Belgrade, June 14, 2012
SERBIA – EU
NIKOLIC MEETS WITH ASHTON
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic started his first official visit to Brussels on Thursday by meeting with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.Nikolic will also have a series of meetings with top EU officials during the day.According to a Tanjug correspondent from Brussels, the meeting with Ashton is also attended by British diplomat Robert Cooper, EU's chief facilitator in the dialog between Belgrade and Pristina.After Ashton, the Serbian president will confer with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and finally with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Afterwards he will address reporters.
ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: PRESIDENT GOES WITH OPTIMISM TO BRUSSELS
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic will go Thursday on his first official visit to Brussels, where he will have a series of talks with EU officials.Nikolic will first meet with High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, then with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and finaly with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, it was confirmed to Tanjug at the EU headquarters.Advisor to the president of Serbia Marko Djuric said that Nikolic approaches these meetings with great optimism and great ambition to have Serbia reach its goal - full EU membership. Djuric told Tanjug that in discussions of European officials, Nikolic will ask them to continue to support Serbia's European integration. Nikolic will ask for full understanding of the social and political context in Serbia and for awareness that only through continuous dialogue and joint work on resolving any issues can a solution be found for efficient and quick route connecting Serbia to the EU, Djuric said. The date for beginning negotiations on Serbia entering the EU, as well as the issue of Kosovo and Metohija will also be important topics of tomorrow's talks, he said. For Serbia, it is very important to get a date for starting negotiations, because it will mean opening a chapter which directly concerns the implementation of reforms on which on the living standards of citizens and the efficiency of institutions depend, Djuric said. Nikolic will also seek the support for resolving quickly and efficiently the contentious issues of privatization and reform of the judiciary, Djuric said.
DELEVIC: GOVT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, LOT OF WORK AHEAD
BELGRADE, June 13 (Tanjug) –Director of the Serbian government EU Integration Office Milica Delevic stated on Wednesday that the new government needs to be constituted as soon as possible but in a way that would make it clear to all parties in the ruling coalition what kind of decisions the executive bodies in Serbia are expected to make."The government should be constituted as soon as possible, not just because of European integration but also because there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the country. On the other hand, the government should be prepared to make decisions relevant to the work it is expected to perform," Delevic told Tanjug.According to her, the government needs to start from the documents of the European Commission and the conclusions of the European Council and the EU Council of Ministers, and to follow clearly defined priorities.The reform process needs to continue, which is also important for the process of EU integration, but it is even more important for citizens because of the reform path they want to see, Delevic explained.According to her, this will be the message which the EU representatives would send to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic during his stay in Brussels.The key priority for the continuation of talks on EU membership lies in further progress in the normalisation of Belgrade-Pristina relations and implementation of agreements reached so far, as well as the achievement of agreements on energy and telecommunication and support to international missions performing their mandate in the entire territory of Kosovo.The EU is setting conditions in an atmosphere of disagreement as to whether it recognises Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence or not, the prevailing climate is that of an agreement as regards the region's necessity of continuing its EU path and the need for cooperation between all relevant factors, and this is the position from which the EU is monitoring the fulfilment of conditions, Delevic underscored.In addition to this, Brussels expects Serbia to respect democratic principles, rule of law, protect human and minority rights and international obligations it took on, to contribute to regional cooperation, set up a functional market economy that would be able to live up to its competition in the EU and implement the EU's legal heritage in various sectors.Nevertheless, she did not wish to speculate as to the chances of Serbia getting the date of EU accession talks until the end of the year, which was the ambition of the former government."I believe that a more important matter now is what we can do to achieve this as soon as possible instead of assessing whether there is time to do so and how far we could get with a half or two-thirds of work done," Delevic noted.
JEREMIC: WE HAVE RESTORED SERBIA'S REPUTATION
BELGRADE, June 13 (Tanjug) –We will manage the agenda and direct discussions on practically all key issues in the UN competence from the UN General Assembly podium, and each idea and action of the Serbian government in view of Kosovo-Metohija will in these circumstances have much greater chances of success, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has stated.In an interview for Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti, Jeremic said that without previous agreement with the UNGA president it would be impossible to put any initiative into practice, addding that for this reason the country, where the president comes from, is in the focus of attention and has special importance in the international arena.He said that Russia's support was of great importance for his election, adding that Serbia was also backed by countries from all parts of the world."This victory is primarily recognition for our people and country, and represents a symbolic end of a painful era which started with our country's expulsion from the UN in early nineties," Jeremic said.When asked whether he will bear in mind during the presidency that Montenegro and Macedonia were the only former Yugoslav countries which supported him and whether this will affect the relations in the region, Jeremic said that he is grateful for the support of Montenegro and Macedonia, but that the rest did not surprise him."This was yet another unreturned gestures of goodwill that Serbia did. By this, I primarily mean support it gave to their candidacies in the UN, principally when it comes to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina," Jeremic noted.When asked whether he expects the future government to continue his course in the implementation of the Kosovo policy, Jeremic said that it is crucial to create international circumstances in which the state officials will be able to reach a compromise on Kosovo."In that sense, the main task of the diplomacy is to continue to work on prevention of Kosovo's recognition and Pristina's violent accession to international organizations. So far, we have been much more successful than expected. We must not lose momentum, since on the contrary we will lose the negotiating capacity," Jeremic said.
