Belgrade, April 5, 2012
JEREMIC MEETS ARAB LEAGUE SECRETARYGENERAL
CAIRO, April 05 (Tanjug)- Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic began his oneday visit to Egypt by meeting Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Araby on Wednesday.
The Arab League is a highly influential organization which has 22 member states, and Secretary General Araby was earlier Egypt's Foreign Minister.
In Cairo, Jeremic will have talks with his host, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, and meet with a group of prominent Egyptian businessmen.
DACIC MEETS SHOYGU, PATRIARCH KIRILL
MOSCOW, April 04 (Beta )- After meeting Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sergey Shoygu in Moscow on April 4, Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said an agreement on setting up a Serbian Russian humanitarian center will be signed in Nis on April 25, which, as he explained, will also mean the opening of the center.
The meeting, according to Dacic, assessed that over the past four years the two countries and intergovernment commissions have cooperated successfully. Dacic also reiterated that elections will soon be taking place in Serbia and the new Russian cabinet will be formed.
Dacic added that the meeting with Shoygu also debated economic relations. The collocutors said "a considerable recovery of foreign exchange" was reported last year, which surged 28 percent yearonyear, while Serbia's export to Russia had gone up 43 percent compared to 2010.
The Serbian official was also received by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, who "expressed great concern over the situation in Kosovo and Metohija relating to the Serb people and their cultural and religious monuments," according to Dacic.
CZECH AMBASSADOR VISITS NATIONAL LIBRARY
BELGRADE, April 04 (Beta)- Czech Ambassador to Serbia Hana Hubackova visited the National Library of Serbia on April 4 for its 180th anniversary, the library said.
The meeting with library representatives tackled ways of cooperation between the Serbian and Czech National Libraries, after they had signed a cooperation protocol on March 21.
The protocol envisages the exchange of publications and experts and participation in international projects, according to the statement.
SERBIA - EU
LIHT: TALKS WITH EU TO START BEFORE YEAR'S END
BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug)-President of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence Sonja Liht voiced belief that the EU accession talks would commence by the end of the year.
Until then, Serbia has to make serious preparations and carry out structural and systematic reforms, Liht said. "We do not hope for EU membership just because we want to be part of the most successful peacebuilding and political movement in the history of mankind, but rather because we know that this path will change us," Liht said at a roundtable on EU accession.
This gathering should in a way mark the beginning of preparations of the entire Serbian society for the negotiations with the EU. It is very important that all structures that have the capacity join forces in shaping our future," Liht underlined.
The roundtable is organised by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, the European Movement and the Government's European Integration Office.
DELEVIC: IMPORTANT TO STAY ON REFORM COURSE
BELGRADE, April 05 (Tanjug) In order to secure a starting date for accession talks with the EU, Serbia needs to stay on the course of reforms and implement earlier agreements and adopted laws, Head of the EU Integration Office Milica Delevic said Thursday.
Delevic said it was important to show understanding in the campaign for the topics relevant to opening the talks.
I believe the European Commission will take into account what was done by the summer and the situation after the election, the formation of the government, its announcements and first concrete steps," Delevic said in an interview for the daily Blic.
Delevic said Serbia would be graded on the implementation of the agreements with Pristina and future progress in this respect, but also on the reform process.
"This is why it is important to hear parties say how they would handle these challenges, and not only that their goal is EU membership. This time there are several parties advocating a European future, but I think the voters and our EU allies need to hear how each of them understands the challenges and what solutions they have to offer," said Delevic.
The EU wants to see a continued readiness to conduct reforms and face challenges, and it is up to the internal political process to offer the best response, she said.
Asked how she feels about being mentioned as a possible candidate for prime minister, Delevic said she considered it a compliment for her past work.
SARKOZY: FRANCE SUPPORTS SERBIA'S EU PATH
BELGRADE, April 05 (Tanjug)- French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sent a letter to Serbian President Boris Tadic expressing hope the Serbian people will vote in favor of continuing down the European path and reaffirming his country's support.
