Belgrade, June 09, 2010
SERBIA – NEIGHBORS
TADIC: SERBIA TO REMAIN GUARANTOR OF DAYTON AGREEMENT
BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) Serbian President Boris Tadic said in Banja Luka Tuesday that Serbia, as a guarantor of the Dayton Peace Accords, will continue to support the integrity of Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), but also the continued existence of Republika Srpska (RS) as a separate entity.
After the third session of the Council for Cooperation, founded in accordance with the Special Parallel Relations Agreement between Serbia and RS, Tadic pointed out that Serbia finds any imposed solutions for BiH unacceptable. "We will never under any circumstances question the integrity of BiH. These are the principles on which Serbia bases its policy, today and in the future. Any political changes in BiH are acceptable to Serbia, as a signatory of the Dayton Peace Accords, if they are the result of an agreement between its three nations and two entities," Tadic said.
He stressed that EU membership is the only real option and that Serbia will support all neighboring countries that have such aspirations. No one in the EU can ask Serbia to relinquish its territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo Metohija in exchange for EU accession. At the same time, it is not in Serbia's interest to block regional cooperation, Tadic said. According to him, Serbia will support everything that improves regional cooperation and life in the region, but will never explicitly or implicitly recognize Kosovo's independence. Officials at the session analyzed the joint interests of Serbia and RS, and outlined Serbia's strategic development goals until 2020, including its plans to build highway connections with all neighboring countries in the next five to seven years.
President Tadic especially pointed out the importance of cooperation with both RS and BiH in combating organized crime, stressing that Serbia wants to have the best possible relations with all countries in the region. "We want to contribute to the policy of reconciliation, which means that we pay our respects to the victims of all nations in the region, without forgetting our own," Tadic concluded.
TADIC: SERBIA WILL NOT BE BLACKMAILED INTO RECOGNIZING KOSOVO
BANJALUKA, June 8 (Tanjug) Serbian President Boris Tadic stated Tuesday that Serbia will not tolerate any kind of blackmail regarding its EU accession. No one in the EU can ask Serbia to relinquish its territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo Metohija in exchange for EU accession, Tadic said in Banjaluka after the session of the Council for Cooperation, founded in accordance with the Special Parallel Relations Agreement between Serbia and RS.
It is not in Serbia's best interest to block cooperation in the region, he added. Serbia will support everything that improves regional cooperation and life in the region, but it will neither explicitly nor implicitly recognize Kosovo's independence, Tadic stressed. Speaking of the region's European perspectives, the Serbian president pointed out that there is no alternative to EU accession and added that Serbia will continue to encourage such policy in all neighboring countries.
President of Republika Srpska (RS) Rajko Kuzmanovic, RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic and several Serbian and RS ministers attended the closed doors session of the council for monitoring the implementation of the agreement.
OFFICIALS: SERBIA SUPPORTS AGREEMENT OF NATIONS IN BOSNIA
BANJALUKA, June 8 (Beta) - Serbia strongly supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's territorial integrity, but it will also support all political changes in Bosnia enacted by the representatives of existing the three nations and two entities, Serbian President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated in Banjaluka on June 8.
Together with Republika Srpska (RS) President and Premier Rajko Kuzmanovic and Milorad Dodik, Tadic and Cvetkovic took part in the third session of the Committee for Serbia RS cooperation, whereupon they considered the further steps of implementing the Agreement on Special and Parallel Relations in the domains of economy, traffic, energy, health care, education and culture.
Tadic stated that EU membership is a strategic aim for both Serbia and Bosnia, underlining that there is no real alternative policy for the two countries.
He also said that Serbia supports all forms of regional cooperation, stressing that, apart from collaborating with RS, it is also interested in much better economic cooperation with the Bosnian Federation.
The session was also attended by the ministers of finances, energy, health, and education, who continued to consider the realization of the previously agreed projects in those domains.
It was announced that in the next three months, the two government's relevant ministries will ink a memorandum on cooperation, in order to intensify the realization of joint projects.
