Belgrade, June 15, 2012
SERBIA – EU
NIKOLIC: EU WILL NEVER ASK SERBIA TO RECOGNIZE KOSOVO
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said Thursday that he received assurances in Brussels that the European Union will never ask Serbia to recognize Kosovo.After meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Nikolic said he is convinced that Europe's requirements in relation to Kosovo can be met.I heard clearly that the EU will never ask Serbia to recognize Kosovo and I believe them, the Serbian president said at a joint press conference with Barroso.EU wants us to live safely and well, and I do not see what there is in dispute, he said, and promised to try to help both Serbs and Albanians to live better than before.The Serbian president said that he requested and received from EU officials detailed information regarding the agreements reached so far in the dialogue with Pristina, stressing that has not seen anything so far that would be inconsistent with the Serbian Constitution and Serbian interests.Finally we know what these agreements look like and what are the interpretations of the Commission, and we will communicate them to the citizens of Serbia, Nikolic said.Nikolic, however, added that he would seek an explanation why the interpretation of the agreements by the Belgrade team differs from the interpretation of the European Commission.Head of the Belgrade team should explain why his interpretation of the agreements differs from the interpretation of the Commission, he said.The president announced the resumption of talks on the subject on Wednesday, when the international mediator in the dialogue Robert Cooper will come to Belgrade.Barroso said that the EU candidate status that Serbia received in March was a reflection of progress, but also imposes responsibility.Therefore, the leadership skills of President Nikolic and constructive contributions of other key politicians are crucial for the rapid formation of a stable government and creating a consensus on Serbia's European future, Barroso said.He pointed out that the new government now needs to move forward with the implementation of judicial reform, fight against corruption and organized crime, respect for media freedom and structural economic reforms.Nikolic said that he hopes that Serbia would get approval to start negotiations in the autumn, but also that he is aware that many key performance targets are not met.This does not concern only the reform of the judiciary, which is not well done, the fight against corruption must be carried out much more sharply, as well as the investigation of criminal privatizations, the struggle for press freedom and against the party state, Nikolic said.He stated that he is aware that the relationship with the Pristina administration and relations with neighbors are of key importance.Barroso said that the presence of Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele at Nikolic's inauguration in Belgrade was an expression of EU support to Serbia and the region.President of the Commission promised that the EU would continue to support Serbia on its European path.
VAN ROMPUY: RELATIONS WITH KOSOVO CRUCIAL
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Tanjug) –European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Thursday after meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that further normalization of relations with Kosovo remains a key condition for starting negotiations to join the EU.Further normalization remains a key condition for the next step, the start of pre-accession negotiations, according to Van Rompuy's statement to the media. Van Rompuy said that it is also necessary to apply the agreements on regional cooperation and crossings, to find a solution for the north of Kosovo and to calm tensions in the interest of all who live there.Van Rompuy said that today's discussion with Nikolic was honest and good and that he was pleased to hear that Nikolic has European integration at the top of his priorities. He stressed that the new Serbian president, through his support to the efforts of the future government, will have an important role on Serbia's path to Europe.The EU is definitely the biggest trade partner of Serbia and the main foreign investor, Rompuy recalled and promised that Brussels will support further progress on Serbia's European path. Finally, Van Rompuy wished Nikolic a successful presidency at the upcoming Summit of the Cooperation Process in Southeastern Europe and stressed the importance of reconciliation for the future of the region.
