Belgrade, July 12, 2012
DACIC, KOZAKOU MARCOULLIS: DATE BY END OF YEAR
BELGRADE, July 11 (Tanjug) - Serbia's prime minister candidate Ivica Dacic and Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis expressed expectation Wednesday that Serbia would get the date for the start of its EU membership talks by the end of the Cyprus' EU Presidency.
Dacic and Kozakou Marcoullis told reporters after the meeting that the fact that the Cypriot minister's first bilateral visit after Cyprus' taking over the presidency on July 1 was paid to Belgrade confirmed the country's support of Serbia and its European aspirations.
The current deputy prime minister and minister of internal affairs of Serbia and the Cypriot foreign minister expect the traditionally good and strong relations between the two countries to deepen in all spheres of life, especially in the economy.
Dacic said that the new government would be firmly committed to the continuation of Serbia's European path. "The future ruling coalition, comprised of the Serbian Progressive Party, the coalition gathered around the Socialist Party of Serbia and the United Regions of Serbia, wrote in advance that it will remain on the European path, but also that we have to find a balance between our European course and the protection of national interests," Dacic said, explaining that the preservation of peace and security in Kosovo and Metohija is a vital issue for Serbia.
"I am especially grateful for the principal position of Cyprus in connection with issues related to Kosovo and Metohija. Serbia has the same approach when it comes to the problems that Cyprus has with its territorial integrity issue," said Dacic.
Dacic said that the Cypriot Minister had assured him that there would be no new conditionality for obtaining the date of negotiations.
Kozakou Marcoullis said that the country had good and strong ties with Serbia and that her visit was yet another proof of support for Serbia's EU accession.
I am here to reassure the Serbian leadership that Cyprus will do everything to help Serbia move forward in the European integration process. We had a good conversation, an open discussion and I have assured the future government prime minister of the EU position regarding European integration of Serbia, she said.
During her official visit to Serbia on Wednesday, the Cypriot minister met with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Democratic Party leader Boris Tadic.
WARLICK: AGREEMENT IMPORTANT STEP FOR SERBIA'S FUTURE
BELGRADE, July 11 (Tanjug) - U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick said on Wednesday Washington would be prepared to work with Serbia's next government to the extent that government was committed to achieving its declared goals.
Warlick thinks the signing of the coalition agreement on parliamentary majority is an important step for Serbia's future.
She hopes the people in the Serbian government will be energetic, just like so far.
The U.S. government hopes to find partners quickly once Serbia forms a government and that they will be as energetic as the partners from the previous government and work towards goals that are important to the Serbian nation, Warlick told reporters.
Commenting on the signing of the coalition agreement between the Serbian Progressive Party, United Regions of Serbia and the coalition between the Socialist Party of Serbia, United Serbia and Party of United Pensioners of Serbia, she pointed out the necessity of continuing Serbia's EU integration, building good relations with neighbours, including Kosovo, and further reforms, especially in the fight against corruption and organized crime.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
RASMUSSEN: SOLVE NORTHERN KOSOVO ISSUES IN TALKS
PRISTINA, July 12 (Tanjug) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday in Pristina that problems in northern Kosovo could not be solved through military conflict but through dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
At a news conference following his oneday visit to Kosovo, Rasmussen urged leaders in Pristina and Belgrade to go back to the table, stressing the issue of northern Kosovo could not be resolved through violence.
We need a political process that will lead to full integration of the north into Kosovo society, he said.
He noted this would require the participation of the government in Belgrade, as well as political daring and commitment from Kosovo officials.
Rasmussen underlined that Belgrade and Pristina had unresolved political issues.
There are still unresolved political problems. These need to be solved through dialogue and that is why we support talks between Belgrade and Pristina, said the NATO Secretary General.
Looking back on the early years of KFOR Mission's presence in Kosovo, Rasmussen said the reduction in the number of troops was evidence of progress, but that KFOR was also looking for strides forward in the north.
Last year we saw violence in the north and I want to stress we will take the necessary steps to fully implement UN Security Council Resolution 1244 for a peaceful and safe environment, said Rasmussen.
During his visit, in addition to meeting with the KFOR commander, German General Erhard Drews, Rasmussen also conferred separately with Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Taci and Deputy Prime Minister Slobodan Petrovic.