The next session of the committee will be held in Belgrade. The agreement on special relations between RS and Serbia was signed in Banjaluka in September 2006.
CVETKOVIC: SERBIA WILL INVEST IN REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
BANJA LUKA, June 8 (Tanjug) Serbia intends to invest in projects concerning infrastructure, energy, transportation and trade in Republika Srpska (RS), Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated Tuesday in Banja Luka.
Following a session of the Council for Cooperation, founded in accordance with the Special Parallel Relations Agreement between Serbia and RS, Cvetkovic told reporters that Serbia supports Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH) territorial integrity and all the agreements reached between the two entities and three nations in that country.
RS Prime Minister Milorad Dodik pointed out that Serbia has been the most significant investor in RS from 2004 to date, with total investments of Convertible Mark 1.7 billion (around EUR 0.8 billion). Dodik qualified as successful the cooperation of RS and Serbia, and noted that agreement has been reached regarding the construction of the bridge on the Drina River in the village of Fakovici, as well as the completion of the bridge on the Sava River in Raca and the railway line running from Visegrad (a city in eastern RS) to Uzice (in western Serbia). RS Prime Minister also said a memorandum on cooperation will be signed within the next three months between several ministries of Serbia and RS.
DODIK: RS AND SERBIA SHARE THEIR VIEW ON KOSOVO
BANJA LUKA, June 8 (Tanjug) Republika Srpska (RS) Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said Tuesday that RS would follow Serbia's policy regarding Kosovo's future status. "RS will follow Serbia's policy on Kosovo to the end. Serbia's official stand is the stand of RS as well.
I think that Bosnia Herzegovina’s (BiH) choice not to recognize Kosovo is entirely fair, and the statements by some Kosovo officials that BiH will recognize it are just speculations. It will not happen," said Dodik after a meeting of the RS Serbia cooperation council, established on the basis of the agreement on special relations between Serbia and RS. Dodik noted that Serbia is the biggest investor in RS with 1.7 billion Bosnian convertible marks invested so far, adding that it provided a huge contribution to the economic, social and political stability in RS.
Serbian government policy has helped RS by stating Serbia's strong and clear position during the constitutional changes in BiH, the position that promotes the territorial integrity of BiH, as well as the existence of its two entities, RS and the BiH Federation, said Dodik. That position has supported the view of RS, Dodik continued, meaning that foreign pressure concerning constitutional changes is not welcome, and that every solution has to be the result of compromise. "RS wants to assume the role of a stabilizing factor in the region. Our agenda is not destabilization of the region, but its stabilization," Dodik stated, adding that he expects the EU to make some positive decisions regarding visa liberalization.
RS President Rajko Kuzmanovic told reporters that the meeting exceeded all expectations, and that 24 participants agreed that the cooperation between Serbia and RS is improving continuously. Kuzmanovic said he was happy the two sides agreed that BiH should remain organized according to the 1995 Dayton Agreement that ended the war in BiH, as well as in terms of the region's European future, and he described Serbia as a unifying factor in the region.
SUTANOVAC: CONDITIONS FOR COOPERATION HAVE BEEN CREATED
ZAGREB, June 8 (Tanjug) During his visit to Croatia and on the occasion of the signing of the agreement on military cooperation between Serbia and Croatia, Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac gave an interview for the Zagreb based daily Jutarnji list, which pointed out that the agreement symbolically marks the end of the war in the region.
"The very fact that Serbia and Croatia are prepared to sign an agreement in the most delicate area of international cooperation is a step forward to the final stabilization of relations. After showing that we know and are able to cooperate in the areas of justice and police, in the fight against cross border organized crime, conditions have been created for cooperation in the area of defense," Sutanovac underscored.
When asked what Serbia can do for Croatia and vice versa in respect of military cooperation, Sutanovac said that the two countries' armies are complementary and that they have capacities which can promote cooperation. When asked about the Croatian soldiers in KFOR Mission in Kosovo, Sutanovac said that "the primary purpose of every contribution within KFOR is to provide security for all KiM citizens."