NIKOLIC: PM SHOULD HEAD TEAM IN TALKS WITH PRISTINA
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic told EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton that the Serbian prime minister should head Belgrade's delegation in the next rounds of talks with Pristina."I informed Mrs Ashton about my idea that the Serbian prime minister should be the one to head the Belgrade team in the future negotiations, discussions, talks, since we have few things to agree on, but very important ones," the Serbian president said.Nikolic did not specify Ashton's stand on that.According to Nikolic, the agreements which the dialogue has already yielded are often interpreted differently in Belgrade, Pristina and Brussels. For that reason, he called on Ashton to inform him about the implementation of the agreements.Addressing the journalists after the meeting with Ashton, which according to Nikolic lasted longer than planned, the Serbian president voiced opinion that during open talks, he managed to convince Ashton that there is no better future for Serbia than the one in the EU."I think that I have convinced her that I do not think that there is any better future for Serbia and Serbs than the one in the EU," Nikolic told journalists outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, and added that Serbia will spare no effort to receive a recommendation for the entry talks by the year's end.According to him, the talks with Ashton were very useful and successful. "We discussed the past, the present, but mostly the future," Nikolic said.When it comes to Kosovo, Nikolic said that an agreement has been reached with regard to establishing intensive cooperation aimed at ensuring peace and security for all citizens, especially in the north.Unilateral actions that could jeopardise peace and security should be prevented, Nikolic stated.He said that he informed Ashton that the EU should pay more attention to the high unemployment and other hardships Serbian citizens are experiencing."Unless the EU helps us start working, we may never reach the standards needed for Serbia to accede to the EU," Nikolic said.The Serbian president said that Ashton assured him that she truly wishes to see Serbia and other Balkan countries in the EU.He noted that his task now is to convince politicians that the government should be formed as soon as possible so that no precious time would be wasted.At the end of his statement, the president stressed that "Serbia will never recognise Kosovo."With his Thursday meeting with Ashton, Nikolic opened a series of talks in Brussels. He will next meet with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
BRUSSELS SATISFIED WITH NIKOLIC'S VISIT
BRUSSELS, June 14 (Tanjug) –Brussels considers the first presidential visit of Tomislav Nikolic to have been successful, and the Serbian President's attention was drawn to the importance of regional reconciliation, Tanjug learned at the European Commission Thursday.The talks were very good, an EU official stated who attended Nikolic's meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton today.I believe we covered all the important topics, he added.The same source, however, pointed out that Nikolic has been made clear that his recent statements on Vukovar (that Nikolic referred to as a Serbian city) and Srebrenica (where, according to Nikolic, no genocide happened) are unacceptable for the EU.We reminded him that the history of Europe is filled with bloody conflicts and intolerance, but that those have been overcome after it was decided that we should follow the path of reconciliation, Tanjug's source said.The EU official said that Nikolic was told that a similar process of reconciliation needs to be achieved in the Western Balkans so that the entire region would have a European perspective.
MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE SOUTH EAST EUROPE COOPERATION PROCESS (SEECP)
REGIONAL FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN BELGRADE
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic opened a meeting of foreign ministers from 12 member countries of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Belgrade on Thursday.The meeting is attended by Foreign Minister of Albania Selim Belortaja and his counterpart from Moldova Andrei Popov, State Secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Bozo Cerar, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Nebojsa Koharovic, director-general of the Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Department Rusi Ivanov and Greek Ambassador in Serbia Dimostenis Stoidis.Serbia took over the one-year chairmanship over SEECP in June 2011. SEECP is a regional initiative launched in Sofia back in 1996, with the aim of promoting and reinforcing good neighbourly relations between regional countries, transformation of the region into a zone of peace, security, stability and cooperation, as well as the integration of regional countries into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.This is an authentic initiative that came from South-East European countries and it represents a unique voice of the region. The SEECP most important document is the Charter on good neighbourly relations, stability, security and cooperation in South-East Europe, which was adopted in Bucharest on February 12, 2000.SEECP members comprise Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey. Ahead of the SEECP ministerial conference, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) held a meeting in Belgrade on Wednesday, during which officials adopted the candidacy of Goran Svilanovic for the office of the new RCC secretary general owhich functions as the operative branch of SEECP.Svilanovic should be appointed as the RCC secretary general on Friday and his candidacy application should be backed by foreign ministers on Thursday, while the official confirmation would be issued by heads of states or governments during the SEECP summit in Belgrade on Friday.
