BELGRADE, December 12, 2003
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
MESIC CONFERS WITH MICUNOVIC
ZAGREB, Dec 11 (Tanjug) - Croatia's foreign policy will not change after the recent parliamentary elections, or its relations with neighboring states, Croatian President Stjepan Mesic said on Thursday after talks with Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) parliament President Dragoljub Micunovic on the fringes of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva.
Micunovic and Mesic considered some outstanding issues between Croatia and the SCG, such as return of refugees and restoration of property to legal and physical persons. "Economic cooperation between the two countries, and in particular in the area of electric power and road construction, was also a topic at today's talks with Micunovic," Mesic said.
SVILANOVIC, NATO REPRESENTATIVES DISCUSS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - SerbianMontenegrin Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic on Dec. 11 talked with NATO assistant secretary general for political affairs, Gunther Altenburg, about SerbiaMontenegro joining the Partnership for Peace program.
A Foreign Ministry press release stated that Svilanovic and Altenburg discussed the current state of relations between SerbiaMontenegro and NATO and the accession of SerbiaMontenegro to Partnership for Peace.
At the meeting there was also talk of improving existing ties and creating new ways of cooperation "in bringing SerbiaMontenegro closer to European integration and inclusion in modern security systems," the press release said.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO DELEGATION VISITS WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (Tanjug) - An exchange of experience as regards the export of weapons and military equipment, becoming acquainted with the US experience in that respect and establishment of inter-state cooperation as regards the limitation and control of the export of weapons are the main topics of the talks a Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) delegation, which is headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Ljiljana Antonovic, is having in Washington these days.
The delegation, which is staying in the United States in the organisation of the State Department, also includes Jugoimport - SDPR general manager Stevan Nikcevic, general manager of the Montenegrin Customs Department Miodrag Radusinovic, representatives of the SCG Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, as well as those of the Serbian Customs Department.
MASSARI: OSCE CONVINCED THAT SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO ARE ON REFORM COURSE
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - Serbia and Montenegro Mission chief Maurizio Massari said on Dec. 11 that this year was very difficult for Serbia and Montenegro, but expressed his conviction that the direction of reform and the country’s European orientation has not been lost.
"Serbia and Montenegro remains on the right track", he said at an annual summit in the Belgrade City Hall organized by the OSCE. Massari also said that the central activities of the organization in Serbia and Montenegro next year would be projects of judiciary reform and the reform of the police, since these were the two key components of the country's progress towards European integration.
Massari stressed that the OSCE was satisfied with the results accomplished last year in Serbia and Montenegro. He awarded the Municipal Award for Tolerance to the municipality of Kikinda at the ceremony.
Serbia and Montenegro Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic thanked the representatives of the OSCE Serbia and Montenegro Mission and everyone who had helped the citizens of the state community in 2003 "to make a decisive step towards democracy."
"You are very welcome in every part of our country," Svilanovic said, adding that when a new Serbian government is elected in a month or two after the parliamentary elections, this would be proof that "the work of the OSCE Serbia and Montenegro Mission has been adequately rewarded."
LJAJIC: DELAYED STRUGAR'S ARRIVAL TO THE HAGUE WILL NOT AFFECT COOPERATION WITH TRIBUNAL
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - Serbia and Montenegro Minister of Human and Minority Rights Rasim Ljajic said on Dec. 11 that he did not expect further cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to be affected by the fact that the state union missed the deadline set by the tribunal for the return of the retired Yugoslav Army general Pavle Strugar to The Hague.
Asked whether there would be any consequences and whether The Hague would from now on be taking into account the guarantees provided by Belgrade and Podgorica, Ljajic told BETA that there would be no consequences because "all the documents show that Strugar has indeed been ill and that his intention was not to avoid appearing" before the court.
He said that Strugar, who stands accused of war crimes in Dubrovnik in 1991, did not intentionally wish to avoid appearing before the court and that he had been receiving medical treatment sixteen days before the trial was scheduled. Strugar was supposed to appear at The Hague on Dec. 2.
On Dec. 10, the spokesperson for the Haguebased International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Jim Landale, declared that the SerbiaMontenegro authorities did not fulfill their obligation to transfer Gen. Pavle Strugar.
GENERAL STRUGAR TO TRAVEL TO HAGUE ON DEC. 12
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - A general of the former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), Pavle Strugar, will travel to the Hague on Dec. 12, officials of Serbia and Montenegro and his lawyer Goran Rodic stated.
The Hague tribunal indicted Strugar for war crimes in Dubrovnik in 1991. Strugar was released pending trial with guarantees from the authorities of Serbia and Montenegro, and was supposed to report to the Hague on Dec. 2.
Strugar will travel to the Dutch capital from Podgorica, as he was allowed to visit the town before his departure. He arrived in Podgorica on the evening of Dec. 11, from Belgrade where he was being treated at the Belgrade Military Hospital.
Montenegrin Interior Minister Milan Filipovic told BETA that Strugar would travel in the afternoon on Dec. 12. He said that the Montenegrin government secured his transport by air and that he would be accompanied by a policeman, whose task would be to formally hand him over to the tribunal. He also said he did not know who else would go with Strugar, besides his lawyer.
The start of Strugar's trial was announced for Friday, Dec. 12.
SCG AT UN CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE
ROME, Dec 11 (Tanjug) - Serbian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Andjelka Mihajlov said at the UN conference on climate changes in Milan that a document on a first Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) national convention for climate has been drafted and will be financed by the Global Ecology Fund.
