Belgrade, February 06, 2012
SERBIA - REGION
LEADERS OF CROATIA, SERBIA, BOSNIA MEET
JAHORINA, Feb.03 (Beta) - The leaders of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina took supported cooperation in the fight against organized crime and regional sports associations starting with a regional handball league and a winter sports event, for selection for other sports events.
At a joint news conference after the informal meeting which was held in Mt Jahorina, members of the Bosnian presidency, Zeljko Komsic, Nebojsa Radmanovic and Bakir Izetbegovic, Serbian President Boris Tadic and Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said that they had agreed to apply jointly for EU funds to resolve environmental, sports and infrastructure issues.
They also backed mutual consular representation in third countries, which was described as "an extremely good idea." However, there was no agreement on a proposal by the Croatian president on processing war crimes.
The five officials also hailed Croatia's referendum 'yes' to membership in the EU and Serbia's efforts to become an EU candidate state.
TADIC: CRISIS TO BE FOUGHT WITH INTERNAL RESOURCES
JAHORINA, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic said Friday that being faced with the global economic crisis, the countries in the region have to use all their internal economic resources, but also to do their best and assist the euro zone countries cope with the problems.
Addressing a press conference after the Trilateral Meeting on Mt. Jahorina (BiH), Tadic underlined that workplaces in the region depend on the situation in the euro zone, but also on the ability of the Balkan states to make use of their own hidden resources.
Noting that in the talks, he had placed emphasis on the connection between the economic situation in the world and the situation in the region, Tadic underlined that no effort at the local level can yield results if the crisis at the wider field is not harnessed.
"In the days to come, we need to seek for all potential internal development resources, such as mineral localities, companies that will jointly penetrate the thirdworld markets, or scientific cooperation," Tadic said. According to him, a special priority should be given to the fight against organised crossborder crime, in order to secure safety for all the inhabitants in the region.
TADIC DOES NOT THINK RS WAS CREATED ON GENOCIDE
JAHORINA, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic said on Friday he disagreed with the view by Liberal Democratic Party leader Cedomir Jovanovic that Republika Srpska (RS) was created on genocide, but added he did not deny anyone their right to a political opinion.
Tadic was on the mountain of Jahorina, attending a meeting with presidents of Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia, and when asked by journalists if he had apologized on behalf of the Serbian parliament, since Jovanovic was its member, he responded that he saw no reason why he should apologize on anyone's behalf.
"It would be unusual for me to apologize for the parliament. All participants in the political process are entitled to express their views and that is the essence of democracy. I do not share Mr Jovanovic's view, but it would be bizarre for me to apologize on his behalf," Tadic stated.
TADIC HOPES FOR REGIONAL SUPPORT TO JEREMIC
JAHORINA, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic stated Friday that it would be good if the regional states supported the candidacy of Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic for the position of president of the UN General Assembly.
At a news conference after the trilateral meeting between Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), Croatia and Serbia on Mount Jahorina, southeastern BiH, Tadic pointed out that it would be best if regional votes are unified on all regional issues, including Jeremic's candidacy, but did not deny the right of both states and individuals to hold a different position on any issue.
According to the host, Chairman of the BiH Presidency Zeljko Komsic, Jeremic's candidacy was not discussed at the trilateral meeting.
Tadic said that he has trust in Jeremic, whereas Komsic said he does not.
Komsic explained that he is against Jeremic's candidacy for personal reasons. "I am against the candidacy. That is my personal opinion. I am not sure that he deserves my trust," Komsic underlined.
TADIC: WE CANNOT LIVE IN FROZEN CONFLICT
SARAJEVO, Feb. 04 (Tanjug) - Serbia's President Boris Tadic has said that his duty is not only to have talks with the officials of Kosovo Albanians, which will be held "sooner or later", but also to convince great powers that his fourpoint plan for Kosovo is realistic.
"Anything that Albanians in Kosovo and Serbs in Belgrade agree can only be implemented if great powers agree to it," he said on Mount Jahorina (Bosnia Herzegovina) in an interview for Al Jazeera, which the TV network broadcast late Friday. The Serbian president explained that his plan implies recognition of reality and calls for a solution first because "the partition of Kosovo is impossible since the great powers do not want that," but also because there is evidently a problem in northern Kosovo which neither Pristina nor the international community can solve.