JEREMIC: WHEREVER IS REPUBLIC OF SERBIA CANNOT BE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Thursday in Belgrade, addressing the foreign ministers of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP), that the Belgrade-Pristina agreement on regional representation allows Kosovo to participate in meetings only as a non-state actor."I want to be clear on this point: wherever there is a Republic of Serbia, there cannot be a 'Republic of Kosovo.' Not in the SEECP-and not in the Council of Europe, the OSCE and any institution or agency in the UN system," Jeremic said opening a meeting of this regional initiative currently chaired by Serbia.Jeremic evaluated that the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is the appropriate regional fora within which the voice of the ethnic-Albanian authorities of the southern province of Kosovo and Metohija can be heard. "This is in line with the agreement on regional representation reached within the framework of the EU-facilitated technical dialogue. It allows Pristina to participate as a non-state actor in RCC meetings. The status-neutral agreement, which accords with UN Security resolution 1244 (1999), does not extend to multilateral fora in which membership is reserved for sovereign states, such as the SEECP," Jeremic underlined.Noting that this year marks the hundredth anniversary of the First Balkan War, Jeremic said that the unifying slogan 'From Balkan Wars to Balkan Peace' has been made for regional activities, which aptly encapsulates what SEECP seeks to bring to completion: the full transformation and modernization of our respective societies. "Such an accomplishment will close the door for good on an era that ultimately delivered less than the promise it made to each of the nations that share our geography," he said.The meeting is attended by the foreign ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina Zlatko Lagumdzija, Montenegro Milan Rocen, Romania Andrei Marga, Macedonia Nikola Poposki, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan. Also attending are the deputy foreign ministers of Albania and Moldova, Selim Belortaja and Andrei Popov, respectively, State Secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Bozo Cerar, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Nebojsa Koharovic, Director of the Bulgarian Directorate for Coordination of EU Affairs Russi Ivanov and Greek Ambassador to Serbia Dimostenis Stoidis."The countries represented in this chamber have worked very hard to deepen bilateral and multilateral relations. Strengthening comprehensive ties has been and remains a strategic priority for each of us-all the more so in these times of political and economic uncertainty. Nonetheless, peace, security and prosperity have yet to be fully consolidated in Southeast Europe," Jeremic underlined. "Deepening the institutional dialogue between the SEECP and the EC, as well as other branches of the Union's governance structure, was also a priority of the Serbian chairmanship," he said."The EU-like the OSCE-is a valued member of the Regional Cooperation Council, which is the SEECP's implementing arm...We expect that the forthcoming election of a new RCC Secretary General-my dear friend and colleague Goran Svilanovic-will inject a new dynamism into, and instill closer cooperation between, the RCC and the SEECP," Jeremic said. Jeremic recalled that in 2011, Serbia successfully presided over a number of regional initiatives, such as the Central European Initiative, the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, and the SEECP.Jeremic pointed to the establishment of a coordinated approach in the fight against organized crime and terrorism, the development of a cohesive strategy to enhance environmental security and promoting cultural cooperation as Serbia's chairmanship priorities. "We believe the cultural dimension is an integral part of completing the process of reconciliation, as is resolving the refugee issue. Serbia will continue to play an active role in strengthening Southeast Europe's links with UNESCO, as a term-member of its WHCommittee," Jeremic said. "During our chairmanship, concrete steps were taken in forging a new consensus on how to fully protect the rights of refugees in the Balkans. Last November, Belgrade played host to a Review Ministerial Conference, which produced a groundbreaking Joint Declaration. It reaffirmed the political will of all the stakeholders to continue working on a comprehensive regional solution to all outstanding refugee problems," he underlined. "One of the most important issues raised during our chairmanship was how to institutionally strengthen our Organization, by providing it with the necessary tools to more effectively meet contemporary regional challenges," Jeremic said.
