Belgrade, January 09, 2012
SERBIA - K&M
TADIC: SERBIAN INSTITUTIONS IN KOSOVO WILL STAY
ZVECAN, Jan. 07 (Tanjug, B92) President Boris Tadic has said that he will not accept the demand to abolish Serbian institutions in Kosovo. The reason for this is that in the longterm it would mean the Serb population leaving the province, said he.
In an interview for the Zvecanbased TV Most on Friday night, Tadic said there is a lot of pressure to shut down institutions coming from great powers, UN Security Council member countries which have recognized Kosovo and would like to see the issue closed.
"We will not agree to the abolishment of our institutions. If we consented to such a demand, in the longterm it would mean the Serb population leaving Kosovo and at the same time it would mean there is no education, health care or social security system," Tadic said.
Tadic said this is utterly impossible and told those who are pressuring him and the Serbian government that this demand is ineffective and unacceptable.
Tadic said that if Serbia had agreed to renounce UN Security Council Resolution 1244 when it comes to the regional representation of the so-called independent state of Kosovo, it would certainly have gotten EU candidate status.
"There is no dilemma here, I thought I had no right to agree to give up the Resolution, as it is the legal basis which can help us find a solution for Kosovo," said the Serbian president. A message to Serbs, Albanians and the international community is that no one can get everything, that a solution must be based on compromise and durable peace, Tadic said.
Tadic pointed out a solution needs to be found that will take into account not only Serbian, but also Albanian national interests, and that he believes this is possible. "Serbia does not accept Kosovo's independence, not will it. This is based on Resolution 1244 and our Constitution, but we do accept the position of all major powers that a division of Kosovo is not possible," said the Serbian president.
KOSOVO SERBS ENCOURAGED BY TADIC'S VISIT
DECANI, Jan. 07 (Tanjug) - Serbs who live in Kosovo are encouraged by the visit of Serbian President Boris Tadic, who spent Christmas with them Saturday at the Visoki Decani monastery.
As Serbs from the enclaves who attended the liturgy told Tanjug, this is a sign of support and encouragement for them to remain in Kosovo.
"I think the Serbian president chose the right place. The Visoki Decani monastery instills confidence and strength and his visit will encourage all Serbs in the enclaves," Djordje Stanojevic from Djakovica told Tanjug. He said that with this visit the president has shown he is standing by the people in the enclaves, whose freedom of movement is limited. "His visit is a sign of support at the right moment," Stanojevic said.
Petko Pesic from Klina also sees the president's visit as great encouragement. He said he and his family returned to Klina in 2006 and have had no problems in daily life.
Others who came out for the service also spoke positively about the president's visit to Decani, with some saying he should come to Kosovo more often. In their opinion, this is support to Kosovo Serbs to persevere.
Tadic spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the Visoki Decani monastery.
He arrived there Friday, when he talked with monks and attended the burning of oak tree branches.
He spent the night at the monastery and attended the Christmas liturgy Saturday morning.
The monastery, located in Metohija, is the biggest and best preserved medieval monastery in Serbia, known for its 14th century frescoes. The town of Decani is now populated exclusively by Albanians, and the monastery is guarded by an Italian KFOR contingent.
ALBANIANS ATTACK TADIC, STOP KONUZIN FROM VISITING DECANI
DECANI, Jan. 06 (Beta) - A convoy with Serbian President Boris Tadic en route to Visoki Decani Monastery on Jan. 6, was stoned by supporters of the ethnic Albanian Self-Determination movement which delayed the Serbian president.
Stones were hurled at the president's car and his security escort, although no one was injured in the attack, monastery prior Sava Janjic said.
KFOR and EULEX were in charge of Tadic's security.
Elsewhere on Jan. 6, the Self-Determination movement blocked the Merdare-Pristina road to stop Tadic's visit to Kosovo. Kosovo police arrested six activists.
Demonstrators in the town of Decani prevented Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Konuzin from reaching Visoki Decani Monastery forcing Konuzin to reroute to the Pec Patriarchate.
According to the Pristina media, protesters in Decani blocked a bus in which Orthodox Christians were riding in under a Kosovo police escort en route to the monastery.
The bus stood still for half an hour, before Kosovo special units removed the barricade and cleared the way for the group to continue its trip.
