Daily Survey

Belgrade, June 8, 2012

SERBIA

UN AHEAD OF DECISION - JEREMIC OR CEKUOLIS

NEW YORK, June 8 (Tanjug) –The UN member states will decide in New York on Friday who will be the next president of the largest world organization's General Assembly in the next 12 months - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic or Lithuanian Ambassador to the UN Dalius Cekuolis.The president will be elected by secret ballot, and the voting is due to start at 4 p.m.(CET). The representatives of all the 193 UN member states will vote for the candidate they support, after which the votes will be counted.The candidate who secures a simple majority will be declared the president.The presidency of the UN General Assembly in this term will last from September 2012 to September 2013.The latest information from the UN headquarters on the East River indicates that the Serbian candidate still has a better chance of winning than the Lithuanian one, but, due to the secret ballot and diplomatic protocol, few UN ambassadors want to say publicly who they will vote for.This time, the UN member states will have to choose one of the two candidates who come from the same Group. This is a rather unusual situation, as the candidate is usully nominated within the Group, and then elected by acclamation in the General Assembly.However, the situation does not set a precedent. The same happened in 1991, between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, when the UN member states chose the candidate fielded by Saudi Arabia.In the past five years, the UN General Assembly was chaired by the officials of Macedonia, Nicaragua, Libya, Switzerland and Qatar.Both Jeremic and Cekuolis actively lobbied in the last few weeks, and, when speaking of their chances to win, the Belgrade media quoted well-informed sources saying that some countries have intensified the pressure at the finish, especially Germany and the USA, which support Cekuolis.Jeremic stated recently that after the elections in Serbia, it is very difficult to predict if Serbia's candidacy for president of the UN General Assembly will have support, but that he still believes it is possible.

PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY GENERAL & ADVISORS APPOINTED

BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) –Nebojsa Rodic will serve as the secretary-general of the Serbian president, while Milorad Simic, Marko Djuric, Oliver Antic and Bratislav Petkovic will serve as advisors, states the latest edition of the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia.Rodic was appointed as the secretary general of Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on May 31, in keeping with the Law on the Serbian president. Simic, Djuric, Antic and Petkovic were appointed as president's advisors on June 1.

NIKOLIC'S DEEDS COUNT, VIENNA'S SUPPORT CONTINUES

VIENNA, June 8 (Tanjug) –Andreas Scheider, State Secretary in the Austrian Ministry of Finance, has said that new President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic has to be assessed by deeds, adding that Serbia's future is in Europe and that nothing will change in terms of Austria's support to Belgrade.The previous government and until recently Serbian president Boris Tadic did a lot when it comes to Serbia's progress. They also did a lot on the modernization of Serbia, they opened and paved the path towards Europe. These are very important merits, especially bearing in mind they were achieved in a difficult environment marked by the economic crisis, Scheider told Tanjug.He also pointed out that he has to accept every democratic outcome in Serbia, although, as he put it, Tadic and others in the previous government are politically much closer to him. There are lots of unknowns about the new president. His past poses many questions, his statements as well, and his political relations are very questionable. However, the elected president should be assessed by his deeds. Now it remains to be seen whether he will follow the EU path, the path of opening, democratization and reforms which was initiated, and the assessment will depend on that, he pointed out.There are good chances that Serbia's path will continue, since, apparently, the new government will comprise people well acquainted with all the matters on that path. I believe it is important for Serbia to continue its EU path, Scheider said.This is important for Serbia, but the decision is of course on the citizens. Serbia is in Europe and has future there.The country should make further progress, start negotiations with the EU, modernize its structures and further build its trade relations. A lot has been done, but a lot has to be done as well, the politician from the ruling Social Democratic Party of Austria said. When asked whether it is possible that Serbia gets a date for the start of EU talks, Scheider said that the Union is having an intense discussion about that.As far as I am concerned, Serbia should get the date for the beginning of negotiations with the EU. However, the decision is made by the EU and I cannot tell what it would be like, he underlined. We should work on opening the EU path for every country based on its progress and negotiations, Scheider said, and added that Austria will keep supporting Serbia on its EU path.

KOSOVO & METOHIJA

NIKOLIC: SAFETY OF KOSOVO SERBS MUST BE PROTECTED

BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said Thursday that the government and all state institutions must do everything possible to ensure the safety and rights of citizens of Serbia who live in Kosovo and Metohija.He also stressed that the problem of the province must be resolved through peaceful and democratic means, Nikolic's press service said in a statement.The Serbian president said meeting the mayors of the municipalities of northern Kosovo and chief of the Kosovska Mitrovica district that in resolving the problem of Kosovo and Metohija a consensus of all relevant political factors in Serbia must be achieved.All the problems in the southern province must be resolved solely by peaceful and democratic means, he said. Nikolic pledged to organize as soon as possible talks at which the consensus of political factors would be established.The Serbian president emphasized that the Serbian government and all institutions have to do everything in their power to protect the safety and rights of citizens of Serbia who live in Kosovo, and called on the citizens of the southern Serbian province not to respond to provocations and to refrain from violent actions against members of the international civilian and military organizations that are present there.Nikolic spoke with the Mayors of the municipalities of Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zvecan and Leposavic - Krstimir Pantic, Dragisa Milovic, Slavisa Ristic and Branko Ninic, and the Chief of the Kosovska Mitrovica district, Radenko Nedeljkovic.The presidents of four municipalities in northern Kosovo and Metohija explained to Nikolic the problems faced by Serbs in the southern Serbian province, with a particular reference to recent events. Nikolic will in a few days also talk with a delegation of Kosovo Serbs who live south of the Ibar River, the statement says.