FOREIGN MINISTERS CALL FOR STRONGER COOPERATION
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Participants of the meeting of foreign ministers of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP) in Belgrade Thursday called for furthering regional cooperation and European integration of the countries of South East Europe.The ministers welcomed the election of Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic as the president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and supported the nomination of Goran Svilanovic for the office of secretary general of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). "I think I share the opinion of others when I say that we should pass on the recommendation for the selection of Svilanovic," said Foreign Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Zlatko Lagumdzija, adding that Svilanovic is a distinguished personality that will surely "increase the reputation" of the RCC.Lagumdzija said that it was clear that regional cooperation had long-term benefits and expressed the belief that all countries should become EU members by 2020.We are committed to making 2012 the year of progress in BiH, he said, expressing the expectation that all countries will support BiH when it submits its application for EU membership. Lagumdzija, who is also deputy chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers, congratulated Jeremic for having been elected chairman of the UN General Assembly.After congratulating Jeremic on his election as the UNGA chair and Serbia on receiving the EU membership candidate status, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Ali Babacan voiced confidence that the new Serbian government would further its European integration commitment and step up Serbia's pace on the road to membership of the Union.We are witnessing significant steps being made when it comes to the region's integration into the EU, Babacan said, pointing to the fact that Croatia should become the 28th member state of the Union in 2013.He expressed the hope that Croatia's would soon be followed by accession of other countries as well, despite the enlargement fatigue and economic crisis.Babacan said that the EU enlargement was inevitable, and that Turkey was committed to membership of the Union. Commenting on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Babacan said that the negotiations had to be continued without interruption and that it was vital for the agreements reached by the two sides to be fully implemented in practice.Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen said that the SEECP was important for achieving the objectives of the Euro-Atlantic integration. Membership of the EU and NATO cannot be realized without regional cooperation, said Rocen, stressing the importance of modernization of the SEECP.He lauded the selection of the Serbian foreign minister for the UNGA president and the success achieved by neighboring countries on the path toward the EU, adding that the imminent accession of Croatia into the EU was a "guiding light," while the granting of candidate status to Serbia was an encouragement for all countries in the region.Romanian Foreign Minister Andrei Marga said that the SEECP should be placed on even stronger foundations and expressed his confidence that further reform would strengthen the organization in order for it to be able to face the challenges of the future.Nikola Poposki, the foreign minister of Macedonia, which is taking the Chairmanship-in-Office of the SEECP over from Serbia tomorrow, said that the guiding ideas behind the Process should be ensuring development of democracy and a better life for the citizens and creating the best possible environment to attract investors and tourists. The priorities of Macedonia as the new SEECP chair will include, above all, good neighborly relations and the country will therefore promote the principle of regional cooperation, reconciliation and cooperation in all fields, said Poposki.Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Selim Belortaja said today that all the agreements reached in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue so far, including the one on regional representation of Kosovo, should be fully implemented and that Kosovo should have its representatives in all regional organizations. He expressed the hope that the SEECP Summit, due to be held in Belgrade Friday, would contribute to regional cooperation, adding that the region's progress and commitment to European integration was showing its high degree of seriousness and maturity.Moldova's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Popov also advocated for furthering regional development through reforms of the SEECP. State Secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Bozo Cerar said that Ljubljana would continue supporting the region and that it would like to see the region dealing with its challenges pragmatically, on the foundations of equality.Rusi Ivanov, director-general of the Bulgarian European affairs department, said that regional cooperation was not an alternative to the goal of all the SEECP member states - European integration - but rather an instrument to facilitate its realization. Ivanov also welcomed the agreements reached between Belgrade and Pristina so far.Assistant Foreign Minister of Croatia Nebojsa Koharovic said that Croatia would continue supporting the countries that hope of EU membership and expressed his satisfaction over the progress made by the region in European integration.Deputy Head of Delegation of the EU to Serbia Andriano Martins said he hoped that Serbia would have its government formed soon and that it would move ahead on its European integration path with firm steps.
SERBIA PROPOSES FORMING OF SEECP REGIONAL ASSEMBLY
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Serbia officially launched the idea of establishing a parliamentary assembly of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) at the SEECP ministerial meeting in Belgrade on Thursday, a move positively received by the participants, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said after the conclusion of the meeting. "We believe that this kind of regional parliament, modeled on the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and that of the Council of Europe, would strengthen the relations in the region and give a new quality to the close cooperation between the countries," he told a news conference.Serbia is ready to offer Belgrade as the headquarters of that body, Jeremic said, adding that the whole idea will be discussed in the coming months.Serbia's Chairmanship-in-Office of the SEECP will officially end with tomorrow's SEECP Summit, and the presidency will be taken over by Macedonia.Jeremic said that Serbia had been in the focus of regional cooperation over 2011 and 2012, because it had presided over virtually all regional organizations and more than 100 meetings at different levels had taken place in Belgrade.The chairmanship, he said, passed without any problems, even though there are outstanding issues in the region, and part of them concern Serbia.Jeremic evaluated his election as chairman of the UN General Assembly as a "recognition given to the entire region" and stressed that his would be a chairmanship useful for the entire region, as it would ensure a greater visibility and provide benefits for all.Over the time since the beginning of past wars until now, the relations in the region have never been better, Jeremic observed. "We have no other option but to build a common future," he concluded.