"The plan has been presented in more or less every capital in which international politics is created. The response is not positive but it's not negative either. This is the first time that an answer to a proposal from Belgrade is not negative, and we will see whether it will be positive," he added.
Tadic said that there are many interesting solutions for Kosovo, such as Northern Ireland, South Tyrol, the Aland Islands, and that what is useful from all those solutions should be used, but, however, added that only one solution which could be implemented for northern Kosovo has to be found.
When asked whether he will agree for the socalled parallel institutions in northern Kosovo to be abolished in case this is an official condition for the country's progress on its EU path, Tadic said: "Certainly not," asking what the parallel institutions are.
"Who can abolish school and health systems, and bear the responsibility for that? Should children not go to school? Which schools should they go to? To the newly created Pristina's? Who will impose on the Serb children or their parents to send them to those schools, and what procedure will make that happen? Will someone explain me that", Tadic asked.
He said that "we need to look at the reality in order to find practical solutions" and that the citizens need to understand that problems "could not be solved over night".
"We cannot live in a frozen conflict because this conflict will escalate sooner or later and people will lose lives again at some barricades or who knows where, just like we cannot continue to live in the present circumstances where there is a low intensity conflict. We need to find a solution instead," the president stressed.
SERBIA, MONTENEGRO SIGN AIR TRAFFIC AGREEMENT
BELGRADE, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - Serbian Infrastrucure and Energy Minister Milutin Mrkonjic and Montenegrin Transportation and Maritime Affairs Andrija Lompar signed in Belgrade Friday an agreement on bilateral cooperation in the field of air traffic, a document expected to improve air traffic management of both countries.
The cooperation agreement is an umbrella document that provides opportunities for the establishment of specific forms of further cooperation between the aviation authorities of the two countries, the ministers pointed out after signing the document at the Belgrade Airport Air Traffic Control Center.
Answering a reporter's question whether the accession of Montenegro to the NATO alliance could threaten the cooperation between the aviation authorities of the two countries or the agreement itself, Lompar said there were no dangers whatsoever and that it could only benefit both countries and enable an even better cooperation between the two. He pointed out that today's agreement also regulated areas concerning military aviation and provided a more flexible framework for both civil and military aviation in terms of security. He said that the agreement should strengthen the position of Serbia and Montenegro in relation to the Single European Sky agreement.
Chairman of the Management Board of Air Traffic Control Agency of Serbia and Montenegro Nikola Stankov said that Europe wants the current 54 air traffic control centers to be reduced to five, six or seven through their merger into separate functional airspace blocks (FAB). Stankov said that the joint agency of Serbia and Montenegro currently also covered 55 percent of the airspace of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as a small part of Croatia's airspace. He said that in the future, Serbia and Montenegro could admit other neighboring countries to the miniblock and form a larger one.
SERBIA - EU
JEREMIC: SERBIA WILL WORK ON EU POSITIVE DECISION
MUNICH, Feb. 04 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated in Munich on Saturday that Serbia will endeavor to create a political atmosphere which would lead to a positive decision on its status of an EU candidate.
Jeremic, who is attending the twoday International Security Conference in Munich, said that the decision on the status has not been made yet, and that there are few weeks left until the ministerial meeting.
We will do everything in the next period to create a political atmosphere in which progress in talks on Kosovo and all other regional issues would lead to a positive decision for Serbia, he said.
Speaking about the Munich meeting, Jeremic said that this is the biggest annual conference dedicated to international security.
The Balkans is not one of the main topics this year. I believe it is good news that we are not a security threat to the world. This was not the case in previous years, he stressed.
Jeremic also said that he met with Foreign Ministers of Russia Sergey Lavrov, Ukraine Konstantin Gryshchenko, Lithuania Edgars Rinkevics, and added that he is to confer with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski, and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.
One of the key topics is, of course, our European process. I believe that the overall atmosphere regarding Serbia and the enlargement issue is positive, he said.
The minister stressed that Serbia's presidency over the OSCE was also discussed.
Jeremic also met with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Saturday, whereas on Friday he met with Romanian Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu as well.
JEREMIC: GERMANY STILL WITHOUT POSITION ON SERBIA
MUNICH, Feb. 05 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic pointed out in Munich on Sunday that Germany still has not decided what their stance with respect to Serbia's candidate status would be at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers.