During the blockade, the slogan UCK (the Kosovo Liberation Army) was spraypainted on the bus.
RASMUSSEN: POLITICALLY SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION THROUGH DIALOGUE
PRISTINA, Jan. 07 (Tanjug) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the only way leading to durable peace, stability and freedom of movement in Kosovo is finding a politically sustainable solution based on dialogue.
In an interview for Pristina daily Koha Ditore, which will be published in its entirety Monday, Rasmussen said freedom of movement for KFOR in Kosovo, and for all individuals, is nonnegotiable.
The NATO Secretary General reiterated NATO would stay in Kosovo as long as it takes, and announced its presence in Kosovo would be among the topics at the next summit in Chicago.
Our allies and partners know the cost of inaction in Kosovo would be much greater that the cost of action. Therefore, we will continue to advocate the continuation of the mission, Rasmussen said.
DACIC: COMPROMISE WITH EUROPE, DIALOGUE WITH PRISTINA
BELGRADE, Jan. 07 (Tanjug) - Serbia's most important goals are a strong state, an efficient and responsible government, unity, compromise with Europe and dialogue with Pristina, Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said at the start of the election year in which his Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) is gunning for the prime minister's seat.
Wishing citizens a somewhat boring year which will not make breaking news, in an interview for Tanjug Dacic explained that when he says a strong state he means strict, legal, orderly and just state, in which the number of unemployed is not the main piece of information.
"It is in the interest of the citizens of Serbia and the Serb people as a whole that we hit upon a bit more boring and peaceful waters. Since 2012 is an election year, certainly one of the goals is that the election not be a goal unto itself, but the means of getting a government which will be able to run this country efficiently in difficult times."
Dacic went on to say Serbia should be as present as possible in Kosovo and wherever Serb interest are being defended, and the country needs a stable and as European a government as possible but not at all costs. "And, of course, we need a government that will accept responsibility," Dacic said.
MIHAJLOVIC: REFERENDUM WILL NOT HELP SOLVE PROBLEMS
BELGRADE, Jan. 09 (Tanjug) - Head of the Serbian government press office Milivoje Mihajlovic said Monday that a referendum in northern Kosovo will not help solve problems in Kosovo.
Mihajlovic said too much attention has been paid to the referendum idea, which is in itself problematic, as far as formulating the referendum question goes. "If you ask a question to which everyone knows the answer, then there is probably another motive or purpose for the referendum. This is problematic to begin with," Mihajlovic told Radio Television of Serbia.
He pointed out the referendum deepens the division between Serbs living north and south of the Ibar River, which is bad for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo and is an attempt by a group of people to remain in Kosovo's political scene outside of democratic principles and the election process, all of which is motivated by party interests. Mihajlovic said one of the motives of the people who are trying to hold the referendum is fulfilling the task set by their parties from Belgrade to pose obstacles on Serbia's EU path at all costs.
Asked about the possibility of a ban on the referendum, Mihajlovic said such measures are not characteristic of the Serbian government but that the north Kosovo Serbs will have a clear message at the referendum. The key is for the people in the north to realize they have many more serious and pressing issues to take care of.
Asked to comment on the statement of Kosovo's deputy prime minster who criticized Serbian President Boris Tadic for allegedly making political statements during his visit to Visoki Decani, Mihajlovic said it serves as an excuse for the incidents which occurred in Decani. It is "another stone thrown at the convoy transporting the Serbian president and the group of Serbs who went to Visoki Decani to celebrate a great Serbian and Orthodox Christian holiday Christmas."
SERBIA - NEIGHBORS
DJUKANOVIC: TIES BETWEEN MONTENEGRO, SERBIA COMPLEX
PODGORICA, Jan. 06 (Beta) - Leader of Montenegro's ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, Milo Djukanovic, has that said Podgorica has quality relations with its neighbors that "are on the upswing," yet its ties with Serbia "are a little more complex."
The reasons for that include Serbia's and Montenegro's separation in 2006 and Podgorica's decision to acknowledge Kosovo, Djukanovic said in an interview with the Sarajevo Al Jazeera Balkans TV station, aired on Jan. 6.
