleksandar Vulin, Dragomir and Milanka Karic. Nikolic said earlier that he will confer with presidents of all political parties, or at least three largest ones in the parliament.He said that the government has to be formed as soon as possible, noting that in keeping with the Constitution and laws he will confer with representatives of the parliamentary parties as he promised unless a party appears with an agreement on the parliamentary majority.
NIKOLIC PLEDGES TO START TALKS ABOUT GOVT. FORMING
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – President Tomislav Nikolic has told that he will honor an earlier promise of his and begin his consultations with the parliamentary parties on forming a government. He added that he did not wish to speculate about who would form the government, but stressed that the job should be done as soon as possible.Nikolic pointed out that he had pledged to engage in talks about it with representatives of parliamentary parties if nobody showed up with an agreement on a parliamentary majority, as envisaged by the Constitution and laws of Serbia.Although a deal about the majority was announced short after the May 6 parliamentary elections, it is obvious that the majority is not there, or I was not informed about its existence. "I will not speculate about who it could be. Who wants to go with whom - I am not interfering with that," Nikolic said.Nikolic believes that the distribution of ministerial offices is the problem, which, he says, is unacceptable. "After discussions with the SNS I will talk with the DS (Democratic Party) and the SPS (Socialist Party of Serbia)," Nikolic said, adding that even though he has not got a time limit within which to complete the talks, he expects them to be held and completed soon.
TRNAVCEVIC: INAUGURAL SESSION TO RESUME JUNE 11
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – Zaharije Trnavcevic, the acting speaker of the Serbian parliament, said Friday the inaugural session would likely resume on June 11, with the election of a speaker and deputy speakers of Serbia's highest legislative body.Trnavcevic told Tanjug that the parliament would probably also elect a general secretary and form committees at the same session.The inaugural session started Thursday with the verification of MP mandates. Under the Rules of Procedure, a candidate for speaker is nominated by a minimum of 30 MPs and the proposal is submitted to the acting speaker in written form.
KOSOVO & METOHIJA
DEGERT: EU WAITS TO HEAR NIKOLIC'S STANCE ON KOSOVO
BELGRADE, June 2 (Tanjug) – The European Union is waiting to see what attitude the new President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, will take on Kosovo, Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert has said.Degert expressed the hope that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina would be resumed as soon as the new government was formed.Degert told Danas, a Belgrade-based daily, that the EU also wanted to see the implementation of the agreements reached so far, adding progress had been made when it came to civil registries and cadastres, mutual recognition of diplomas and so on.Finding solutions to problems concerning daily lives of people and their full implementation is of crucial importance in the negotiation process, said Degert.Degert said that he expected that the priorities of the new government would include the continuation of judicial reform, fight against corruption, implementation of a set of media laws, and a strategy to ensure macroeconomic stability.
ROCEN: EMBASSY IN PRISTINA HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED
PODGORICA, June 2 (Tanjug) – Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen said Friday that he could not understand why there was so much amazement over the decision of the Montenegrin government to open an embassy in Kosovo, as the move had been announced a long time ago.The government of Montenegro adopted the decision to open the embassy in Kosovo on Thursday, and the decision was criticized by representatives of the Montenegrin opposition today, who called it a reckless move.Rocen told journalists that Podgorica had announced to open the embassy in Kosovo a long time ago, expressing the belief that the decision should not be met with criticism and wonder by anybody.He strongly opposes the view according to which the government of Montenegro could not have chosen the worse moment for the decision to open the mission in Kosovo, given that Serbia is still internally negotiating the formation of its government."Nobody seems to have noticed that we took great care to wait for the elections in Serbia to finish at all levels, so that nobody could say - look what kind of a decision is being made in the midst of the election campaign in Serbia," said Rocen."We have announced the decision a long time ago. We recognized Kosovo, established diplomatic relations with them and have now created the conditions for the decision to open diplomatic and consular missions in Pristina," said Rocen.He said he could not be specific about the actual date of opening of the Montenegrin Embassy in Kosovo, adding that efforts were being made to have that happen as soon as possible.Montenegro recognized Kosovo on October 9, 2008, while diplomatic relations between them were established on January 15, 2010.
