BELGRADE, July 15, 2005
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
SERBIA-MONTENEGRO HAS ACHIEVED GREATEST PROGRESS IN RELATIONS WITH AUSTRIA, SAYS MAROVIC
VIENNA, July 14 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic told the Austrian news agency APA on Thursday that Austria was among the countries whose bilateral relations with Serbia-Montenegro had improved the most in the past five years. Speaking on the eve of Austrian President Heinz Fischer's arrival in a three-day official visit to Belgrade, Marovic said he was especially satisfied with the fact that Austria was very active in foreign investments in Serbia-Montenegro.
He also said that Serbia-Montenegro hoped that it would succeed to conclude the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union during Austria's EU presidency in the first half of 2006.The state union's closer links with European integrations are Serbia-Montenegro's absolute priority, Marovic said.
Responding to APA's question about the Montenegrin referendum on independence, Marovic said that nobody should be frightened of the referendum. A referendum in Montenegro in 2006 is reality. One should make the best possible preparations for this event in order to ensure that democratic values are confirmed on it and that European norms are implemented in the preparation of this event, Marovic said.
Responding to a question on the future of Kosovo-Metohija, Marovic said that the issue of the province's final status had to be resolved through a democratic dialogue at all levels." Peaceful and stable life and prosperity not only in Kosovo, but throughout the region, can be achieved only if a European and democratic solution is found for the status of the province," Marovic said.
He voiced optimism regarding the development of cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including the arrest and extradition of the most important indictees.
DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER CONFERED WITH SCG OFFICIALS
BELGRADE, July 14 (Beta) - The foreign ministers of the Netherlands and Serbia-Montenegro, Bernard Bot and Vuk Draskovic, said in Belgrade on July 14 that the extradition of Ratko Mladic, indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was a prerequisite for the country's Euro Atlantic integration.
After talks with his Dutch counterpart, Draskovic said that "the message on cooperation with the ICTY is crystal clear." "Without the arrest and extradition of the remaining ICTY indictees, foremost Ratko Mladic, all our efforts toward Euro Atlantic integration will be practically in vain," he said.
Bot said that he supported Draskovic's statements concerning the ICTY, adding that the extradition of Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ante Gotovina is a way for the governments of Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia to show the EU and NATO that they are capable of fulfilling obligations.
He also said that it was "too early to make statements about Kosovo's final status" and added that everyone should wait for U.N. envoy Kai Eide's report.
Bot, however, said that he hoped "the state union of Serbia and Montenegro will survive," but added that it was not up to a foreign minister to discuss the internal situation of a country. "We just hope that the referendum will yield the desired result," Bot said.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said in Belgrade on July 14, during a meeting with Serbian Premier Vojislav Kostunica, that he envisioned Serbia-Montenegro as a future member of the EU.
A news release from Kostunica's office quotes Bot as saying that the Dutch "no" to the EU Constitution did not mean "no" to the EU and its enlargement.
Kostunica stressed the government's determination for European integration, emphasizing that negotiations on a stabilization and association agreement were to begin this fall and that the preservation of the state union of Serbia-Montenegro was the best way to EU accession.
Bot also stressed that, in the spirit of EU integration, Serbia-Montenegro should survive and added that European processes were based on integration instead of disintegration, the news release adds.
With regard to the situation in Kosovo, Kostunica said that a solution could be found through the preservation of Serbia-Montenegro's sovereignty and territorial integrity, warning that any change of borders would affect stability in the region.
SAN MARINO WILL SUPPORT ALL SERBIA'S REQUESTS IN COE, SAYS BERARDI
BELGRADE, July 15 (Tanjug) - San Marino Foreign Minister Fabio Berardi on Friday conveyed to Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic the stand that San Marino, which next year takes over chairmanship of the Council of Europe (CoE), will support all Serbia's requests in which it urges the affirmation of dialogue and territorial sovereignty.
Draskovic told reporters, after his meeting with Berardi, that San Marino is proof that historic right and the force of law can be stronger than the strength of force." Insistence on the force of law and the ignoring of all forms of threats and force that are again clouding over Kosovo, is something that is in our interests and that we rightfully expect will be defended in the Council of Europe," Draskovic said. As a member of the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the CoE, and other international institutions, San Marino will doubtless raise its voice in defense of the fundamental rights, the SCG foreign minister said.