He went on to say that relations between his party and Serbian President Boris Tadic's Democratic Party were not at the level that they had been back when the Democratic Party was headed by late Serbian Premier Zoran Djindjic. Ties "were more intense" back then, Djukanovic said.
Djukanovic added that he had recently met in Podgorica with Serbian Progressive Party leader Tomislav Nikolic and called his party "a relevant political factor in the region."
Djukanovic also said that he would not return to office since disclosing his decision to quit one year ago, after a political reign lasting nearly two decades.
SERBIA REPRESENTS MONTENEGRO IN 42 COUNTRIES
PODGORICA, Jan. 09 (Tanjug) Serbia represents the interests of Montenegro and its citizens in 42 countries where Montenegro has no diplomatic or consular offices.
When a state has no diplomatic office in another state, a practice of signing an agreement with a third country to represent the interests of its citizens is implemented.
Apart from Serbia, Montenegro signed such agreements with Croatia and Bulgaria as well.
According to the Podgorica media, the agreement envisages that Serbia provides help to the Montenegrin citizens in case of death, serious accident or disease, arrest or taking into custody. Montenegrin citizens are also allowed to request for help in Serbia's diplomatic offices regarding the issuing of passports and visa extensions, legalization and obtaining of documents.
Serbia represents Montenegro in Algeria, Angola, Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, the Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Africa, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus, Cuba, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Mexico, Myanmar, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Syria, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine and Zambia.
Croatia represents Montenegro in Australia, Chile and the USA, and Bulgaria represents the country in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
MALOVIC: V.PUSIC MAKES GESTURE OF RECONCILIATION
BELGRADE, Jan 09 (Tanjug) - Serbian Justice Minister Snezana Malovic has stated that she considers the message of Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic as an extraordinary gesture, a clear message that open issues should be resolved through talks and in a friendly atmosphere, and as a gesture of reconciliation.
"Any statement that calls for agreement is wellintended, and Serbia will be completely constructive in resolving problems. I agree that both sides should fulfill certain conditions, and that talks are the best possible means," Malovic said in an interview for the Belgrade based daily Danas on Monday.
When asked if Serbia would withdraw the genocide lawsuit against Croatia if Croatia withdrew the lawsuit against Serbia, she responded that "it is not important who will withdraw the lawsuit first, this is a technical issue that arises when the solution has already been found."
"It is important to reach an agreement in the interest of citizens of both Serbia and Croatia. That is when the withdrawal of lawsuits is realistic. The good news is that the issue has been raised, that there is a publicly declared intention from both Serbian and Croatian president, Boris Tadic and Ivo Josipovic respectively," Malovic underlined.
She added that the reconciliation process cannot be closed until all disputable issues, created as by the irrational policy pursued in the 1990s, are resolved.
"The issues of missing persons, refugees, war crimes, stolen property and right to housing, should certainly be resolved, and I am convinced that neither Croatia as a state entering the EU, nor Serbia which is headed towards the EU, do not want to carry a mortgage of the past. The only right way to enable reconciliation among the peoples and the normalization of relations between the two countries is to intensify talks, rational and wellintended, which, I am sure, will lead to the solving of the issues," Malovic stressed.
PUSIC: SERBIA AND CROATIA SHOULD EXAMINE PROBLEM LAWS
BELGRADE, Jan. 08 (Tanjug) - Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusic believes Serbia and Croatia should examine problematic laws on prosecuting war crimes as they are impeding them from solving the problem.
"One of the obstacles is the Serbian law which extends the jurisdiction of the Serbian judiciary beyond Serbia's borders, which is problematic in my opinion. On the other hand, we have the Croatian law which does not recognize Serbian indictments, which is also problematic. Both are making it more difficult to solve the problem," Pusic said in an interview for Belgrade daily Blic.
If we are able to make more rational decisions when it comes to these laws, they we have a chance at solving, or at least beginning to solve problems, she added.
Asked if Croatia will really withdraw its genocide lawsuit against Serbia, Pusic said it is "important to at least try to find a solution, and worst case scenario, if we fail, we will be in the same place we are in right now." "Above all, we need to solve the issues of missing persons, stolen property and war crimes. If we manage to do this with the help of interstate agreements, we will have made a step forward. This is not a process which can be resolved immediately. If we solve this, we can talk about withdrawing the suits," Pusic said.