"I highly appreciate all the countries and their troops which professionally take part in providing security even outside of their own countries," he stressed. "Serbia is the only European country which has a tragic experience with the NATO, which is still burdening our citizens. Our military neutrality in no way hinders the cooperation within the Partnership for Peace Programme, which also includes the EU member states that are not NATO members," Sutanovac pointed out.
SUTANOVAC: ARMIES OF SERBIA AND CROATIA ARE COMPLEMENTARY
BELGRADE, June 9 (Tanjug) Upon his return from Zagreb, where he signed an agreement on cooperation between the two countries in the area of defense together with his Croatian counterpart Branko Vukelic, Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac stated late on Tuesday that the capacities of the two armies are complementary.
"I am sure that the officers of the two armies will find what is for them the most interesting and most cost-effective to cooperate on. On our side, we can offer cooperation with the Military Medical Academy as a great brand that connects the entire region, Military Academy and ABHO Center in Krusevac," Sutanovac said in a live broadcast by TV B92. The Minister recalled that Serbia has signed agreements with all countries in the region, that last year it signed an agreement with China and launched the initiative to sign such an agreement with Albania.
"I also informed the president Ivo Josipovic and my counterpart Vukelic that we have good facilities and record military industry export and that there is likelihood that we will get contracts that will require cooperation at the regional level for specific products that used to be produced in the former Yugoslavia, and we will then offer cooperation not only to Croatia but also to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia," said Sutanovac.
JOSIPOVIC: AGREEMENT MARKS NEW POLITICAL, MILITARY ERA
ZAGREB, June 9 (Tanjug) The agreement on military cooperation between Croatia and Serbia marks a new era in the two countries' political and military relations, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic stated on Tuesday.
The agreement contributes to the stability in the region, and "such agreements are not signed with weak partners," Josipovic said after an exercise on the military polygon Eugen Kvaternik near Slunj (a town in western Croatia). Responding to a journalist's question whether he fears that the agreement was signed prematurely, Josipovic said that such a document can be signed only too late.
Croatian Army Chief of Staff Josip Lucic stated that he is not authorized to comment on the matter, and only said the agreement is expected to provide an "exchange of abilities." "Serbian Army has certain abilities which we will employ in the future," Lucic said and added that Croatia has more experience regarding participation in peacekeeping missions in Asia and Africa. Serbia and Croatia signed Tuesday the agreement on military cooperation in Zagreb, which envisages a series of joint activities to be carried out by the two ministries and armies.
DULIC: AUSTRIA WILLING TO FURTHER RELATIONS WITH SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) Serbian Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic conferred Tuesday with Austrian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Nikolaus Berlakovic and discussed further strengthening of the cooperation between the two countries.
Serbia has excellent cooperation with Austria in many fields. Spatial planning, civil engineering and environment which are under the jurisdiction of my ministry are seen as important by Austrian investors, Dulic told Tanjug, adding that Austria is the largest investor in these areas in Serbia. "We discussed institutional cooperation and future investments. Austrian colleagues offered great help when it comes to the exchange of knowledge and technology, and we will soon send our expert teams from the ministry and various institutions to Austria to see how they have solved problems regarding investments in renewable resources and waste management," the minister said.
"Austria has accepted our proposal to sign an agreement which would define the ways of our cooperation. We have responded to their call to open Serbia to investments in the renewable energy sector," said Dulic, adding that Austria is interested in investing in Serbia's minihydro power plants and wind generators. The two ministers also discussed the future investments, creation of new jobs and improvement of cooperation between the two countries.
VOJVODINA AND UPPER AUSTRIA STRENGTHEN COOPERATION
NOVI SAD/LINZ, June 8 (Tanjug) Speaker of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina Assembly Sandor Egeresi and his counterpart from the Upper Austria province Friedrich Bernhofer met in Linz on Tuesday, where they agreed on the steps needed to improve the cooperation between the two assemblies and set down the details of future activities by the two regions.