Draskovic and Berardi agreed there were big possibilities for bilateral cooperation between the state union and San Marino, primarily in the areas of culture, tourism, economy and banking.
San Marino will this afternoon inaugurate its first embassy in Belgrade, Draskovic said.
The minister said he had accepted Berardi's invitation to make a return visit to San Mari
DRASKOVIC CONFERS MEDAL ON HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
BELGRADE, July 14 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic on Thursday conferred the Medal of the Yugoslav Star of the First Order on Hungarian Ambassador Jozsef Pandur.
The outgoing Hungarian ambassador was decorated by Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic for his personal contribution and efforts invested in the development of friendly relations between the two countries, the Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister.
NEW SCG AMBASSADOR HANDS ACCREDITATION LETTERS TO HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT
BUDAPEST, July 14 (Tanjug) - New Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Ambassador in Budapest Predrag Cudic handed his accreditation letters to Hungarian President Ferenc Madl on Thursday.
At a ceremony in the Hungarian president's residence, the Sandor Palace, Cudic highlighted Serbia and Montenegro's interest in the further promotion of the two countries' friendship and good-neighbor relations.
The ambassador thanked Madl for the support that Hungary as a EU country provides to Belgrade on its road to Euro-Atlantic integration. Madl stressed that Budapest is also interested in an all-sided cooperation with Serbia and Montenegro.
SAN MARINO FOREIGN MINISTER TO ARRIVE IN BELGRADE ON FRIDAY
BELGRADE, July 14 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic will meet with his San Marino counterpart Fabio Berardi in Belgrade on Friday.
The two foreign ministers will discuss bilateral issues, but also the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, the SCG Foreign Ministry said.
This will be the San Marino foreign minister's first visit to Serbia and Montenegro since the two countries established diplomatic relations in August 2002, the ministry noted.
LONDON ATTACK EXPLOSIVES DID NOT COME FROM SCG ARMY WAREHOUSES
BELGRADE, July 14 (Tanjug) - There is no possibility that explosives from Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Army warehouses were used in the terrorist attacks on the London subway and buses, the SCG Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
In a press release issued in reaction to "certain media reporting" that it is possible the explosives used in the London attacks were produced in Serbia and Montenegro, the ministry said that the "total quantities of the plastic explosives in the SCG Army armaments are expressed in a precise number of pieces" and that the "explosives are under strict control that includes daily tours and checks of warehouses they are stored in." So far, there have been no reports on missing explosives from SCG Army units, the ministry said.
The former Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) armaments used the P-20, NE-64 and NP-65 plastic explosives, which are no longer used by the SCG Army, the SCG Defense Ministry's PR service said, adding that explosives produced by a factory in Ivanjica, Serbia, were distributed and available to all army units in the former Yugoslav republics until 1991.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE SATISFIED WITH REFORMS IMPLEMENTATION IN SERBIA-MONTENEGRO
VIENNA, July 14 (Beta) - Serbia-Montenegro has made significant progress in implementing reforms, Council of Europe General Secretary Terry Davis said in Vienna on July 14.
While addressing the permanent council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Davis emphasized that a recent Council of Europe mission had established that significant progress in the energetic implementation of reforms had been achieved at all levels.
Davis said that the Council of Europe supported Serbia-Montenegro institutions in the implementation of reforms and that the Council was ready to offer its help in such areas as the reform of the local authorities, human and minority rights protection, and the reform of the judiciary. He stressed that the Council of Europe was continuing to monitor the development of the situation in Kosovo.
"Our work is focused primarily on assistance to UNMIK and interim institutions in the field of decentralization, human rights protection, the renewal of cultural heritage, the struggle against corruption and organized crime, as well as the reform of the judiciary," said Davis.
FRENCH "NO" TO EU CONSTITUTION WILL NOT THREATEN THE BALKANS' EUROPEAN FUTURE
BELGRADE, July 14 (Tanjug) - The French "No" to the ratification of EU Constitution will not affect the timetable defined at the EU Thessalonica summit, which underlined that the Balkans' future is in the EU, French Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) Hugues Pernet said.
