Belgrade, February 14, 2007
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GOVT PROPOSES PARLIAMENT REJECT AHTISAARI PLAN
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Beta)-The Serbian government on Feb. 13 proposed that Parliament reject all items of the proposal by U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari on the status of Kosovo which violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia as an internationally recognized state.
In a resolution on Kosovo, on which Parliament is to vote at its Feb. 14 session, the government said Ahtisaari's proposal "in a manner contrary to law, lays the foundations for creating a new independent state on the territory of Serbia" by violating the basic principles of international law, as the territorial integrity and state sovereignty of Serbia "regarding Kosovo and Metohija" are not respected.
The government proposed to Parliament to renew the mandate of Belgrade's negotiating team and obligate it to represent "the policy confirmed by this resolution of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia" in the forthcoming talks on the future status of Kosovo in Vienna.
The negotiating team should also stand for protecting the rights and interests of the Serb people and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo, preserving the Serbian religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo, and the interests of no Albanian communities.
"The Serbian Parliament especially obligates the negotiating team to set forth at the resumed talks the position of Serbia on the entirety of Ahtisaari's proposal, formulating, in accordance with this resolution, its concrete proposals and solutions, and to report to Parliament, which will decide on the further course of negotiations, immediately upon returning," the resolution states.
"Advocating a solution of compromise, of agreement for the future status of Kosovo, Parliament points out that imposed independence for Kosovo would have unforeseeable negative consequences. Such an outcome would destabilize circumstances in the region for the long term, cloud the European prospects of the entire Western Balkans and pose an extremely dangerous precedent for resolving minority issues and territorial disputes throughout Europe and the world," the resolution reads.
The government also suggested that Parliament should invite all countries, international organizations and other factors to stand up to the threat to Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and reject any imposed solution for Kosovo.
The full title of the document is "A Proposed Resolution of the People's Parliament of the Republic of Serbia on the 'Comprehensive Proposal on the Status of Kosovo Settlement' by the U.N. Secretary General's Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari and on the Resumed Talks on the Future Status of Kosovo and Metohija."
ELECTORAL COMMISSION VERIFIES MANDATES
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Beta)-On Feb. 13, the Republican Electoral Commission unanimously adopted a report on the parliamentary elections in Serbia on Jan. 21 and verified the mandates of 250 MPs.
The decision will enable Serbia to constitute a new parliament at noon on Feb. 14.
In the report the Electoral Commission said that voters cast their ballots at 8,482 voting stations in Serbia and 57 voting stations abroad and also that the turnout was 4,033,586 of a total 6,653,851 voters.
The Electoral Commission verified 81 Serbian Radical Party mandates and 64 Democratic Party mandates.
The Democratic Party of Serbia New Serbia coalition was awarded 47 mandates, of which the Democratic Party of Serbia was given 33 while New Serbia received 10 and the Serbian Democratic Renewal Movement and United Serbia parties received two seats each.
The commission confirmed 19 G17 Plus mandates, 16 Socialist Party of Serbia mandates, and 15 mandates for the coalition consisting of the Liberal Democratic Party, Civic Alliance of Serbia, Social Democratic Union, and League of Vojvodina Social Democrats. Of that number, the Liberal Democratic Party will hold six, the League of Vojvodina Social Democrats four, the Civic Alliance of Serbia three, and the Social Democratic Union and Vladan Batic's Democratic Christian Party of Serbia received one seat each.
The Republican Electoral Commission also confirmed three mandates for Vojvodina's ethnic Hungarians, two for the Ticket for Sandzak and one mandate each for the Coalition of Albanians from the Presevo Valley, the Roma Party and the Union of Roma of Serbia.
STANKOVIC, PONOS ORGANISE RECEPTION CEREMONY
BELGRADE, Feb 14 (Tanjug) - Defence Minister Zoran Stankovic and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Zdravko Ponos organised on Tuesday evening, on the occasion of Army Day - February 15, a reception ceremony for state officials and foreign diplomats accredited in Belgrade. The reception ceremony was attended by Serbian President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, Director of the Security Information Agency (BIA) Rade Bulatovic, Interior Minister Dragan Jocic, a number of ministers and church dignitaries. The ceremony was also attended by a number of foreign ambassadors and military emissaries accredited in Belgrade.