NIKOLIC WILL SOON GIVE DOCUMENTS ON DIALOGUE IN BRUSSELS

BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) –The Mayor of Zvecan Dragisa Milovic said Thursday that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic will soon give the representatives of Serbs from northern Kosovo documents about the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina in order to familiarize them with the contents.We will get all the documents from Brussels very quickly, but we already got some insight from the OSCE and UNMIK. These are the documents that the office of the president has yet to study, Milovic told reporters after meeting with Nikolic in the Presidency of Serbia.Asked whether the documents signed in Brussels contain something about which the Serbian public was not informed, Milovic answered affirmatively.Asked if Serbs will continue to block the movement of EULEX and if this was discussed in the meeting with the president of Serbia, Milovic said that it was not a topic of conversation, and that EULEX members will be able to move freely when they prove to be status-neutral, as is the case of KFOR.We call on Kosovo Serbs not to fall for provocations in order to avoid being accused, Milovic said.During the previous 13 years, Pristina had the opportunity to offer an olive branch, but I have never seen that, Milovic said.Our citizens are frightened and we expect that the Kosovo Serbs will engage in negotiations with Pristina soon, and Nikolic agreed, Milovic said.According to Milovic, EULEX this morning took off license plates that were not labeled RKS, or KS, and called on the head of the negotiating team in dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic to tell the truth.

DREWS: NO COMPROMISE WITH THOSE BLOCKING MOVEMENT

PRISTINA, June 8 (Tanjug) –KFOR Commander Erhard Drews said Thursday that there would be no compromise with those blocking the freedom of movement of the people in Kosovo, since this falls under KFOR's purview.Drews said in Djakovica that KFOR had undertaken an operation to remove a concrete barricade in the municipality of Zvecan, northern Kosovo, only after exhausting all other options.He said KFOR had met with local officials and asked them to remove the roadblocks. Drews said the situation in the north was peaceful right now and not expected to deteriorate, adding that freedom of movement had been established in most areas.

ZBOGAR: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT MUST BE ENSURED

BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) –EU special representative for Kosovo Samuel Zbogar expressed concern over the current situation in the northern part of the province and reiterated the EU's position that freedom of movement must not be interfered with.I am concerned about the current situation in the north. As far as freedom of movement, the EU and the international community have always been clear it is a right that must not be infringed on. This is nothing new, said Zbogar, expressing regret that people were injured in recent incidents.Clashes between KFOR troops and Serbs erupted on June 1 after KFOR started removing a barricade in the village of Rudare near Zvecan. Four Serbs and two German KFOR soldiers were wounded.Zbogar said last week's barricade removal had nothing to do with Tomislav Nikolic's win in the Serbian presidential election and was not a test for him, adding the same operation would have been carried out if the other candidate had won.

SAAKASHVILI: RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO'S INDEPENDENCE WRONG CALL

TBILISI, June 8 (Tanjug) –Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili stated that the recognition of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is not in line with the international law, and stressed that Georgia cannot endorse Kosovo due to its own situation."We believe that Kosovo's independence was not a right (decision) from the point of view of international law and also from the point of view of our situation," Saakashvili said in a conversation with students, and the Georgia Online reported. Serbian President Nikolic has recently said to the Russian Radio 'Echo of Moscow' that South Ossetia and Abkhazia can be independent, but Kosovo cannot, as these are two different situations, to which the same principles cannot apply.Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze responded to the statement, voicing hope that the issues related to Serbia's possible recognition of Georgia's secessionist regions will be resolved in the bilateral talks between Tbilisi and Belgrade.

SERBIA – REGION

IRINEJ WELCOMED BY EMBASSY HEADED BY AMBASSADOR STANIMIR VUKICEVIC

BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) –Serbian Patriarch Irinej and members of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), Bishop Irinej of Backa, Bishop Vasilije of Srem, and Bishop Jovan of Sumadija arrived Thursday on a three-day visit to Zagreb, where they got a ceremonial welcome.In his address before the Church of the Holy Transfiguration, Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb Ljubljana and all Italy expressed belief that this canonical visit is not only a historic one, but also a visit of peace and love.The SPC delegation was welcomed by the eparchy's priesthood, and around a hundred believer, including Milorad Pupovac, president of the Serb National Council, and the staff of the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb headed by Ambassador Stanimir Vukicevic.

DODIK: IMPORTANT FOR SERBIA TO RESPECT RS

BANJA LUKA, June 8 (Tanjug) –Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said on Thursday that RS needs a strong and stable Serbia and that this is his only interest when it comes to who forms the Serbian government.Dodik told Tanjug that his statement that the Serbian government, including the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), would not have RS' support was not interference in Serbia's internal affairs, but only a reaction to LDP leader Cedomir Jovanovic's interference in RS' affairs, like the time when he undermined RS' interests by claiming it was created through genocide."Of course, I do care who runs Serbia. It is very important for us that the Serbian government has people who are going to respect at least the Dayton Agreement and RS as a part of it," Dodik stressed."The statement that RS was made through genocide, which was repeated later at the Prayer Breakfast (with the US President), was an 'alarm signal' for RS," he said."I know perfectly well that I am not the one who should be putting together the Serbian government. My intention was not to form the Serbian government, but my political intention was to say that those who had such ideas about RS do not enjoy our support," the RS president underscored.