The ministerial conference attended by about 5,500 participants from 188 countries and about 100 international and non-governmental organizations, including 95 ministers, will end Friday after 12 days of work. Mihajlov told Tanjug that many meetings were held on the sidelines of the conference and that she attended them, and singled out a meeting of woman ministers of environment which focused on future activities for raising awareness on the importance of climate and environment.
FIRST MEETING OF PROSECUTORS OF COUNTRIES OF SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE
BELGRADE, Dec 11 (Tanjug) - In the organization of the Serbian Public Prosecution, on Thursday in Belgrade is held the first meeting of prosecutors from countries of Southeastern Europe, for the promotion of cooperation in suppressing all forms and particularly of organized crime in the region.
The meeting of the consultative working group of prosecutors is held within the initiative for cooperation of countries of Southeastern Europe, and the technical assistance for holding the meeting was extended by the Foreign Ministry of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.
Greeting guests and colleagues, Serbian Public Prosecutor Djordje Ostojic pointed out that the activities of criminal groups did not stop at the borders and voiced hope that the consultative group would establish serious cooperation in criminal-legal protection.
The guests were welcomed also by Montenegrin State Prosecutor Vesna Medenica and by Mirko Jelic of the SCG Foreign Ministry, and on behalf of the participants the meeting was supported by David Kligermann of the US State Department. Attending the meeting are prosecutors and judges from Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and other countries of the region.
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO'S FOREIGN TRADE DEFICIT REACHES 3.849 BILLION DOLLARS IN TEN MONTHS
BELGRADE, Dec 11 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro's foreign trade deficit between January and late October amounted to 3.849 billion dollars, or by 17.7 percent more than in the same period of 2002, Federal Statistics Bureau Assistant Director Dragi Stojiljkovic said on Thursday.
Between early January and late October 2003, the value of Serbia-Montenegro's foreign trade amounted to 8.052 billion dollars, or by 15.3 percent more than in the same period last year, Stojiljkovic told a news conference. The country exported goods to 157 countries at the value of 2.102 billion dollars, which represents a 13.2-percent increase in comparison with the same period last year, and imported goods from 195 countries at the value of 5.95 billion dollars, which is a 16.1-percent increase in comparison with the same period of 2002.
EIB GRANTS CREDIT TO SERBIAN HEALTH CARE SERVICE
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - An agreement on the urgent reconstruction of health care institutions worth EUR50 million was signed today in Belgrade by Serbian Finance Minister Bozidar Djelic, and Gerlando Genuardi, EIB Western Balkans Vice President, during his first official visit to the country.
EIB financing is for procuring medical equipment and upgrading or renovating basic infrastructure, including the fitting of necessary technical installations in 20 hospitals throughout Serbia, including the stateowned Institute of Immunology and Virology in Belgrade, Torlak, which also produces vaccines for export.
Following the signing at the Serbian government headquarters, Djelic said that the project applied to 42 percent of the Serbian population, adding that each hospital was due to get between EUR1.5 and EUR3 million. The first funds will arrive in April 2004 and the project's completion is planned for late 2005.
Genuardi stressed that "the loan for the health sector in Serbia clearly demonstrates the EIB's commitment for a proactive role in the future development of Serbia and the whole Balkan region.
"EIB's activity being part of a coordinated EU and international regional strategy builds upon synergies with other donors for rapid and visible results. This first EIB operation in the health sector is a tangible example of this cooperation. The EIB and the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), have joined forces in order to better the quality of life for the peoples of the region".
UNMIK INVALIDATES KOSOVO ASSEMBLY DECISION
BELGRADE, December 11 (Beta) - On Dec. 11, UNMIK head Harri Holkeri invalidated a decision of the Kosovo Assembly to annul the laws of Serbia which have been implemented in Kosovo since 1989.
Holkeri issued the following determination in reaction to the Dec. 11 decision of the assembly:
"The decision of the Assembly of Kosovo on Dec. 11, 2003 to abrogate all laws relating to Kosovo enacted in Yugoslavia and Serbia after March 22, 1989, is beyond the competence of the Assembly of Kosovo and is without validity and effect."
On Dec. 11, the Kosovo assembly annulled all constitutional and legal acts of Serbia passed after March 22, 1989, and the legal consequences of the implementation of these acts.
Deputies of the Serbian Return coalition voted against the decision, pointing out during the debate that this was not in the jurisdiction of the assembly, but of UNMIK.
A request for abrogating the 53 Serbian laws was submitted by the Kosovo government, which maintained that these acts were an obstacle for privatization in Kosovo.
"All laws which Serbia had passed for Kosovo were against the will of Kosovo's majority nation, their elected representatives, and are as such unacceptable and a ruin for Kosovo's future," stated the chairman of the Kosovo assembly's committee for judicial and legislative issues and the Constitutional Framework for Kosovo, Arsim Bayrami.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE EXPERT TEAM IN MONTENEGRO
PODGORICA, Dec 11 (Tanjug) - An expert team of the Council of Europe (CE) culture committee, led by Wolfdietrich Elbert, will begin a five-day visit to Montenegro on Friday at the invitation of the Montenegrin Ministry of Culture. The team will meet with representatives of public institutions engaged in culture, professional associations, media and NGOs.
The experts will then make a report and give recommendations for future development in keeping with the CE project Mosaic II which incorporates a corresponding report by the Montenegrin Culture Ministry on the national policy in culture. In addition to Elbert, the CE team will include Norber Riedl of Austria, Jorg-Ingo Weber of Germany, Alessandro Bollo of Italy, Naima Balic of Croatia and Milena Dragicevic of Serbia, the Ministry statement said.