SEECP MINISTERS SUPPORT NOMINATION OF SVILANOVIC
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Participants of the Ministerial Meeting of the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) supported Thursday in Belgrade the nomination of Goran Svilanovic for secretary-general of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated at the end of the meeting that the ministers and senior representatives of 12 member countries of the SEECP unanimously supported the nomination of Svilanovic.The Regional Cooperation Council endorsed at its meeting in Belgrade Wednesday the nomination of Goran Svilanovic as the next RCC secretary general.Svilanovic's official election as RCC secretary general is expected Friday at the summit meeting of heads of state or government of SEECP.
SUMMIT OF THE SOUTH-EAST EUROPE COOPERATION PROCESS (SEECP)
HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT
NIKOLIC: CONTINUITY OF GOOD-NEIGHBORLY POLICY
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said Friday that Serbia would remain on the path toward EU membership, advocating a policy of good-neighborly relations and reconciliation in the region, but that it would also stand by its principled position that it would never explicitly or implicitly recognize Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.Opening the Summit of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Belgrade, Nikolic stressed that regional cooperation was a prerequisite of security and stability.According to Nikolic, an atmosphere of cooperation in South East Europe has been created thanks to the indefatigableefforts of all countries in the region and the belief that fostering good-neighborly relations is about more than simply fulfilling EU requirements.The Republic of Serbia remains committed to advancing bilateral relations with all neighboring countries and countries in the region. I will personally advocate a continuation of this policy, because it is one of the strategic goals of our country's foreign policy, said Nikolic.Addressing delegations from 12 countries in the region and representatives of international institutions and organizations, the president noted Serbia was interested in further promoting constructive political dialogue and creating favorable prerequisites for a durable and substantive solution of the remaining outstanding issues."Serbia keeps on conducting an active dialogue that would lead up to the resolution of the demarcation issue, promotion of the status and rights of minorities, finding durable solutions for refugees and IDPs, regulation of the problem of disposed property, occupancy tenancy rights, convalidation of working years, return of patrimony, succession etc," specified Nikolic.When it comes to Kosovo, Nikolic believes Serbia demonstrated a constructive approach and good will at the initiative, which were often not met with an appropriate response by the other party, nor where they understood by the international mediators."We remain open for talks on all issues and stand ready for compromise solutions," said Nikolic, adding that Kosovo is a very sensitive issue for Serbia, but the country has been pragmatic and flexible about ways of ensuring a better life for ordinary people living in the province."So far, peace and stability have been preserved primarily due to a constructive position on the part of Serbia. The principled position of Serbia concerning the future of Kosovo and Metohija remains unchanged. We will never recognize, either explicitly or implicitly, its unilateral declaration of independence. This is both a constitutional imperative as well as our moral, historic and above all, democratic duty," said Nikolic.An arrangement on regional representation and cooperation has been made in the dialogue, ensuring contribution of all and asymmetric representation of the Pristina delegation, Nikolic recalled.He noted that "Serbia will continue along its European integration path by promoting, reforming and altering the systems that hinder its development and prosperity.""We subscribe to the principle of individual evaluation of every candidate country for membership in the EU, depending on the progress made in meeting the given criteria and successful implementation of reforms, just as we are against conditioning the pace of progress of some candidate countries at the expense of others," said Nikolic.
