Belgrade, February 10, 2012
JEREMIC AND BAN KIMOON DISCUSS KOSOVO
NEW YORK, Feb. 09 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic met in New York Thursday with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Kimoon and a number of UN Security Council (UNSC) member countries' ambassadors to discuss situation in Kosovo and the investigation into human organ trafficking in Kosovo.
After his meeting with the secretary general of the world organization, Jeremic said that they were talking about the report Ban had presented to the Security Council the day before.
Jeremic added that he had raised a question regarding the money of the UNMIK's Kosovo Trust Agency (KTA) that the Privatization Agency of Kosovo now wanted to appropriate to its own use.
"The money must be kept away from the parallel institutions in Pristina. There exists an organization called the Privatization Agency of Kosovo, arguing that it is KTA's successor, which is not true. On behalf of Serbia as a UN member, I demanded that the funds be blocked," Jeremic told a Tanjug correspondent.
The Serbian foreign minister said that he and the UN secretary general had agreed that UNMIK was one of the key elements of the international presence in Kosovo and that without the mission and the mandate it had been given through Resolution 1244 no solution could be reached. Jeremic said that he had told Ban that Serbia was fully committed to peaceful negotiation process, adding that he was confident that there was no other option to find any technical or political solution for Kosovo in the future.
When asked to comment on yesterday's statements by the Russian and Chinese ambassadors to the UNSC, who demanded that the investigation into the illegal trade in human organs be transferred from the jurisdiction of EULEX and placed under the jurisdiction of the UN, Jeremic said that Serbia had also requested that a new meeting be held to discuss the investigation, adding that it could take place at the new meeting of the Security Council.
"We cannot give up on the investigation because right now we have a closed, opaque, markedly secretive process and I am not sure if anyone can have full confidence in it, given the fact that it insists that no one should be delivering reports about anything to anybody," Jeremic said in a comment on the investigation led by EULEX. "It is strange, it is very strange. I do not understand why should someone want to hide something so aggressively," Jeremic wondered.
A year has passed from the beginning of the investigation, and EULEX has not presented any information about the progress of the investigation.
The Serbian foreign minister stated that he and Ban also discussed possibilities of cooperation if Serbia gets elected to chair the UN General Assembly. He also said that he had used the opportunity to invite Ban to come to visit Belgrade in April, when a regional conference of the Alliance of Civilizations, which is one of the most important UN programs, should take place in the Serbian capital.
Jeremic met today with Ambassadors to the UN from Brazil, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, from Botswana, Charles Ntwaagae, from Pakistan, Abdullah Hussain Haroon and Moroccan Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki. All four states are new members of the UN Security Council.
BAN SATISFIED OVER EASE OF TENSION IN NORTH KOSOVO
BELGRADE, Feb. 10 (Tanjug) - United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Kimoon expressed satisfaction in the talks with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on Thursday over recent ease of tension in north Kosovo and progress in the establishment of freedom of movement, the UN Secretariat said in a release.
The focus of the Jeremic Ban talks was the situation in north Kosovo and the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina mediated by the EU.
Ban commended Serbia's positive contribution to the relief of tension, and encouraged its constructive engagement.
As for the referendum organized by north Kosovo Serbs, the secretary general urged Belgrade to establish close cooperation with UNMIK and other factors in order to prevent escalation of tensions.
MICUNOVIC: ROMANIAN DEPUTIES EXERT PRESSURE OVER WALLACHIANS
BELGRADE, Feb. 09 (Beta) - The chairman of the Serbian parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Dragoljub Micunovic, said on Feb. 9 that "a group of deputies" from Romania has been pressuring the Serbian parliamentarians for ten years now, with a demand that the Wallachians in Serbia declare themselves as Romanians.
"We have friendly relations (with Romania), but in many international contacts we are constantly feeling the pressure of one group of Romanian deputies, regarding the Wallachians," Micunovic said at the session of the Committee, stating that a review of continued support to the nonrecognition of Kosovo has been mentioned as means of pressure.
Micunovic opened the debate about this in the Committee with the words "We have a little problem", when an invitation for the parliament's Romanian Friendship Group to visit this country's parliament, from Feb. 21 to 23, came on the agenda.
According to Micunovic, the stance of Romanian deputies also consists of "verbal aggression," and the problem is that they impose the Wallachians in Serbia "as the sole issue" and argue: "If you want us not to recognize Kosovo, then let Wallachians be Romanians."
SERBIA AWAITS DECISION ON OSCE CHAIR CANDIDACY
VIENNA, Feb. 10 (Tanjug) - Decision on Serbia's candidacy for the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be taken in Vienna on Friday, OSCE has confirmed to Tanjug.