As the moment when Serbia will make important internal decisions approaches, I wish to express hope the Serbian people will choose to stay on the European path, because Europe is our common family, conscious of the efforts this goal requires, Sarkozy said in the letter.
To this end, following France's decisive support for Serbia's candidate status, I want you to know you can still count on its firm support when it comes to starting accession talks with the EU in the near future, reads the letter.
When it comes to Serbia's European integration, which is a priority for your government and the essence of our strategic partnership, I wish to sincerely congratulate you and the Serbian people on winning candidate status on March 1, said Sarkozy. The European Council's decision is the crowning achievement of the bold policy you have implemented with consistency and determination, and with the aim of conducting substantial reforms in Serbia and establishing good relations with your neighbors in the region, noted the French president.
Sarkozy recalled that exactly one year ago during Tadic's visit to Paris, France and Serbia reaffirmed their longstanding friendship and mutual desire to cooperate in the future by signing a comprehensive and ambitious strategic partnership and cooperation agreement.
As we mark April 8 as the first anniversary of this historic agreement, we are already able to note the successful realization of projects in all spheres of bilateral relations: in the economy, our companies are working together so that the Serbian capital and residents of Belgrade would get a modern subway system; in education, the expansion of the French high school in Belgrade will contribute to the making of a new Serbian elite; it will boost the exchange of young people from Serbia and France and encourage investments and the arrival of French companies to your country, which is the our common wish, said Sarkozy.
The French president also wished a happy Easter to all Orthodox Serbs across the world.
DEGERT: ELECTION FOR GOOD GOVT AND SOLID MAJORITY
BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug)- Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert said Wednesday that he sees the decision to hold a general election in Serbia on May 6 as an attempt to give the country a well-established government and a solid parliamentary majority, so that it can face all challenges successfully.
Serbian President Boris Tadic announced Wednesday that he has decided to cut his term short so that a presidential election could be held on May 6, together with parliamentary, provincial and local elections.
We understand the motivation behind this is to enable Serbia to get a well-established government and a solid parliamentary majority, so that it can face the challenges ahead, and above all, make progress in European integration, Degert said in a statement for Tanjug.
Degert did not want to comment on Tadic's decision to cut his term short, but noted Tadic most likely wanted to keep the whole year from turning into one long election.
He said the new government would face challenges posed by the economic and financial crisis and would have to make important decisions related to this during the course of the year.
ROMANIA RATIFIES SAA WITH SERBIA
BUCHAREST, April 04 (Tanjug)- The Senate of Romania has ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia, the Romanian Adjerpres said Wednesday.
The Senate ratified the SAA with a total of 78 'yes' votes, five votes against the document and three abstentions.
During the relevant plenary session, Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu said that Romania was pursuing a policy of constant support to Serbia's European integration.
Romania has thus become the 26th EU member to ratify the agreement, and the last country remaining to do so is Lithuania.
The SAA between the EU and Serbia will come into force when it is ratified by all 27 Eurobloc members.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
SERBIAN DELEGATION STONED,POLICE ARREST TWO PEOPLE
PRISTINA, April 05 (Beta)- Kosovo Police Service (KPS) stated in a release that two individuals were arrested on suspicion that they stoned the vehicles of a Serbian delegation in Pristina on Wednesday some time around 4 p.m., but one of the detainees was released later.
The police arrested two individuals suspected of stoning the vehicles, but the competent prosecutor's office released one of them after taking down their statements, the release states.
KPS says that its members who guarded the vehicles promptly reacted and prevented a major incident, and they also managed to arrest the individual suspected of participation in the stoning.
The Serbian delegation convoy was escorted by KPS to the police station so that legal procedures could continue, the release states, adding that medical help was offered to members of the delegation but they refused it because they received no injuries in the event.
The Serbian government office for cooperation with the media said in a release that the group of hooligans stoned two vehicles transporting members of the Serbian government delegation in downtown Pristina, who were staying in the province with a view to implementing the agreements reached in the dialogue between the Serbian government and the Pristina interim institutions. The release also states that one member of the Serbian delegation was wounded in the incident.