CVETKOVIC: PEACE, EU INTEGRATION - COMMON PRIORITIES
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic stated Friday that the common political priorities of all regional states are establishment of long-lasting peace and prosperity, and exerting efforts towards a full-fledged EU membership, adding that Serbia's position is that it would be necessary to rationalize and specify the activities of certain regional initiatives.Addressing the participants of the summit of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) heads of state and government, Cvetkovic underlined that the regional states are presently going through a crucial period for achieving their national interests, primarily in the context of the EU integration process and creation of a stable environment conductive for economic prosperity.In the coming years, the regional cooperation should secure the principles and agenda for the resolution of the remaining challenges that we are facing. We believe that the SEECP dialogue is irreplaceable in terms of exchange of ideas and drafting the framework of future cooperation, Cvetkovic said.The regional countries have come to a conclusion that only through joint efforts and by breathing new life into the regional cooperation and utilizing ample opportunities it lends will they be able to overcome the current situationThe common objective of all regional initiatives is the development of multilateral cooperation as the basis for economic progress, political and economic stability and consolidation of good neighborly relations, which are preconditions for active EU integration, he said.Cvetkovic expressed hope that during its SEECP presidency, Serbia has given a new quality both to the relations between the regional states, and the joint EU integration process.The prime minister concluded that the regional cooperation is also a framework for successful mitigation of the devastating consequences of the economic crisis.
GORAN SVILANOVIC APPOINTED RCC SECRETARY GENERAL
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –The heads of state and government of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) appointed by consensus Goran Svilanovic to the position of secretary general of the Regional Cooperation Council, the operational part of the SEECP, at a summit in Belgrade on Friday.At Thursday's ministerial conference of the SEECP in Belgrade, participants supported Svilanovic, after his candidacy was approved Wednesday at a RCC meeting in Belgrade.Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic concluded at the end of the meeting Thursday that ministers and high-level representatives of the 12 SEECP member countries had unilaterally supported the appointment of Svilanovic, who served as a foreign minister of Yugoslavia.
KOSOVO & METOHIJA
STEFANOVIC: COOPER VIOLATES AGREEMENTS REACHED WITH PRISTINA
BELGRADE, June 14 (Tanjug) –Serbia will not take part in regional fora if the agreed wording of the footnote is not inscribed on the nameplate standing in front of Kosovo officials, Belgrade's lead negotiator in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic stated, accusing EU facilitator for the dialogue Robert Cooper of having a hand in the violation of the already reached agreements."The representatives of Serbia will not take part in yet another deceit, and accept the Kosovo nameplate containing just its name and an asterisk," Stefanovic said in an interview to the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti.He noted that "the agreement stipulates that the nameplate should also contain an explanation or a footnote, saying that Kosovo's representation is in line with UN SC Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence."All EU member states, the US and regional organizations have been informed about that. Current interpretations constitute a violation of the compromise that was quite hard to reach, Stefanovic said.Commenting on Cooper's claims that the agreement stipulates that the footnote should not be included in the nameplate, but only in accompanying documents, he said that "it is obvious that Cooper is assisting in violating the already reached agreements, and someone's intention is to place the blame on the Serbian side."Commenting on the fact that the agreement on licence plates is also being interpreted in a different way, he reiterated that "the agreement on the freedom of movement did not envisage that the Serbs north of the Ibar River should use Kosovo licence plates.""We have made it clear that the provision will not refer to the north of Kosovo-Metohija which has its own specificities. It is evident that a deep rift of mistrust is again being created between Belgrade and Pristina. I could not imagine who could possibly benefit from that," Stefanovic said.Asked whether it is possible that some new details from the agreement would be disclosed to the public, Stefanovic said that is "absolutely out of the question.""All agreements have been published on the Serbian government's website. The Serbian parliament, MPs, parliamentary Committee on KiM, as well as the public have been informed about the details. I have never kept anything secret, and I submitted daily reports to the institutions and citizens. The fact that Cooper and Kosovo Albanians are now counterfeiting the agreements has nothing to do with me," Stefanovic said.
BELORTAJA: KOSOVO SHOULD BE EQUAL MEMBER OF SEECP
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –Albania's Deputy Foreign Minister Selim Belortaja reiterated Tirana's position that Kosovo should be allowed to become an equal member of the South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) and other regional initiatives.At the SEECP Summit, Belortaja said implementation of the principle of inclusiveness would contribute to reconciliation and strengthening of trust in the region.According to Belortaja, the agreement on regional representation of Pristina should be implemented fully and Kosovo should be represented as an equal member.He added there were different interpretations of the Brussels agreement, but that a formula could certainly be found that would enable Kosovo to take part in regional initiatives.I believe the two sides in the dialogue will continue to implement agreements and strive to achieve more results, noted Belortaja, who spoke in favor of changing the SEECP statute so that Kosovo could be adequately represented.