EU COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DOES NOT BACK AHTISAARI'S PLAN, DRASKOVIC
BELGRADE, Feb 14 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic has said that in the final conclusions of the EU Council of Ministers that were adopted in Brussels, a significant step forward has been made in Serbia's favor, because the EU ministers did not give their support to UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari's plan for Kosovo status settlement, but "only to his efforts that a solution should be reached on the basis of compromise." "I reiterated to the EU ministers that Ahtisaari himself had no mandate to deal with the status of the state of Serbia and to alter its internationally recognized borders," Draskovic said for the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti, commenting on his recent visit to Brussels. Draskovic took part in the EU-West Balkans Forum, which was held in Brussels on February 12, when he also had a number of top-level meetings with the EU Troika and foreign ministers of the EU member-countries. He said that after the meeting at least ten foreign ministers expressed full understanding of Serbia's stands. "At the upcoming talks in Vienna, Serbia will take a very constructive attitude when it comes to all Martti Ahtisaari's proposals dealing with the Kosovo status settlement, but it will not and cannot be constructive in the least when it comes to its own disintegration," the Serbian foreign minister reiterated.
PUTIN CONGRATULATES TADIC ON SERBIAN STATEHOOD DAY
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Tanjug) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday congratulated Serbian President Boris Tadic on Serbian Statehood Day - Feb 15. The close ties that have been historically created between the nations of our countries present a solid basis for the progressive development of Russian-Serbian relations, Putin said. Over the recent years, these ties have recorded high dynamics, openness, and confidence in political dialogue, he said. This year will be decisive in the resolving of the key issue for Serbia - the problem of Kosovo, the Russian president underscored. As ever, Russia will provide support to the legitimate requests of the Serbian leadership, founded on strict respect for the principles of international laws, Putin said, wishing the Serbian president good health and success, and peace and prosperity to the entire Serbian nation.
FRADKOV CONGRATULATES KOSTUNICA ON STATEHOOD DAY
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Beta)-Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Feb. 13 congratulated his Serbian counterpart, Vojislav Kostunica, on Serbia's Statehood Day, Feb. 15.
"Dear prime minister, I cordially congratulate you on the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia. Russian Serbian relations are currently on the upswing," Fradkov said in his note, reported by the Serbian government's media office.
"In the present stage of building comprehensive interstate cooperation, our perceived main task, given the achieved high level of political dialogue between our countries, is how to give additional strong encouragement to the development of commercial and economic cooperation, primarily in the most promising areas," Fradkov said further.
"We are convinced that the continuity in perfecting all-round Russian Serbian ties will be preserved after the new government of Serbia is formed. We are open for continuing intensive cooperation at the highest level," he added.
GERMAN PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES SERBIAN STATEHOOD DAY
BELGRADE, Feb 14 (Tanjug) - Germany appreciates the efforts of Serbian President Boris Tadic to promptly set up a government which will be firmly committed to the European course and which will be able, in cooperation with the international community, to overcome all future challenges, German President Horst Koehler said on Wednesday in his greeting message to President Boris Tadic and Serbian citizens on the occasion of Serbia's Statehood Day, February 15. I am very pleased with the fact that in the recent parliamentary elections in Serbia a significant majority of voters gave their vote for reform-oriented parties, Koehler underscored, and the German Embassy in Belgrade released. I wish Serbia success in the implementation of reforms for further progress towards the European Union, the German president said, pointing out that Germany will strongly support Serbia on this path.
RADMANOVIC CONGRATULATES SERBIAN NATIONAL DAY TO TADIC
BANJA LUKA, Feb 14 (Tanjug) - Head of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic, on behalf of the Bosnian president and in his personal name, sent a message of greetings on Wednesday to Serbian President Boris Tadic on the occasion of Sretenje, Serbia's National Day, which is celebrated on February 15.He wished further prosperity to the Serbian president and all his fellow-citizens, voicing hope that they will jointly work on the development of extensive cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina released in the statement. "I use this opportunity to express my hope that we will jointly work on the development of overall cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the spirit of neighborly and friendly relations, to the benefit of all citizens of the two countries and the region as a whole," Radmanovic said.