According to Egeresi's cabinet, Bernhofer said that the highest institutions of Upper Austria were more than willing to strengthen their relations with Vojvodina, based on an already signed statement of intentions. Bernhofer was very appreciative of Egeresi's efforts in international cooperation between regions, adding that the initiative to hold a conference of parliament speakers from the countries and regions of the Danube basin in Novi Sad in October was very positive.
The two officials agreed that the Danube strategy, just like the future Danube region in Europe, provides huge opportunities for development, while the key role lies with different regions and cities as the main facilitators of the EU's functioning in the future. Berhofer and Egeresi agreed on a visit to Vojvodina by a delegation from the Upper Austrian provincial parliament, which should include a visit to its assembly and to the Fourth Camp of Tolerance of the Youth from the Danube Basin Regions and Cities in Backa Topola July 2531.
DJELIC EXPECTS REPORT BY ICTY CHIEF PROSECUTOR TO BE SUFFIC
BELGRADE, June 9 (Tanjug) Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for European Integrations Bozidar Djelic on Wednesday stated that he expects an oral report by International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz to be sufficient for all European Union countries to decide that the process of ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia may start.
Djelic, who is to head a delegation of Serbia in Luxembourg on June 14, said that a number of contacts will be made with Brammertz, who will also be there, and that a decision to start the ratification process would be an important step forward in Serbia's European integrations. "Yesterday we had a meeting with the political director of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and what we have heard is an indication of a positive outcome, but he said that there will be additional consultation between the Dutch parliament and the Dutch government this week," Djelic said in a statement with the Radio Television of Serbia.
Asked whether anything could change after today's parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, Djelic said that in terms of ratification the position will not change, but the fact that there are elections in the Netherlands and Belgium is an aggravating circumstance for the expected second step, which is "forwarding of the nomination to the European Commission for consideration."
Asked if he expected negative reactions of the EU member states that have recognized Kosovo's independence, Djelic said that Serbia does not only have friends in Europe, but that it is up to our country to fight, to enter into an alliance and to do what is in the interest of its citizens. Full membership of Serbia in the EU is in the interest of Serbia, but not under any circumstances, he said. "Kosovo is an inseparable part of Serbia, which respects UN Security Council Resolution 1244," added Djelic.
AGREEMENT ON POLICE COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA AND BRAZIL
BRASILIA, June 8 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic and Brazilian Justice Minister Luiz Paulo Teles Ferreira Barreto signed an agreement in Brasilia on June 8 about cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.
Dacic, who is paying a six day visit to Latin America, stated that "concrete operations" of Serbian and Brazilian police should be expected soon, the Serbian Interior Ministry stated.
The two ministers agreed that information should be exchanged about criminal groups which simultaneously operate in the Balkan region, Western Europe and Latin America.
Dacic said that the purpose of his visit was the strengthening of police cooperation, with the aim of initiating operations against crime groups that deal in cocaine trafficking. "There are many such groups in Latin America and they mainly originate from our areas not only from Serbia but from the entire region," Dacic said.
The Brazilian justice minister said that Serbia was the only country in the region and a rare country in Europe to have signed an agreement on police cooperation with Brazil.
After Brazil, Dacic is to visit Argentina.
DENMARK, KOSOVO SIGN DEPORTATION TREATY
COPENHAGEN, June 8 (Beta) - representatives of Denmark and Kosovo signed a treaty in Copenhagen, based on which Pristina will have to accept back asylum seekers denied asylum, the Danish ministry of refugees, foreigners and integration has announced.
The treaty allows Denmark to deport Kosovars denied asylum in Denmark, if they refuse to return to Kosovo of their own volition. The treaty was signed by Danish minister of refugees, foreigners and integration Ronn Hornbech and Kosovo Minister of Interior Affairs Barjam Rexhepi.
Hornbech said that the treaty is "an extension of good cooperation with Kosovo on immigration issues."