SERBIA – ECONOMY
FIAT 500L PRODUCTION TO BE LAUNCHED NEXT MONTH
BANJA LUKA, BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –The Fiat Group is in the important phase of development, investments and growth, which hit the peak in this region, as next month its Kragujevac-based factory is to launch the production of the brand new model Fiat 500L dedicated to the global market, said CommercialDirector at the Fiat Automobiles Serbia (FAS) Gerry Clarke.Clarke announced the start of production, while opening a Fiat sales and service center in Banja Luka, which marked the beginning of cooperation between Fiat and Marketauto.Alongside Italy and Serbia, the sales showroom in Banjaluka will be the first to offer Fiat 500 L in late autumn, Clark said.The Banjaluka-based Marketauto is a sister company of Euromodus which has been cooperating with Iveco as an authorized dealer of car parts and vehicles for the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.Marketauto is the sixth Fiat Penta dealer in the FAS network, which also includes Fiat Centar (Belgrade), Kompresor (Belgrade), Stojanov (Novi Sad), Auto Garant (Cacak) and Nikom (Kragujevac).
KONUZIN: POSSIBILITIES OF COOPERATION LIMITLESS
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –Russian Ambassador in Serbia Aleksandr Konuzin stated that the commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries is improving and that realisation of major projects has already started, adding that the possibilities of bilateral cooperation are practically limitless.Even greater projects are on their way, such as the modernisation of railroads in Serbia and the South Stream pipeline which should start late this year, Konuzin stated during a joint session of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) section for Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.The Finance Ministries of Serbia and Russia signed an agreement several days ago and the modernisation of railroads in Serbia will start in autumn, Konuzin stated and called on other Serbian companies which would be engaged as contractors and subcontractors to carry out preparations for the work.Konuzin recalled that the biggest Russian bank Sberbank opened in Serbia and that it is willing to invest in the country, but it needs tangible projects, so he called on Serbian companies to send their project suggestions.He also pointed out that the Russian market is interested in agricultural projects from Serbia because their quality is high, but Russia needs considerably larger quantities than Serbian producers can offer.Konuzin expressed regret over the fact that the two countries did not set up a permanent body in charge of their economic cooperation over the past four years because this would have helped solve tangible problems such as the issue of transport permits.Associations of Serbian businessmen also need to be set up so that the country could operate on the Russian market more easily and use the possibilities of customs-free trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan more actively, and do the same with Ukraine soon, because the country also represents a wide market.Konuzin announced that his mandate in Serbia will end soon and expressed gratitude to PKS and Serbian businessmen on their interest in cooperation with Russia.
DANIELLI YET TO DECIDE ON INVESTMENTS IN SERBIA
BELGRADE, June 15 (Tanjug) –Executive Director of the Italian company Danielli Franco Alzetta stated that the company is yet to adopt a decision on potential investments in Serbia after it recently renounced the plans for construction of the factory in Sabac.Danielli simply slowed down some of its major investment decisions while looking for the best option under the current market circumstances marked by the global economic crisis, Alzetta told daily Blic in an explaining the Italian company's decision not to build the factory in Sabac.When asked whether Danielli definitely renounced the plans for investments in Serbia after the purchase of the Sisak steel mill in Croatia in early June, Alzetta did not give a clear response and instead noted that the final decision is yet to be adopted.The reasons for renouncing the investment worth EUR 0.5 billion are not the result of the presidential elections or special terms set by the Democratic Party, the company official noted.Neither of the two theories is correct, Alzetta said.The world's third largest producer of components for metal industry, Danielli signed a memorandum on understanding in March as a non-binding act on the decision to invest in the construction of a factory of special steel part in Sabac.According to Blic, pressures on Danielli not to move its production plant from Italy started soon after the signing of the memorandum with the Serbian government, accompanied by the lobbying of neighbouring countries which aim to persuade the company to opt for them instead of Serbia.Danielli purchased Sisak steel mlant at a tender in May at the price of USD 30 million.