In an interview published Thursday by the Belgrade daily Danas on the occasion of the Fourteenth of July, the Bastille Day, Pernet said that France welcomes the significant progress that SCG made in cooperation with The Hague tribunal over the past six months, stressing, however, that the issue needs to be definitely resolved by arresting and extraditing the remaining fugitives, notably Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, to the tribunal.
The ambassador estimated that the government in Belgrade should encourage Kosovo Serbs to take part in the province's provisional institutions and parliament, but also that the Kosovo minorities need to be guaranteed proper living conditions and freedom of movement throughout the province.
When it comes to the bilateral relations, boosting French companies' investments and presence in the SCG market remains France's priority, the ambassador said, noting that the largest French bank, Credit Agricole, has established its presence in Serbia in cooperation with Meridian Banka, that Societe Generale is readying to expand its branch network in Serbia, that Michelin has taken over a majority stake in the Pirot tire maker, and that Air France restored direct Paris-Belgrade flights in April.
TADIC CALLS ON MLADIC TO SURRENDER
BELGRADE, July 14 (Beta) - Serbian President Boris Tadic, on July 14, called on Hague tribunal indictee Ratko Mladic to surrender, but also sent a request to official state institutions "to complete this task in accordance with the law."
While addressing members of the Democratic Party executive council, of which he is chairman, Tadic emphasized that if it failed to resolve the case of Ratko Mladic, Serbia "cannot go forward."
He underlined that there was no serious country in which persons accused of war crimes could be glorified as heroes. "All those who say that Serbia should not fulfill its international obligations toward the Hague tribunal are actually saying that Serbia and its citizens should not live better, and that prospects for this country are shutting down," said Tadic.
He emphasized that the issue of the economy and the improvement of the standard of living of its citizens was a key issue for Serbia. "The essential state, political, security and civilizational issue is the issue of the economy, new jobs, technological renewal of the society, protection of the standard of living, and pursuing a balanced social policy," added the Serbian president at the session of the Democratic Party executive council.
He also concluded that privatization in Serbia has been dramatically slowed down and that macroeconomic policy is having serious difficulties. "Privatization has been dramatically slowed down, and the population is not convinced in the transparency and fairness of the privatization process," added President Tadic.
He said that, according to one optimistic estimate, the country would enter the European Union in 2013, but according to a more pessimistic estimate that might occur as late as the year 2020. "It depends only on us when this will happen," concluded the Serbian president.
TADIC SAYS INDEPENDENT KOSOVO AND INDEPENDENT MONTENEGRO WOULD DESTABILIZE BALKANS
VIENNA, July 15 (Tanjug) - Serbian President Boris Tadic has told the Vienna daily Der Standard that he believed an independent Kosovo and an independent Montenegro would contribute to a destabilization of the region and the creating of new problems in the Balkans.
Kosovo's independence would create a domino effect, causing new unrests in the Balkans and destabilizing Serbia itself...And Montenegro's independence would also contribute to a destabilization of the region and cause new troubles," Tadic said in his interview to the Vienna daily on the occasion of today's visit to Belgrade by Austrian President Heinz Fischer. In fact, I believe that the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, strongly integrated with European security structures, would be a factor of stability in the Balkans, thanks to its geostrategic position," Tadic said.
laining the formula 'more than autonomy, less than independence' for Kosovo and Metohija province, Tadic explained that this meant, on the one side, that Kosovo must not have its own army, and, on the other side, that Belgrade does not have any intention of interfering in the political life of Kosovo Albanians. Institutional ties with Serbs who live in Kosovo are very important to us, the protection of the Christian culture in the province is very important," Tadic said, pointing out that the position of Serbs in Kosovo is tragic, which he said he had been able to see for himself when he was there."Serbs live in a ghetto there," he said, "and they do not enjoy any human rights."
DEMAQI'S STATEMENT PROVOKES FIERCE REACTIONS
BELGRADE, July 14 (Beta) - Leon Kojen, adviser to Serbian President Boris Tadic, said on July 14 that the statement of the chairman of the Authors Union of Kosovo, Adem Demaqi, about the possibility of new antiSerb riots in Kosovo was "a threat" and "a portent of new violence."
"Demaqi's announcement of more violence against the Serbs must be taken very seriously, because this is one of the most renowned and prominent Kosovo Albanian politicians," Kojen told BETA.
