Belgrade, January 10, 2012
TADIC DECORATED WITH MEDAL OF REPUBLIKA SRPSKA
BANJA LUKA, Jan. 09 (Beta) - Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik on Jan. 9 presented the Medal of Republika Srpska on a Sash to Serbian President Boris Tadic, on the occasion of Republic Day and the patron saint day of the Serb entity St. Archdeacon Stephen.
Tadic congratulated the officials and citizens of Republika Srpska on the 20th anniversary of its founding.
"It was a historic day for all of us, who have strived towards the ending of armed conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and primarily in Bosnia Herzegovina, where they were particularly fierce and resulted in the huge loss of human life among all the nations living in this area," Tadic said during the ceremony marking Republic Day.
The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej, also wished the citizens of Republika Srpska a happy Republic Day. He also sent his blessings to those who lead the Serb people, stressing that this "is not easy in these hard times."
At the ceremony, held at the Presidential Palace in Banjaluka, the Russian ambassador to Bosnia Herzegovina, Alexander Botsan Kharchenko, presented the Republika Srpska president with the Druzhba Medal, a decoration by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
SERBS HAVE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEIR INTERESTS
BANJA LUKA, Jan. 09 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic said in Banja Luka in Monday that the policy of violence and radical, ethnocentric and clerical aspirations on someone else's account has to be permanently erased from this region, but underlined that the Serbs both in Serbia and in Republika Srpska (RS) have a legitimate right to defend their legitimate interests.
At a ceremony in Banja Luka, organised on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of RS,Tadic said that Republika Srpska was set up as a community in which the Serb population protects its own national interests and identity, respecting the interests and identity of the other two constituent nations.
"The tragic events and victims of the war should be a warning to all of us that we have to settle our Balkan political and religious disputes in a peaceful manner, through a patient dialogue and negotiations, respecting the legitimate democratic interests, and human and cultural rights of all sides in the dispute," Tadic said.
According to him, the peoples in the region can get support from the EU in overcoming their disputes, and achieving economic and political prosperity, and democratic values and standards.
"Only in that way can we be stable and be a nation striving for development and prosperity, and only in that way can we realise our joint strategic goal a politically stable and economically strong RS," the Serbian president said.
He noted that Serbia is aware of all the obligations and rights stemming from the Dayton Paris agreement, which envisages special parallel ties with RS, and underlined that Serbia will always be ready to express solidarity with RS, whenever that may be needed.
"We share the same historical and cultural heritage and the same vision of a future of peace and prosperity for our peoples, and we are putting effort to share with our neighbors that vision and a system of values that will speed up the modernisation and development of our countries," Tadic said.
The Serbian president expressed gratitude to the RS for the support in reaching such a solution to the Kosovo issue that would be in the interest of all Kosovo Metohija inhabitants, and which would not make any side a loser or provide grounds for their triumph.
As a guarantor of Dayton Peace Accords, Serbia will continue to support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of BiH, and the existence of two entities and three constituent nations, as well as the solutions BiH has reached consensus on.
"Just like we insist on the defence of the interests of all other nations in the region of the West Balkans, we will never give up on the legitimate interests of Serbs, wherever they may live," Tadic said.
RS can count on Serbia's assistance and support in the future decades, just like it did in the past 20 years, Serbian President Boris Tadic concluded.
ROME HOSTS EXHIBITIONS AND ROUNDTABLE ON SERBIA
ROME, Jan. 10 (Tanjug) - The Serbian Embassy in Rome will organise on Tuesday a roundtable in the Italian capital, at which prominent figures of Italian journalism will speak about their experiences from the period when they were living in Serbia.
Moreover, two major exhibitions will be declared open on Tuesday at the Museum of the Roman Civilisation in Rome "The Serbian Culture a Way through Centuries" and "The Cyrillic".
The roundtable entitled "Italian journalists speak about Serbia" will focus on "numerous repercussions of the war and the country's capacity to preserve and develop its own culture, tradition and national identity, the Serbian Embassy in Rome released.
The roundtable is a part of the project "The Arts and Culture of Eastern Europe in Rome", which is being organised by the Secretariat for Culture and the Historical Centre department for Rome's cultural assets and city counsellor for Europe Tetyana Kuzyk.
The roundtable will be followed by two exhibitions "The Serbian Culture a Way through Centuries” authored by Ruzica Cvetic and Bojan Tubin, and "The Cyrillic" by Dragana Nikolic and Jelena Hadzi Nikolic, which will be declared open by Serbian Ambassador to Rome Ana Hrustanovic.
The first exhibition will illustrate the history of Serbia to the present day, by presenting copies of various manuscripts, archeological findings, customs and beliefs, while the other will show how memories can assist in creating one's own cultural luggage.
Exhibitions are part of the manifestation and cultural events which are being held in the Italian capital within the Month of the Serbian Culture in Rome with the aim of presenting to the Italian public Serbia's visual and performing arts, music, language and literature.
Until the end of January, the audience in Rome will have an opportunity to attend the concert by guitarist Tibor Tepic and string quartet TAJJ from Novi Sad, as well as a theatrical performance inspired by Ljiljana Habjanovic's novel "Game of the Angels", and a series of plays by renowned playwright Dusan Kovacevic.
The manifestation will be closed on January 27, with the celebration of St. Sava's Day. On this occasion, the band VED from Vranje will stage a concert, performing traditional and folk music, while opera diva Dragana Moles will sing the Hymn to St. Sava.
SERBIA - K&M
MIHAJLOVIC: PRISTINA'S STATEMENT EFFORT TO JUSTIFY EXTREMISM
BELGRADE, Jan. 09 (Beta) - Milivoje Mihajlovic, head of the Serbian government's media relations office, said on Jan. 9 that the Kosovo cabinet's announcement that in future it would not allow visits by Serbian President Boris Tadic were in fact an attempt to justify recent extremism and incidents at the Decani monastery.