STEFANOVIC: ATTACK IN PRISTINA AIMED AT INFLUENCING ELECTIONS
BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug)- Belgrade's lead negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic said Wednesday that today's attack on the secretary of the Belgrade negotiating team in Kosovo was a criminal act, and was evidently an organized attempt by extreme Albanian actors to influence the elections in Serbia.
In a statement for Tanjug, Stefanovic said that the attack on Pavicevic and vehicles of the Serbian government that went to Kosovo and Metohija today to discuss the implementation of the agreements reached in Brussels was only one of the three attacks against the Serbs that took place in Kosovo the same day.
"It is obvious that it was an organized attack. This is just one of the provocations coming from the extreme Albanian factor, and it is no coincidence that their attack happens at the time like this, clearly aimed at influencing the elections in Serbia and showing that they have their own elections favorites," he said.
Stefanovic said that this was yet another attempt to destroy the negotiating process, the peaceful resolution of outstanding issues and the implementation of agreements from Brussels. "This is evidence of how much Pristina really cares about the dialogue, the agreements and their implementation. Such behavior is totally unacceptable and shows what it means to 'live together' in Kosovo and Metohija," said Stefanovic. Pavicevic is also the director of the government's office for the implementation of the Brussels' agreement.
DEGERT: BELGRADE - PRISTINA TALKS NEED MORE PROGRESS
BELGRADE, April 04 (Tanjug)- Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert told Tanjug on Wednesday that further progress in the Belgrade Pristina dialogue is crucial for getting a date for the start of talks on Serbia's EU accession.
The conclusions of the European Commission clearly read that the key priority is further progress in the Belgrade Pristina dialogue on electricity, telecommunications, and full implementation of earlier agreements, he underlined on the occasion of Wednesday's meeting of an expert group of the Coordination Body for the EU Accession Process.
According to him, this is not an easy task, while other important issues must not be neglected.
Degert noted that it is important to continue with the reform process, and that one of the key priorities for the EU are rule of law which includes judicial reform and the fight against corruption.
Moreover, the economic reforms and improvement of the business environment are important issues, which the EU members underlined when they presented Serbia with the EU candidate status, he said.
These issues will have to be further addressed, Degert underlined.
SPOKESMAN: KFOR WILL DETERMINE THE BOUNDARY
PRISTINA, April 04 (Beta)- KFOR will determine the boundary between Serbia and Kosovo, so that it can be established where the members of the Kosovo border police were arrested, KFOR spokesman Dan Harvey said.
The undefined boundary/administrative line is the biggest problem in attempts to determine whether the Kosovo border policemen were arrested in the territory of Kosovo or Serbia, which is the subject of a dispute between the officials in Pristina and Belgrade, the website Koha reported on April 4. According to Harvey, this is why KFOR has assumed the task to determine the boundary. The spokesman did not say whether this will be a demarcation of the border or not.
On March 31, members of the Serbian Gendarmerie arrested two members of the Kosovo police because, as Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated then, they had crossed into Serbia's territory with their weapons. The Interior Ministry of Kosovo and the police denied these claims, pointing out that the policemen were arrested in the territory of Kosovo.
DICK MARTY TO TAKE WITNESS STAND IN MEDICUS TRIAL
PRISTINA, April 04 (Beta)- The Pristina Municipal Court on April 4 said it planned to summon Council of Europe Rapporteur on Organ Trafficking Dick Marty to testify in the trial relating to alleged illegal kidney transplantation at the Medicus Hospital in Pristina.
"Marty claims to have important information on this case. We will summon him to give us the information and tell us the sources of this information," said trial chamber presiding Judge, Arkadius Seedek of Poland.
The court decided to summon Marty as a witness in the trial, known as the Medicus case, after EULEX special prosecutor Jonathan Ratel at the last hearing said he was sure that Marty possessed information relevant to the case.