12 REGIONAL FOREIGN MINISTERS TO MEET IN BELGRADE
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Foreign ministers of 12 member countries of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP), currently chaired by Serbia, will confer in Belgrade, while the SEECP summit of heads of state and government will take place the day after. Regional top officials to attend the summit comprise: President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic, President of Macedonia Djordje Ivanov, President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti, and Nebojsa Radmanovic, member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency, the Foreign Ministry told Tanjug. Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Nebojsa Koharovic are also expected to take part in the event.Lothar Jaschke will partake in the summit on the behalf of the EU, the OSCE will be represented by its secretary general, Lamberto Zannier, and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) will also have its representative - Hido Biscevic. The SEECP was launched at a meeting of South-East Europe foreign ministers in Sofia in 1996, for the purpose of strengthening good neighborly relations between the regional countries and transforming the region into a zone of peace, security, stability and cooperation.The SEECP members include: Albania, BiH, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey.
BONES OF FIVE OR SIX MORE MAMMOTHS FOUND
BELGRADE, June 13 (Tanjug) –New bones have been found in the vicinity of the mammoth skeleton discovered a few days ago at the archeological excavation site Viminacium near Pozarevac, eastern Serbia, which project director Miomir Korac said likely belonged to five or six mammoths.Korac told Tanjug that after the first mammoth skeleton was found, archeologists kept finding new bones at every 30 meters, which he said was unbelievable.He said various bones were buried at the Nosak dig which stretches over almost two hectares. "We have started examining the area more carefully. We are using all the technology at our disposal to discover what is out there, but we are not psychic and we do not know what to expect," said the excited archeologist.He said they would make infrared photographs to get a better idea of the area and use geophysical methods, which can detect bones at greater depths, to see how far down they go. "This is no longer just one mammoth and one bone. There are no other sites like this," said Korac, and noted that all mammoths that had been found across the world were kept in museums.
KOSOVO & METOHIJA
COOPER: SERBS IN NORTH DO NOT TRUST PRISTINA
BRUSSELS, June 13 (Tanjug) –British diplomat Robert Cooper said Wednesday that one of the main causes of tension in the north is that the Kosovo Serbs do not feel safe and do not trust Pristina.The problems are numerous in the north, Cooper said at a forum at the Center for European Studies in Brussels, referring to the statement of Deputy Foreign Minister of Kosovo Petrit Selimi that the north is ruled by organized criminals who threaten and terrorize the population by violence.The Serbs do not trust Pristina and do not feel safe, Cooper said.He pointed out that criminals find it easier to intimidate the community if it is already under external pressure.This combination of nationalism, violence and crime has already been seen in Northern Ireland, he recalled.
MARNHAC REMAINS AT HEAD OF EULEX TILL OCTOBER 14
PRISTINA, June 13 (Tanjug) –EULEX chief Xavier de Marnhac's term was extended by four months, until mid-October, the EU mission in Kosovo announced. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton asked de Marnhac to extend his term and he accepted, especially because of the ongoing reconfiguration of the monitoring mission, EULEX said. It is important that EULEX and the Kosovo authorities continue close joint cooperation to improve and strengthen the rule of law during this period, de Marnhac said. Political and Security Committee of the EU officially extended the term of the head of the mission by four months until October 14, EULEX statement says.
TRACES OF ORGAN TRAFFICKING LEAD TO ALBANIA
BELGRADE, June 13 (Tanjug) –War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic said that the traces of human organ trafficking lead to Albania, and added that there have been obstructions in the case of illegal organ trade in Kosovo, because, if this was not the case, "the perpetrators would have already faced trial chambers.""I believe that Dick Marty's report and the Medicus case sobered up the world public. I only fear that politics may interfere," Vukcevic told the Belgrade daily Danas.Commenting on Head of the EULEX special team for organ trade in Kosovo John Clint Williamson's visit to Belgrade, Vukcevic said that the progress made in Serbia's investigation has boosted the interactive relation with Williamson's team.It is of utter importance that the Albanian government unanimously approved of Williamson's team conducting an investigation in Albania, he noted."I consider it to be a major step forward, since many traces of this crime lead to that country," Vukcevic added.When asked to comment Williamson's statement that the investigation will be finished in two or three years, he said that this is too much and that, unfortunately, it fuels fear with the victims' families that justice will not be done."I wonder what would happen if someone presented essential evidence that something like that was happening and pointed to the perpetrators. Would we then also wait for three years to bring them to justice?" asked the war crimes prosecutor.Vukcevic stressed that the investigation is carried out in several countries - Serbia, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, and added that EULEX is conducting it on two levels - "the Medicus case" before the court in Pristina and "human organ trade" pursued by Williamson's team.
KFOR SETS UP NEW CHECKPOINT IN NORTHERN KOSOVO
LEPOSAVIC, June 14 (Tanjug) –KFOR troops set up a new checkpoint on the alternative route Novi Pazar-Lesak in the immediate vicinity of the administrative line with central Serbia, at which they will run routine traffic checks.On this alternative route, in the village of Tresava, one could see members of the Polish KFOR contingent with 5 jeeps, who have checked the vehicles coming to the north of Kosovo since 9 a.m..On this road which connects the north of Kosovo with Novi Pazar, KFOR had previously had similar checkpoints, but they had been set up farther from the administrative line, while this one was established in the immediate vicinity of the administrative line with central Serbia.The alternative route Novi Pazar-Vracevo-Lesak is one of the byways that the Serbs in the north of Kosovo are using.