When it comes to Serbia and European future of the Western Balkans, I can say that Germany has not decided yet what stance it will adopt at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers, Jeremic told Tanjug after talks with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle.
"However, whatever the decision might be, it is important to maintain stability in relations. It is also important to retain a high level of communication and commitment," Jeremic stressed, adding that at the moment it is not possible to say or predict what the Germany's decision would be.
He said that it is important to stay involved in the dialogue.
"I believe that both sides have the best possible will, but only time will show what the decision will be like, stated the minister, who conferred with Westerwelle on the sidelines of the 48th International Security Conference in Munich.
He recalled that the next EU foreign ministers' meeting will be held on February 28.
"I will have an intensive communication with Minister Westerwelle, as well as with all foreign ministers. I believe that everyone has goodwill to reach the best possible solution. We are far from being able to say what the decision will be like," Jeremic pointed out.
He also said that he and Westerwelle also discussed the two countries' bilateral relations, as well the current situation in the world, especially the situation in Middle East, which is a dominant topic of the last day of the Munich conference.
During his participation at the conference, which gathered more than 350 state officials and experts from around the world, Jeremic had a number of bilateral meetings.
He also met with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov and US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Phil Gordon.
The Serbian foreign minister also conferred with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
Jeremic also had meetings with Foreign Minister of Lithuania Audronius Azubalis, his Ukrainian counterpart Konstantin Gryshchenko, Finland's Minister for Europe and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Foreign Minister of Romania Cristian Diaconescu.
DACIC: CONGRESSMEN CALL FOR SERBIA'S EU CANDIDACY
WASHINGTON, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - A group of U.S. congressmen will recommend to the European Commission and the European Council to make a positive decision on Serbia's EU candidacy, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated in Washington Friday.
Dacic said that he was informed about it by Congressman Dan Burton, who is heading the Serbian caucus at the U.S. Congress, the Interior Ministry released. According to Dacic, Burton said that he is preparing a letter together with a group of fellow congressmen, which will be sent to the U.S. Administration and top EU officials, calling for a positive decision of Serbia's EU candidacy.
Dacic pointed out that this is a very important initiative, considering that, at this point, positions of certain EU member states regarding Serbia's EU integration are perhaps much more strict and imbalanced than the position of the U.S. Administration. He underlined that such an initiative is welcome, as Serbia is ahead of a very difficult moment when it is necessary to find a balance between the EU pathway and protection of national and state interests. He believes that the negative decision on Serbia's EU candidacy would have longterm consequences not only for the future of the country's EU integration, but also the stability of the entire region. Dacic attended on Thursday the traditional Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
SCHWIMMER: EU TO SOON TELL SERBIA 'WELCOME HOME'
BELGRADE, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - Participants of an international conference dubbed "New Regional Policies and European Experiences" agreed Friday that Serbia belongs in the EU and expressed expectation it would soon become part of the European family of nations.
Council of Europe (CoE) former secretary general Walter Schwimmer said Serbia belongs in Europe and recalled the words he spoke when Serbia (then Serbia and Montenegro) was admitted to the CoE.
I said then 'Welcome home.' I hope EU officials will soon say something similar, Swimmer said.
Herwig van Staa, president of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress of the CoE, also expressed support for Serbia's EU integration, saying he believes Brussels will soon realize it is necessary that Serbia become an EU member. I hope you will join the EU soon and that the Union will soon realize it is necessary that Serbia become a part of Europe, Van Staa said.
On the second day of the conference taking place at the Serbian parliament, participants are giving presentations on the modality of regional policies in Europe.
Schwimmer, who headed the CoE between 1999 and 2004, said a tendency toward regionalization is evident throughout Europe.
Two principles are key to regionalization and European integration the principle of subsidiarity and the principle of solidarity, he said.
Schwimmer noted that every country must chose for itself the model and structure that best suits it and that solutions for political and other problems should not be sought by shifting responsibility to Brussels. He said the key issue is what can be done at lower levels local or regional because they are closer to the people.
MARTONYI EXPECTS POSITIVE SERBIA'S STATUS DECISION
BELGRADE, Feb. 04 (Tanjug) - Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi expects that the European leaders will reach a positive decision on granting Serbia the status of an EU candidate at the next summit of the European Council in March, and pointed out that Budapest strongly supports Serbia's efforts on its EU path.
