Belgrade, July 09, 2012
SERBIA - USA
GORDON: WASHINGTON TO COOPERATE WITH EVERY GOVT
BELGRADE, July 9 (Tanjug) - Philip Gordon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Monday that Washington would cooperate with any government chosen by the Serbian parliament.
According to a release issued by the president's press office, Nikolic expressed confidence the process would be completed soon, because Serbia needed a government that would get to work on the accumulated economic problems immediately, and start creating a more favorable business environment to attract investments and create jobs.
At the presidential building in Belgrade, Nikolic and Gordon talked about the situation in Kosovo, with the Serbian president noting that the international structures there need to perform their tasks in line with the mandates approved by Serbia, ensuring the safety and protecting the rights of all citizens in the province.
Nikolic said that incidents of wounding and killing of Serbian citizens were unacceptable, adding that "they have recently increased in frequency, which is obviously deliberate."
The Serbian president pointed out that such crimes did not contribute to stabilization in the region, especially before the resumption of talks with Pristina.
DACIC CONFERS WITH GORDON
BELGRADE, July 9 (Tanjug) - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic met with Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon on Monday.
Gordon arrived at the Palace of Serbia at 10:30 a.m. for a meeting with Dacic, straight after the talks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
He conferred with Democratic Party (DS) leader Boris Tadic late on Sunday. No statements for the media were released following the meeting which took place at the Democrats' headquarters in Belgrade.
According to a State Department release issued ahead of the visit, Gordon will meet with senior government officials to underscore U.S. support for the formation of a new government committed to working towards Serbia's European future, particularly with respect to regional stability and a constructive relationship with Kosovo.
He will be the second senior State Department official to visit Serbia this week, since his deputy Philip Reeker also paid a three-day visit to Belgrade and met with party leaders and President Nikolic.
Gordon will proceed to Pristina, where he will meet with senior government officials to congratulate Kosovo on the planned end of supervised independence this September and to encourage Kosovo's leaders to continue with European integration, the release adds.
He will also visit northern Kosovo and receive a briefing from representatives of NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) and European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX).
GORDON: SERBIA TO ACCEPT KOSOVO'S INDEPENDENCE
BELGRADE, July 8 (Tanjug) - U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon said in Dubrovnik on Saturday that Serbia is not expected to recognize Kosovo at this point, but added the country will have to come to terms with the reality of a sovereign and independent ethnic Kosovo, and that partition of Kosovo is not an option.
"Neither we nor the EU expect Serbia to recognize Kosovo at this point. It will not do that," he said at the Croatia Summit in Dubrovnik. "However, Serbia will have to come to terms with the reality of a democratic, sovereign, independent and multiethnic Kosovo within its current borders," he added.
The U.S. official, who will arrive in Belgrade on Sunday, pointed out that the U.S. can and will help, but added that Belgrade should end support for illegal security forces in northern Kosovo and provide full freedom of movement for everyone.
Belgrade should not block Kosovo's efforts aimed at decentralization, and the partition is not an option for either Serbia or Kosovo, Gordon pointed out at a panel on EU membership prospects as the driving force of social and political changes.
According to him, the U.S. also expects normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Gordon also said that the summit provides a welcome opportunity to reaffirm American commitment to ensuring the full integration of the region into Europe, but that regional leaders will have to do even more to ensure that the Balkans do not fall behind or off the radar screens.