Belgrade, April 10, 2012
JEREMIC: CHINESE SERBIA RELATIONS SET FOR EXPANSION
PONIKVE, April 09 (Tanjug) - The strategic partnership between Serbia and China will change the economic picture of this part of the world, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated Monday during a visit to Uzice, western Serbia, together with Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Zhang Wanxue.
"Today, we have close relations with China, a country which has always conducted a policy of peace in relation to Serbia, and the two countries' relations are about to enter a period of expansion," Jeremic underlined, stressing that its strategic partnership with Serbia is the only one that China has in this part of Southwest Europe.
Owing to a EUR 500,000 donation from the Chinese government, clearing of remained NATO bombs at the Ponikve airport was launched last week.
Thanking the ambassador for his country's donation, Jeremic expressed belief that the beginning of clearing is the first step in creation of a large cargo center on Ponikve, which could be connected to the other magistrate roads via highway.
"China is a country with the fastest and most dynamic growth, and that fact that Serbia has such friendship with China is something we should be proud of," Jeremic said.
The intensification of cooperation in the coming period was also confirmed by the Chinese Ambassador. I hope that other countries which have promised to help, will assist Ponikve to establish civil and cargo traffic, which will contribute to the development of the Uzice area, the Chinese diplomat said.
The clearing of Ponikve airport has engaged experts of the Emergency Sector of the Serbian Interior Ministry, and according to Head of the Civil Protection Administration Branislav Rancic, this is one of the most complex removal of unexploded bombs.
The first phase of clearing, which is carried out with equipment from China, mostly depend on donations of the U.S., which has conditioned its USD 1.5 million support by Serbia's equal investment, which has been fulfilled.
If the funds were secured, the first phase of clearing of Ponikve airport would be finished in the coming three months.
SWISS PARLIAMENT SPEAKER: NO NEW PROJECTS IN VIEW OF DICK MARTY'S REPORT
BELGRADE, April 09 (Tanjug) - The international community will probably not launch new projects regarding the report by Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty on illegal human organ trafficking in Kosovo, President of the National Council of Switzerland Hansjorg Walter stated in Belgrade on Monday.
Walter issued the statement at a joint press conference with Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic. The Swiss official kicked off his three-day visit to Serbia by a meeting with the Serbian parliament speaker.
Switzerland believes that every country should make a contribution to the search for the truth, without any further interference and particularly without political connotations of this issue, Djukic Dejanovic said.
The two officials expressed hope that the economic cooperation will be intensified in the coming period, and agreed that the MPs should encourage governments to do so.
It is in the interest of the Swiss government to work on intensifying of cooperation, primarily the economic one, but also in all other fields in order to realize the two countries' mutual potentials, Walter said.
Djukic Dejanovic expressed belief that the political relations between the two countries will follow in the footsteps of strengthening of the economic and parliamentary relations.
Walter underlined that Swiss companies voiced their highly positive impressions about political climate, investment conditions, and workers in Serbia.
Swiss people are delighted by Serbia's progress, and Switzerland, as a neutral country, highly values political stability and sees it as a basis for political development, Walter said.
Switzerland, as a country with a lengthy democratic history, wants the citizens of Serbia to make the right decision and stay opted for democracy as their form of government, the Swiss official said.
Djukic Dejanovic stated that Monday's topics included the issue of bogus asylum seekers, adding that Serbia has recoded an increase in asylum seekers as well.
The problem of bogus asylum seekers cannot be related just to one country, as this issue knows no borders, and has to be addressed in such a manner, she underlined.
The Swiss delegation continued the visit to the Serbian parliament by a meeting with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
The president of the National Council of Switzerland will confer Tuesday with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.
DACIC DISCUSSES ASYLUM SEEKERS WITH WALTER
BELGRADE, April 10 (Tanjug) - Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic expressed gratitude Tuesday to President of the National Council of Switzerland Hansjorg Walter for Switzerland's assistance in resolution of the issue of bogus asylum seekers.
Dacic, who is also the deputy prime minister, expressed satisfaction that this issue will in future be resolved in cooperation with the EU.
Noting that the two countries' cooperation in terms of internal affairs is at a high level, Dacic said that he glad that the EU has realized that the problem of bogus asylum seekers cannot be resolved without alteration of the EU legislation.
According to the directive of the European Commission, which is to enter force in June, if one's asylum request is denied, they will not be able to enter the country in the coming two years, Dacic noted.