In an interview for Saturday's issue of the Belgrade daily Vecernje novosti Martonyi qualified as favorable that, according to announcements, the Council of Ministers' General Affairs Council will decide on the issue, and not the Foreign Affairs Council.
I expect the stance of ministers to be confirmed by the European Council, he said, and expressed hope that good news will come from Brussels, since there is practically general support for Serbia to gain the candidate status.
Martonyi pointed out that several talks on the issue were held in Brussels recently, and that the message from the meetings is clear.
He also said that the issue regarding the law on restitution and rehabilitation in Vojvodina, due to which he at one point expressed reservations about giving support to Serbia, is now resolved, and added that Hungary has become the biggest supporter for granting Serbia the EU candidate status.
DARABOS: SERBIA DESERVES EU CANDIDATE STATUS
MUNICH, Feb. 05 (Tanjug) - Austrian Minister of Defense Norbert Darabos told Tanjug on Saturday that Serbia deserves to obtain the status of an EU candidate as soon as possible, adding that no new and excessive conditions should be imposed upon the country.
I think that Serbia should be granted the candidate status as soon as possible. I also believe that the country's current government is sending clear signals that it is interested in the resolving of the Kosovo issue, said Darabos, who is attending the 48th International Security Conference in Munich.
The government which aims to a positive solution should not be punished, but rather encouraged to continue with the path. Therefore, Serbia should obtain the candidate status in March, he said.
I believe that Germany's policy regarding Serbia and its status of an EU candidate is wrong, since not acquiring the status would just strengthen national powers, and thus endanger the peace process in the Western Balkans, he cautioned in his statement to Tanjug.
The proEuropean forces, which are trying to find a solution for the Kosovo issue in such a difficult situation, should be strengthened, Darabos said.
He also said that the demands made on Serbia are too high.
Serbia has made great efforts, and Austria realizes that. We treat equally all Balkan countries, to which we have a historical obligation. Serbia, as a large and important country, is of strategic importance for Europe. Therefore I believe that the demands imposed so far are high enough, including the one on the resumption of the Belgrade Pristina dialogue, which Serbian President Boris Tadic is trying to meet, he explained.
Although Austria has recognized Kosovo, and stands behind its decision, this does not prevent it from supporting Serbia, he concluded.
ICG SAYS CONFLICT JEAPORDIZES SERBIA'S CANDIDACY
BELGRADE, Feb. 04 (Tanjug) -. The International Crisis Group (ICG) has said that the conflict between Belgrade and Pristina has jeopardized Kosovo's interior stability and Serbia's efforts to join the EU, and calls on the governments of Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain to back Belgrade's candidacy for the EU.
In its latest report, "Kosovo and Serbia: A Little Goodwill Could Go a Long Way," the ICG says that Pristina's push to gain control over the entire territory, particularly its borders with Serbia, copuled with the Kosovo Serbs' determination to resist this could cause new clashes and casualties.
As for Serbia, the report claims Belgrade has lost control over and the trust of the northern Kosovo Serb community. The ICG calls on Belgrade to accept the Kosovo government as an equal despite not recognizing it officially.
The ICG further states that with a little goodwill many problems in Kosovo could be solved and gives recommendations to the governments in Belgrade and Pristina and Serbs in Kosovo's north.
The group also called on Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain to green light Serbia's candidacy for the EU in March if Belgrade meets the criteria.
SERBIA - K&M – DIALOG
RASMUSSEN:WITH TALKS TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IN KIM
BRUSSELS, Feb. 03 (Tanjug) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated Friday, at the end of a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels, that the freedom of movement has to be reestablished on the whole territory of Kosovo and Metohija (KiM).
Rasmussen told a press conference at NATO Headquarters that the situation in northern Kosovo is stable but fragile, and added that the international missions' freedom of movement is limited there. He said that the freedom of movement for the international forces has to be restored on the whole territory of Kosovo, but, however, stressed that the problems in Kosovo cannot be solved only by military means.
Therefore, we encourage the resumption of the Belgrade Pristina dialogue, Rasmussen said, adding that no one gets anything by renewing the tensions from the past.
When a journalist remarked that the dialogue deals with technical issues while the problems he mentioned are political, Rasmussen replied that it often happens that technical talks evolve into political.
The aim of the ministerial meeting was to prepare the ground for a NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government, which is to be held in Chicago in May.