The Danish ministry also released a statement citing a Danish police report on April 10, 2010 according to which 19 citizens of Kosovo would be deported, while the total number of Kosovars who had applied for asylum in 2009 was 119.
SERBIA – ECONOMY, FINANCE
DJELIC: SERBIA GETS EUR35 MILLION FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
BELGRADE, June 8 (Beta) - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic said on June 8 that the Council of Europe's Bank for Development will soon grant EUR35 million for development of science and technology in Serbia, EUR25 million of which will be for scientific equipment, and EUR10 million for the construction of noncommercial apartments for scientists.
After meeting with the bank's governor Rafael Alomar in the Serbian government, Djelic said that the funds will be granted in Rome on June 10, at a meeting of the bank's Board of Directors, adding that the bank "has already engaged EUR200 million in projects for defense against natural disasters, ecology and social issues" in Serbia.
"Today I presented Alomar with a portfolio of new projects, worth another EUR200 million, and it is our aim to obtain from 200 to 400 million euros of favorable loans for our country in the next two years," Djelic assessed. He pointed out that these are cost-effective financial arrangements, with less than two percent of interest, which cannot be obtained in any other bank.
Alomar said that relations with Serbia will be further improved through the implementation of those projects, assessing as successful the separate meetings he held with Djelic and Finance Minister Diana Dragutinovic.
EUR100 MILLION FOR MODERNIZATION OF SERBIAN SCHOOLS
BELGRADE, June 8 (Beta) - The representatives of the Serbian government and the European Investment Bank (EIB) met in Belgrade on June 8 to ink an agreement on continuing the funding of the school modernization program in Serbia with another EUR100 million.
The agreement for the second stage of the project "Program for the Modernization of Schools" was signed at a press conference by Finance Minister Diana Dragutinovic and the EIB High Representative for Slovenia, Croatia and the Western Balkans Dominique Courbin.
One half of the money is a 25year loan from EIB, while the other half will be provided by Serbia. It was announced that the government will urgently send a draft law on the ratification of the agreement to the parliament, so that it can find a place at the first parliament session.
Dragutinovic stated that Serbia expects to obtain EUR1 billion from EIB in 2010, while some EUR300 million should be for the Corridor 10 highway.
Courbin said that good cooperation with the Serbian government is proved by a big number of projects funded by the bank, as well as plans for new investments.
The Chief of the European Commission in Serbia Vincent Degert said that, apart from investments into infrastructure, the Commission also invests into education in Serbia. Degert said that EIB will work on the construction and modernization of schools, and that the Commission will finance the training for teachers, procurement of equipment and software.
Serbian Education Minister Zarko Obradovic assessed that the agreement on continuation of school modernization provides funding for the improvement of education, which is a "fantastically big sum of money."
CERTIFICATES AWARDED FOR FAVORABLE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic presented certificates Tuesday to the presidents of five Serbian municipalities with a favorable business environment.
The certificates were awarded to Bujanovac, Vranje, Leskovac and Pirot in southern Serbia and Subotica in the north, based on the quality of services these municipalities offer to businesses through efficient, responsible and transparent local government and a favorable investment and operation environment. At the presentation ceremony, Dinkic said the responsibility for attracting investments does not rest only with the state government, which provides political and macroeconomic stability and financial incentives, but that it is equally important that local selfgovernments be proactive, efficient and cut down on red tape. "Without attracting investments, creating new jobs and changing the economic structure of the country, the Serbian economy cannot achieve sustainable economic growth," Dinkic assessed.
Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government Milan Markovic pointed out that the certificates prove these municipalities have efficient and impartial services which facilitate foreign investments. The ceremony was attended by Head of Economic and European Integration Sector of the European Commission Delegation to Serbia Alberto Cammarata, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick, as well as the Israeli, Canadian and Austrian ambassadors to Serbia Arthur Koll, John Morrison and Clemens Koja respectively.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
FEITH: NEW RECOGNITIONS OF KOSOVO AFTER OPINION IN THE HAGUE
BRUSSELS, June 8 (Beta) - New recognitions of Kosovo's independence will follow the "advisory opinion" of the International Court of Justice in The Hague about the proclamation of Kosovo's independence, it was stated in Brussels on June 8 by the Chief of the International Civil Office in Kosovo Pieter Feith.