SERBIA – REGION
UNESCO SUMMIT IN MOSTAR
MOSTAR, June 4 (Tanjug) – The tenth annual Regional Summit of the Heads of States of South East Europe was held in the city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), on June 2-3, 2012.The summit, entitled "Religious, Cultural and Historical Heritage as a Foundation for More Intensive Cooperation among States," was organized by UNESCO and the BiH Presidency.The event was opened by BiH Presidency Chairman Bakir Izetbegovic and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, while the Serbian delegation was led by Minister of Culture Predrag Markovic.The summit concluded with the adoption of the Mostar Declaration on the importance of pursuing dialogue and cooperation among the countries of the region to ensure development, prosperity and peace.Besides Izetbegovic and Markovic, the summit was attended by the Presidents of Albania, Bamir Topi, Macedonia, Djordje Ivanov and Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic.Due to other commitments, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic was unable to join his colleagues in the event.The historic city of Mostar was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005.
MARKOVIC: SERBIAN HERITAGE IN KIM SHOULD NOT BE POLITICIZED
MOSTAR, June 4 (Tanjug) – Predrag Markovic, the minister of culture in Serbia's technical government, said at the 10th UNESCO annual Regional Summit of the Heads of States of South East Europe that undue politicization was taking place concerning Serbia's heritage in Kosovo and Metohija (KiM)."When it comes to Serbian heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, monuments such as the monasteries of the Patriarchate of Pec, Visoki Decani, Gracanica and the Church of the Holy Virgin Ljeviska, during the plenary session I called for an end to the undue politicization of the committee, where attempts were already made three times in an attempt to effectuate a decision to maintain the conservation of Serbian religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, but through a name change," Markovic told Tanjug.He pointed out that during the summit and the talks he had had with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the sidelines of the event, UNESCO confirmed the determination that had already been confirmed during earlier talks they had had with former Serbian President Boris Tadic in Viminacium and Paris, in that, in terms of the cultural and religious heritage in Kosovo, the Charter of the United Nations, UNESCO charters and other relevant documents would be honored."We are speaking about the principle that world heritage monuments remain under the name they were inscribed (on the World Heritage List)," Markovic explained.Asked about the initiative by Albanian President Bamir Topi for the next edition of the regional meeting, in Ohrid next year, to feature the presence of representatives from Kosovo, Markovic told journalists that the issue would be solved in line with the arrangements between Belgrade and Pristina that had been facilitated through a cooperation with the European Commission, and also in accordance with the principles of organizing such meetings under the auspices of the UN and UNESCO."What is most important is that Serbia is definitely interested in the protection of all the monuments, both those who were endangered over 100 years ago and those put in danger eight years ago," said Markovic.Bokova told Markovic that UNESCO was committed to consistently honoring the principle behind the international documents such as UNSC Resolution 1244 and to the protection of monuments inscribed on the global world heritage list in line with the criteria and practices that had so far been implemented in consultation with Serbia.
PUSIC: JOSIPOVIC WILL PROBABLY SKIP INAUGURATION
ZAGREB, June 2 (Tanjug) – Croatian President Ivo Josipovic will probably not attend Tomislav Nikolic's inauguration, said Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusic, adding that "Josipovic adopted a good attitude toward the new Serbian president."Right now, there is no doubt that Croatia and Serbia have to cooperate for the sake of the region," Pusic told the Zagreb-based Soundset radio, adding that Tomislav Nikolic had found himself in a completely new situation, carrying "political baggage" that made his new job more difficult.Pusic said Croatia was interested in what Serbia's new government would look like and who would be the prime minister."There will be room for rational regional policy. Not for extremist emotions, but for a peaceful and decent life," said the minister.Pusic said one sign of progress was that there was no extremist government in the region which would ignore the need for stabilization and good relations with one's neighbors.
WORLD BANK WILL HELP COUNTRIES OF WESTERN BALKANS
SARAJEVO, June 2 (Tanjug) – World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Philippe Le Houerou has stated the bank will increase its assistance to the countries of the Western Balkans.Le Houerou said the economic situation in the Western Balkans was very difficult and the governments had less options to combat the present crisis than the one that occurred in 2008.The reason is that the fiscal situation is now worse than four years ago, he explained.The World Bank is optimistic in the long run, but it is true that a difficult period lies ahead, he noted. Governments will have to make hard decisions regarding public finance and structural reforms, he continued, adding that the World Bank was there to assist. The bank is stepping up its activites in the Balkans, meaning it can provide more support for budgets and more loans, especially meant for small and medium companies, which is very important and something the bank pays attention to, and also meaning it can continue its investment projects in infrastructure, he told the Dnevni Avaz daily from Sarajevo.