"Symbolically, that represents another stone cast on a motorcade, which included the president of Serbia and a group of Serbs, that went to Visoki Decani to mark the great Orthodox holiday of Christmas," Mihajlovic told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation.
He said that seeking out an alibi for extremism in Kosovo did not contribute to defusing tension.
"I believe almost the entire government (of Kosovo) took the side of extremism with this statement and is attempting to come closer to Self-Determination and justify that group's activities," Mihajlovic stated.
He said the ethnic Albanian Self-Determination movement was in fact scenery against which Kosovo Premier Hashim Thaci will appear democratic and to show to the international community that there exist more extreme Albanians.
PRISTINA: BRUSSELS TO MAKE PRESSURE ON BELGRADE
BRUSSELS, Jan. 09 (Tanjug) - Pristina has urged Brussels to explain why the agreement on freedom of movement reached in the dialogue with Belgrade is not implemented, and to insist on its enforcement.
Dren Zeka, an advisor to Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri, said that Brussels was urged to make pressure on Belgrade to implement this agreement.
This request was issued on occasion of long lines at the Merdare and Bela Zemlja crossings.
Zeka denied in a statement for the Kosova Press news agency that the reasons for long lines at the crossings were technical problems with electricity and databases, as claimed by the Serbian party, since as he added these problems lasted for days. He said that the agreement on freedom of movement was enforced on December 26, 2011, and that in the beginning there were no problems, but that they came up in the previous period.
The reason for problems at the crossings were a large number of people working abroad who came to Kosovo for the New Year break. The jams occurred particularly during their return, and the passengers waited even for as long as seven hours, Zeka said.
IVANOVIC: JAMS AT CROSSINGS ARE DUE TO HOLIDAYS
BELGRADE, Jan. 09 (Tanjug) - State Secretary at the Serbian Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija (KiM) Oliver Ivanovic said Monday that the traffic jams at the crossings between central Serbia and KiM were more frequent recently due to the holidays, but also because of the strict procedure ensuing from the agreement that Belgrade and Pristina had reached in Brussels.
Asked about reasons why Pristina had been urging Brussels to explain why the agreement on freedom of movement reached in the talks between Pristina and Belgrade was not implemented, Ivanovic told Tanjug that such a behavior was quite usual with Pristina.
"They are always trying to create a political problem out of technical issues in such situations. True, the procedure (at the crossings) has gotten a little slower since the agreement entered into force. It is, however, being implemented, but not all the details have been precisely defined, which results in data check taking a bit more time, and the procedure was also slowed down a bit more due to the additional traffic jams after the holidays," Ivanovic pointed out.
Belgrade's lead negotiator in the Belgrade-Pristina dialog Borislav Stefanovic agreed with Ivanovic that Pristina was using technical issues to create new problems.
"Pristina is always doing that to convince its own public that the blame rests with the other side; in this case, particularly, by blaming the other side for the traffic jams," Stefanovic told Tanjug.
Dren Zeka, an advisor to Pristina's lead negotiator in the talks with Belgrade, said that Pristina had urged Brussels to exert pressure on Belgrade to implement the agreement.
Ivanovic said the agreement was in force, but the traffic jams following the holidays, especially because the large number of people coming from abroad, had been used by Pristina as a "reason" to trigger "the question of Belgrade's readiness to respect the agreement reached in Brussels."
BOGDANOVIC: PROCEDERE AGREED IN BRUSSELS OBSERVED
PRISTINA, Jan. 10 (Tanjug) - Serbian Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Goran Bogdanovic said on Tuesday that the procedure Pristina and Belgrade agreed on in Brussels is fully observed, and dismissed the claims by Kosovo officials that people carrying Kosovo IDs are not allowed to cross the Merdare checkpoint and enter central Serbia.
"The procedure agreed in Brussels is being observed and carried out at all crossings, and people with Kosovo IDs can normally enter central Serbia. Maybe it takes more time to carry it out because of the holiday traffic jams, but Pristina is using this to make Brussels exert pressure on Belgrade. This is nothing new, as they have been trying for months now to raise technical issues onto the political level," Bogdanovic said in a statement for Tanjug.
Head of Pristina's team in negotiations with Belgrade Edita Tahiri demanded from EU mediator in the Belgrade Pristina dialogue Robert Cooper to make pressure on Belgrade to fully imply the agreement on freedom of movement.
According to Kosovo Sot, a Pristina daily, Tahiri informed Cooper about problems at the Merdare crossing, where she said persons carrying Kosovo IDs are being prevented from entering central Serbia.
On the other hand, the daily reports, Cooper said he received assurances from the Serbian side that freedom of movement would be normalised in the shortest possible time.
On Monday, Tahiri's advisor Dren Zeka also said that Brussels was urged to make pressure on Belgrade to implement the agreement on freedom of movement.
DZOMBIC: RS WILL ASSIST KOSOVO SERBS
BANJA LUKA, Jan. 10 (Tanjug) - Republika Srpska (RS) Prime Minister Aleksandar Dzombic said in the talks with representatives of four municipalities in northern Kosovo Metohija that RS would help Serbs in the area as much as possible.
RS will do everything to assist Serbs both morally and financially, as much as it can, Dzombic told Srna news agency after the talks with representatives of Kosovska Mitrovica, Zvecan, Zubin Potok and Leposavic in Banja Luka late on Monday as regards the situation and life of Serbs in the area.
Kosovo Serb representatives stated that RS Serbs can be proud that they have RS. They expressed belief that Serbs in Kosovo would have their own territory and added that they would fight for this goal by all democratic means, Republika Srpska Television reported.