Underlining that he is speaking in the name of the countries that recognized Kosovo's independence, Feith said that it is important to wait for the court's decision, but that it will be a "mixed opinion" that will "somewhat satisfy Belgrade, and to an extent support Kosovo, and which will open the door to a new recognition of its independence."
As a special envoy of the EU in Kosovo, Feith, together with EULEX Chief Yves de Kermabon, submitted a report to the EU Political Security Committee. He stressed that the stands of the court in the Hague will not change anything regarding the position of the countries that recognized Kosovo.
The court's advisory opinion is not obliging, but it is important, added Feith, "because it will give a basis regarding an issue where international law is not clearly articulated in regards to countries' or peoples' independence." He added that Kosovo has made notable progress, and pointed out that the Serbian community south of the Ibar River has decided to take on responsibility in the municipality where it has a majority, and become involved in the Kosovo institutions.
Feith noted that it could be a "role model for the north of Kosovo" and stressed that the EU advocates improvement of the economic and social situation of Serbs in the north of Kosovo. The EU envoy expressed opposition to the division of Kosovo, stating that there is a "very low mood" regarding the division in Pristina. Asked if Kosovo can survive economically without the help of the international community, Feith claimed that "Kosovo is a sustainable country on the way to becoming a multiethnic democracy."
BENTLER:THERE IS NO DIVISION, INTEGRITY OF KOSOVO GUARANTEED
PRISTINA, June 8 (Tanjug) KFOR Commander Lt. Gen. Markus Bentler said Tuesday that there will be no division of Kosovo and that the integrity of Kosovo is guaranteed by the Kumanovo Treaty, whose signing in June 1999 ended the NATO bombing of former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In an interview with Radio Kosovo, Bentler said there are still threats to security in Kosovo, but that the situation in the north can only be solved through a political process and not through military action. Asked if the NATO can now call its mission in Kosovo accomplished, Bentler said that no one can say when that time will come. That depends on the security situation and the progress of development. But there has been a lot of progress and we are close to fulfilling our mission, the KFOR commander said. Bentler believes there are no outside threats to Kosovo's security stemming from unresolved issued between Pristina and Belgrade. There are no outside threats here. The people of Kosovo can be at peace and feel safe. The excellent cooperation we have with Serbia's armed forces is responsible for the safety of the administrative border, the KFOR commander said.
The German general noted that northern Kosovo is not the only area that poses a security risk, reminding of the recent arms seizures and shootouts at the Macedonian border. There are some other causes for concern, some other hotspots that call for caution, Bentler said.
KFOR: KUMANOVO TREATY GUARANTEES SECURITY IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, June 9 (Tanjug) The signing of the Military Technical Agreement between the Serbian Army and UN representatives near Kumanovo, Macedonia, 11 years ago, allowed the International Security Force (KFOR) to enter Kosovo and end conflicts in the province, providing security and freedom of movement to all Kosovo citizens, KFOR released in a statement on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the Kumanovo Treaty.
This agreement included conditions for deployment of KFOR troops and necessary measures of control at borders and border crossings with other states and territories. The agreement also included KFOR's task to establish relations with local authorities in Kosovo, Serb civilians and military officials, the statement reads. Since the agreement's enforcement, KFOR has organized regular meetings not only with officials of the Republic of Serbia, but also Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro, the statement said.