The deadline for any appeal by other countries on Serbia's candidacy expires Friday at noon and if there are no objections, Serbia will assume the OSCE chair for the first time in its history in 2015.
However, a positive decision would not only be a precedent for Serbia, but also for the entire region as none of the former Yugoslav counties has ever been appointed to the office.
A decision on Switzerland's candidacy for the chair of the OSCE in 2014 will also be reached on Friday. Switzerland and Serbia submitted their OSCE chair bids in Vilnius on December 7.
Successive presidency is a new model for the OSCE, and Switzerland and Serbia have expressed willingness to jointly make a two-year plan. The two countries have formulated the principle of cooperation in a document entitled Principles of Cooperation.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said earlier that Serbia is ready to take on great responsibility and honor of chairing the OSCE.
According to him, the OSCE presidency is the top diplomatic recognition that a country may get. "This particularly refers to countries such as Serbia considering the large area that OSCE includes and its member states," Jeremic noted.
SWEDISH AMBASSADOR: SERBIAN POLICE CHAMPION OF REFORMS
BELGRADE, Feb. 09 (Beta) - Swedish Ambassador to Belgrade Christer Asp on Feb. 9 congratulated the Serbian Interior Ministry, underscoring that it was a "champion at implementing reforms."
"Closely cooperating with the Serbian police, we have noticed that progress has been made in many areas the fight against organized crime, combating human trafficking and money laundering, as well as improving regional cooperation," Asp told journalists at the Palace of Serbia.
He said that Sweden, in terms of bilateral cooperation, was the third biggest donor in Serbia, and a large amount of funds had been invested in the cooperation with the Interior Ministry.
The ambassador underscored that Sweden would remain devoted to helping Serbia on its path toward becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union and that it hoped cooperation with the Serbian police would also be beneficial in this respect.
Serbia and Sweden on Feb. 9 in Belgrade signed an agreement on a project that aims to modernize the management of human resources in the Interior Ministry.
CVETKOVIC: FIRST REVIEW OF ARRANGEMENT AFTER BUDGET REVISION
BELGRADE, Feb. 09 (Tanjug) - Representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated at Thursday's meeting with Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic that the first review of the arrangement with this financial institution will take place after the adoption of the budget revision.
The closing meeting with representatives of the IMF technical mission headed by Zuzana Murgasova concluded that the status of Serbia's arrangement with the IMF will remain unchanged.
The Serbia government will continue to implement all agreements reached until now, including the levels of deficit and public debt, the government's press service stated.
IMF representatives underlined that owing to good economic policy in 2011, the Serbian government has contributed to maintenance of the economic activity and macroeconomic stability.
IMF representatives will visit Belgrade again mid 2012, the statement reads.
The talks between the IMF mission and the Serbian authorities on the first review of the current precautionary arrangement were launched in Belgrade in February 2.
During the mission's stay, the talks tabled goals of the economic agreement reached with the IMF, the 2012 macroeconomic framework, as well as fulfillment of criteria for December 2011. Moreover, special attention will be paid to the issues related to implementation of the 2012 budget, agreed fiscal policy measures and adherence to fiscal rules. The arrangement approved to Serbia on September 29 amounting to EUR 1.1 billion (935.4 special drawing rights), was reached out of precaution, i.e. with no intention of using the funds except if need be.
As part of the current precautionary arrangement, the talks with IMF took place in Belgrade in November, and the decision on completion of the review was first to be made at a meeting of the IMF executive directors on December 23, but was postponed until the two parties' stands on the current fiscal policy converged.
SERBIA - K&M - DIALOG
STEFANOVIC: IN THIS PHASE, PRESSURE ON OTHER SIDE
BELGRADE, Feb. 10 (Tanjug) - Belgrade's lead negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic dismissed the speculations released by certain media that pressure has lately been stepped up on Belgrade to achieve results as regards Pristina's regional representation until mid February.
"The other side is being under pressure, at least in this phase," Stefanovic said in an interview for the Friday edition of the Belgrade based daily Politika.
Stefanovic said that "our side has entered the process wisely, holding to its national interest and UN SC Resolution 1244," and that "the focus of international activity is on Pristina".
"It is in our interest to find a solution as soon as possible, and to that aim, we have put forward several proposals. We have been active and constructive, and that has strengthened our position ahead of a possible agreement on Pristina's regional representation," Stefanovic said.
When asked whether an agreement on regional representation is a condition for Serbia to be granted the EU candidate status, Stefanovic said that the prerequisites were clearly stated in the EU Council's conclusion.
"We will spare no effort to fulfill all the requirements on condition that they are in line with the Serbian Constitution, laws and national interest in Kosovo Metohija," Stefanovic said.