MEETING OF SERBIAN GOVT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPS HELD
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Beta)-A meeting of the Enhanced Permanent Dialogue between the representatives of the Serbian government and the European Commission was held on Feb. 13 to discuss reforms in the areas of environmental protection, transport and energy, the government announced.
The press release said the topics at the talks included investments in environmental protection, institutional capacities for applying and implementing legislation at national, regional and local levels, and regional and international cooperation in the area.
"The progress of reforms in the area of energy, primarily the development of the internal energy source market, the application of the agreement on a unified energy market in South East Europe, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in our country, and nuclear security and protection from radiation were considered also," the press release read.
At a separate meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Capital Investments discussed transport policy with European Commission experts.
POLT: RESOLUTION OF KOSOVO ISSUE MEANS REGIONAL STABILITY
KRALJEVO, Feb 13 (Beta)-U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Polt said on Feb. 13 that the resolving of Kosovo's future would lead to greater regional stability.
"People cannot feed on borders, people cannot educate their children with negotiations and they cannot make a living off political declarations," Polt said in the central Serbian town of Kraljevo, where he promoted two U.S. Agency for International Development projects.
The U.S. ambassador told journalists that the future of Kosovo and Serbia depended the most on the people.
As he put it, greater regional stability will lead to "the arrival of investors, who help open up new jobs in the country and, on the whole, improve the business and investment climate."
Presenting a program aimed at boosting the economic development of municipalities, Polt said that the program's achievements in 10 Serbian municipalities could be seen because those municipalities "have begun to attract new foreign investment."
URSTAD, UGLJANIN ON IMPROVEMENT OF RULE OF LAW
NOVI PAZAR, Feb 14 (Tanjug) - Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Ambassador Hans Ola Urstad said on Wednesday that he had discussed with representatives of local authority in Novi Pazar the issue of cooperation in the field of judiciary and police, particularly as regards the implementation of the programme on improvement of the rule of law. After his talks with Novi Pazar Mayor Sulejman Ugljanin, Urstad said that he had been informed of the current situation in the region and the future work of the List for Sandzak deputies in the Serbian parliament. Ugljanin thanked the OSCE Mission for all it has done so far for the region, which, as he put it, represented a crucial factor for the preservation of peace during the Yugoslav crisis. Sandzak is the only multiethnic environment in the Balkans where there is no hatred and intolerance, Ugljanin assessed, pointing out that he had required assistance from the OSCE Mission in the reform of judiciary and police.
MEMORANDUM ON SERVICES TO MONTENEGRIN CITIZENS TAKES EFFECT
BELGRADE, Feb 13 (Tanjug) - The memorandum on consular protection and services that Serbian diplomatic-consular representative offices will provide to Montenegrin citizens has taken effect on Tuesday. The memorandum, signed by foreign ministers Vuk Draskovic of Serbia and Milan Rocen of Montenegro, envisages the engagement of Serbian diplomatic-consular representative offices in providing consular assistance to Montenegrin citizens in the event of death, grave accidents, or serious diseases. Assistance is also envisaged in cases of arrests, detaining, or any other holding, in securing return to their country for Montenegrin citizens who are in trouble, as well as assistance to persons who were victims of acts resulting from the use of force, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said. All the above is relevant to countries in which Montenegro does not have its own diplomatic-consular representative offices.
RUECKER: EU COUNTRIES SUPPORT AHTISAARI'S PLAN
PRISTINA, Feb 13 (Beta)-UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker and Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said on Feb. 13 that the countries of the European Union supported the plan for the status of Kosovo proposed by the U.N.'s international mediator Martti Ahtisaari.
Upon his return from Brussels, where the two officials met with EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and took part in a EU meeting on the Western Balkans, Ruecker said Ahtisaari's plan had support in the EU.
"All 27 EU countries voiced a common stance on the status process, backing U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari and the package he proposed as a good basis for solving the status of Kosovo," he said.