Wednesday marks 11 years since the signing of the Kumaovo Treaty between UN representatives and the Serbian Army at a military airport near Kumanovo, Macedonia, which ended the NATO bombing of former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
BASESCU: ROMANIA DOES NOT ALTER ITS STAND ON KOSOVO
TIRANA, June 9 (Tanjug) Romania has not change its official stand on Kosovo's independence, Romanian President Traian Basescu stated in Tirana on Tuesday, during his one day official visit. Romania continues to support its earlier official stand on Kosovo, said Basescu at a joint press conference after his meeting with Albanian President Bamir Topi, Romanian national news agency Agerpres reports.
Romania did not recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija, because it believes that it violates international law. Basescu and Topi also discussed the political situation in the Balkans.
EULEX SHOULD CONTINUE INVESTIGATING CRIMES AGAINST SERBS
BELGRADE, June 8 (Tanjug) State Secretary with the Serbian Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija Oliver Ivanovic said on Tuesday that he expects from EULEX, now that its mandate in the province has been extended, to continue to investigate the crimes against Serbs and to make its cooperation with the Serbian prosecution in that respect more concrete.
"We hope that the EULEX mission will continue investigating the crimes and that the cooperation between the international prosecution and the Serbian special prosecution will be made more concrete in this respect," Ivanovic told Tanjug. He added that after "a long period of adaptation" and the dilemmas it had regarding the role of the UN and (UN Security Council) Resolution 1244, the mission has finally focused on the issues that are supposed to be its priority tasks. Ivanovic explained that it was a big mistake that EULEX placed the centre of its interest in northern Kosovo and Metohija, whereas the Serbian side insisted on organized crime and corruption as being one of the main problems in Pristina.
"What the Serbian party insisted on the most was shedding light on ethnically motivated crimes, that is crimes against Serbs, particularly those that have been committed after the arrival of the international mission, but also the crimes that took place in 1998 and 1999," Ivanovic said. The EU Council stated earlier in Brussels that on Tuesday it will extend he mandate of the EULEX mission in Kosovo and Metohija until June 8, 2012. The main goal of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo and Metohija, the biggest EU civilian mission, is to provide assistance and support to the interim Kosovo authority, particularly the police, judiciary and customs departments, and to help them observe the rule of law. EULEX was first appointed on February 4, 2008, and its original mandate expires on August 31, 2010.
EU COUNCIL EXTENDS EULEX MANDATE UNTIL 2012
BRUSSELS, June 8 (Tanjug) The Council of the European Union extended the mandate of the EULEX Mission in Kosovo Metohija until June 14, 2012, the Council's press service told Tanjug. EU Special Representative in Kosovo Pieter Feith and Head of EULEX Kosovo Yves de Kermabon held a news conference to talk about the latest political events and EULEX activities.
The main objective of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo EULEX, the EU's single largest civilian mission, is to support Kosovo authorities the police, courts and customs services in particular in respecting the law.
TACI ANNOUNCES MEASURES AGAINST THOSE INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION
PRISTINA, June 9 (Tanjug) Prime Minister of Kosovo interim government Hasim Taci addressed the Kosovo citizens on Tuesday evening with the message that justice is equal for everyone and called on the citizens to have trust in his government, seeking support for its work and efforts in suppressing organized crime. You can be disappointed today, as we are going through a crisis of trust in politics, Taci said.
You are not completely sure whether the government means it when it says that it will directly face corruption and eradicate it. I am sorry that we did not succeed in making you feel more secure, but I assure you that, just like you, we do not tolerate corruption, he stressed. Taci made a promise that the Kosovo government will take measures against the suspects if evidence shows that they were involved in corruption. Taci pointed out that there is a lot of work to be done in order to set up a judicial system that will operate without the influence of politics.
However, the opposition parties of Kosovo Albanians do not believe in the statements of Kosovo prime minister and they request from him and Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu not to interfere in the work of the judiciary. At the same time, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Democratic League of Dardania and New Kosovo Alliance encourage EULEX to act as quickly and efficiently as possible in all cases of suspected organized crime and corruption. Vice-President of Democratic League of Dardania Neser Rugova accused the Kosovo interim government for being involved in organized crime and masterminding such activities.