Success in the protection of members of the Serb community in Kosovo will be a measure of "how sustainable the idea of a multiethnic society in Kosovo truly is," the adviser to Boris Tadic said.
The chief of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo, Nebojsa Covic, said on July 14 that Demaqi's statement was a threat to the international community, the Kosovo Serbs and the refugees who wish to return to Kosovo. Covic told BK Television that the announcements of new bloodshed were "an old trick in a new wrapping." In his words, if these threats intimidate the international community, this will demonstrate its weakness.
The head of the Serb Ticket for Kosovo and Metohija, Oliver Ivanovic, said on July 14 that Demaqi's statement worried him. "Demaqi's statement more resembles a war cry or threat than the stand or assessment of a reasonable politician," Ivanovic told BETA. He believes that the purpose of Demaqi's statement was "primarily to intimidate the Serbs, of whom too many, in his judgment, remain in Kosovo, and are posing a threat to the standards or independence." According to Ivanovic, Demaqi's stand can be interpreted as "an open invitation to extremists to take things in their own hands."
The chairman of the Serb People's Council of northern Kosovo, Milan Ivanovic, said on July 14 that Adem Demaqi's statement was "the most flagrant form of political terrorism." Ivanovic labeled Demaqi as "the main ideologist of Albanian separatism," claiming that "his thinking out loud represents the true nature of 'political' activities of the Albanian authorities, who see violence and terror against their neighbors as a completely legitimate and justified means."
"Such statements cause unease among the Serbs and other ethnic minorities, and call for an adequate response by UNMIK and KFOR," Ivanovic said, adding that the Serbs feared in this case, too, that their response will "not be serious, especially that by UNMIK."
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
SITUATION IN KOSOVO STABLE, UNMIK SAYS
PRISTINA, July 14 (Beta) - UNMIK spokeswoman Marcia Poole said the situation in Kosovo was secure and stable and that UNMIK was cooperating with the police and KFOR is order for the situation to remain so.
She told BETA that she did not wish to comment on the statement of Adem Demaqi, the chairman of the Authors Union of Kosovo, about the possibility of more antiSerb riots in Kosovo, which has provoked numerous reactions from Serb politicians.
"I have not read the text, I've only heard reports in the media, but I would not comment on this in any case," the representative of the U.N. mission in Kosovo said.
"I can only speak in general terms and without reference to Mr. Demaqi's statement. From UNMIK's point of view, and this was recently stated by the special representative (of the U.N. in Kosovo), the situation is secure and stable," Marcia Poole said.
She added, however, that with the assessment of the implementation of standards in Kosovo imminent, on which the possible beginning of status talks depends, "the stakes are rising and with them, the risks."
LAVROV AND EIDE ON KOSOVO
MOSCOW, July 15 (Tanjug) - The United Nations (UN) mission to evaluate standards in Kosovo and Metohija province is important for the stability of the Balkans, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday, at the beginning of his meeting with UN secretary-general's special representative for Kosovo-Metohija, Ambassador Kai Eide.
The precise realization of this mandate, without haste, is of great importance not only for Kosovo, but also for the future stability of the entire region, Lavrov said.
Eide informed Lavrov about his recent visit to Kosovo and Metohija, pointing out that he had held over 100 meetings there in 10 days. This work is therefore based not only on what is read, but also on what is actually seen, Eide said.
VUJANOVIC SAYS KOSTUNICA REJECTED TALKS ON UNION OF INDEPENDENT STATES
BELGRADE, July 15 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic has said that, following the proposal by the Montenegrin leadership that Serbia and Montenegro form an alliance of independent states, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica had rejected talks on this subject and informed the Montenegrin leadership about that in writing.
Speaking in a broadcast by Belgrade-based BK TV on Thursday evening, Vujanovic said he was certain that Montenegrin state representatives, advocates of that republic's independence, had potential partners for talks in Serbia who would show understanding for this issue.
"I would never sacrifice Montenegro's independence for speedier admission to the European Union (EU)," Vujanovic was adamant. It is Montenegro's interest to have its state independence, and the best solution for the state union of Serbia and Montenegro (SCG) would be for it to become transformed into a union of independent states, he pointed out. Montenegrin citizens will declare themselves on the status of that republic at a referendum next year, Vujanovic said, adding that he would accept the will of the citizens "whatever it is."