"Such a ban on EU entrance will resolve the problem to a great extent. I am grateful to the Swiss authorities for their help, and I hope for a continuation of cooperation," Dacic said.
Dacic confirmed that Serbia and Switzerland have a number of international agreements, including cooperation in combating organized crime and addressing the problem of migrations.
"Our cooperation is excellent, we had a large number of joint actions. The search for a considerable number of works of art, which are suspected of being in Serbia, is still underway," Dacic underlined.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
IVANOVIC: WE DON'T NEED HELP IN ORGANIZING ELECTIONS IN KIM
BELGRADE, April 09 (Tanjug) - State Secretary at the Serbian Ministry of Kosovo Metohija (KiM) Oliver Ivanovic said Monday that Serbia did not need any help in organizing elections in Kosovo Metohija (KiM).
He said that to leave Serbia to deal with the problem alone would be enough, adding that the Ahtisaari Plan for the Kosovo north was no longer "in the game" and that he was optimistic about the final outcome in the Kosovo issue.
"We do not need help for elections, we only need not to have anybody interfere in our holding of something that we find to be our legitimate and legal right and the right to let people say who they think should be the president of the Republic of Serbia or head of its parliament and government in the future," Ivanovic said in an interview with Tanjug.
Commenting on the information about the possibility of the OSCE organizing the Serbian parliamentary and presidential elections in Kosovo, Ivanovic said that the mission had offered its facilitation as a solution Pristina could accept in the current delicate situation.
"But this means nothing to us, as we have always been organizing Serbia's parliamentary and presidential elections in Kosovo on our own and we even organized a local election once, in 2008. Therefore, it seems to be futile blackmailing us like this and offering the OSCE as a facilitator, and I fear that this might create a very serious precedent," stressed Ivanovic.
He pointed to the fact that international missions had been involved in many affairs in the province, including organizing elections that are held in Kosovo.
But these international missions, says Ivanovic, all stop working at some point or cut their staff so much they cause virtually the same effect, and then they decide to hand over part of their responsibilities to others.
"And they never seem to hand the responsibilities back to Serbia, which allowed them to spread their missions and activities in the first place, but rather give the responsibilities and authority over to Kosovo institutions, which we find to be unacceptable," Ivanovic said.
He added that Kosovo's status and the status of the north was yet to be debated, but the OSCE and all other international missions should now leave Serbia to deal with its own affairs alone.
Asked about a possible solution for the Kosovo north, Ivanovic said that the Ahtisaari Plan was certainly not one, as it had been rejected at all levels in Serbia and was highly unlikely to be revivified by anybody in the future.
"Therefore, the plan is no longer in the game. There is no doubt that it includes some solutions that could be implemented with certain modifications. But, Ahtissari's plan requires a political framework", Ivanovic said, stressing that the plan requires independence in return for decentralization, or independence in return for human rights and a better protection for the Serb community.
"This is totally absurd, as nowhere in the world are human rights conditioned by major political concessions," he underlined.
Ivanovic believes that the political issues will be put on the agenda when the entire community is ready for that, both the Albanians and the Serbs, since, as he put it, the open issue of Kosovo's status is something that will cause difficulties for both sides.
"I am deeply convinced that we will find a solution. The EU has to help us in that respect and it should not exert pressure, especially not on one side only. These kinds of solutions cannot be found under the pressure of such circumstances", said Ivanovic, and concluded:
"I am optimistic that Europe will adopt the stance that it is in the Union's best interest to have peace in the Balkans. In order for the Balkans to be stable and peaceful, Serbia has to be in peace and stability as well. This means that Serbia should not be forced into accepting anything that is against its vital national goals."
OSCE CONDEMNS INCIDENTS IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, April 09 (Tanjug) - Acting Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo Edward P. Joseph condemned Monday's assault on a police checkpoint and Sunday's violent incidents in Mitrovica which left one person dead and another one injured.
"My colleagues and I are shocked by the despicable attack in which Mr. Selver Hajredinaj was killed yesterday in Mitrovica. On behalf of the OSCE Mission I extend our condolences to his family and wish those wounded by the deadly bomb a speedy recovery," said Joseph.
"Any incident that affects the communities in Kosovo is a great cause for concern. I wish Mr. Vladimir Denovic a speedy recovery from the injuries he sustained in a separate incident yesterday in Mitrovica," he added.
"I support and reaffirm the appeal of EU Special Representative (EUSR) Samuel Zbogar to all communities to remain calm, and to leave the matter in the hands of the police," Joseph concluded in an official statement.