Daily Survey

Belgrade, April 18, 2012

SERBIA

VATICAN: POPE DOES NOT PLAN TO VISIT SERBIA

VATICAN, April 17 (Tanjug) - Pope Benedict XVI does not plan to visit Serbia next year on the occasion of 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, Holy See spokesman Federico Lombardi has stated.The Belgrade-based Religious Information Agency (VIA) reported that Lombardi said that the contacts with the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate included Pope's possibile visit to Serbia that is Nis, southeast Serbia.Nis is the birthplace of Roman Emperor Constantine, who issued the Edict of Milan in 311, proclaiming religious toleration in the Roman Empire.However, this idea was not put into effect, Lombardi said, adding that the Pope was invited to visit Serbia by Boris Tadic, who recently stepped down as president.Italy's news agency ANSA reported Lombardi's statement that Pope's visit to Serbia in 2013 is not planned.Radio Vatican also aired this information.

DJUKIC-DEJANOVIC RECALLED THAT ANDRIC WAS A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

BELGRADE, April 17 (Tanjug) - The House of the National Assembly was presented as one of 15 locations included in the culture tour dubbed 'Following Andric's steps through Belgrade'.The guests in the parliament building were addressed by Serbian Parliament Speaker and Acting President Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, and Minister of Culture Predrag Markovic. Dejanovic recalled that Andric was a member of the Serbian parliament from 1950 to 1953, stressing that the fact should be viewed as a great honor for all present and future members of that institution.Minister Markovic said that this tour is the most beautiful gift that Belgrade and its citizens could ever get.The tour comprises locations and institutions which were crucial for Andric's life and work, such as Kalemegdan Fortress, the Association of Writers of Serbia, Hotel Moskva, apartment in Prizrenska Street, the Serbian Literary Cooperative, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pionir Park, Hotel Excelsior, National Library.The Tourist Organization of Belgrade will organize the tour regularly in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Belgrade City Museum.As proposed by the Ministry of Culture, the period between Oct 2011and Oct 2012 is to mark a few jubilees related to Andric's life and work - 50 years as of the Nobel Prize, 100 years as of his first work, and 120 as of birth.

AMBASSADOR: SUPPORT FOR HUNGARIAN ALLIANCE NOT INTERFERENCE

BELGRADE, April 16 (Beta) - The Hungarian ambassador to Serbia, Oskar Nikovic, stated that Budapest's support for the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians means support for the European option and does not represent interference in Serbia's internal affairs. In his comment on the April 27 visit of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Serbia, when he will declare support for the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, Nikovic said that this is not interference in Serbia's internal affairs, but an incentive for the Hungarians in Serbia to vote at the elections. "With Serbia, we have reached the phase where the home country's care for an ethnic minority in the neighboring state is not considered as interference in internal affairs, because care for ethnic minorities is not just an internal matter," Nikovic told Radio Belgrade. The ambassador recollected that Serbian President Tadic visited the Serb minority in Hungary several times, and that Hungarian officials had paid several visits to Serbia. The ambassador added that the reply to the question of why the Hungarian government had taken the side of just one party is simple: "If we believe that it is important for the Hungarians to be represented in the Parliament, then the votes should go to the party that has a chance of entering the Parliament."

KOSOVO & METOHIJA

KOCIJANCIC: VIOLENCE IS NOT ANSWER FOR NORTH KOSOVO

BRUSSELS, April 17 (Tanjug) - The EU welcomes the Serbian government's decision not to hold local elections in Kosovo, Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, stated. Kocijancic underlined that the European Commission (EC) had earlier taken a position that the holding of local elections in Kosovo would be contrary to the international law and the Resolution 1244 of the UN SC. The EU certainly supports the right of the Kosovo citizens holding dual citizenship to take part in general elections in Serbia and is ready to cooperate with everyone, including international organizations, so as to make this possible, Kocijancic pointed out.Referring to the threats of certain Kosovo leaders that they will resort to force to establish Pristina's authority in the northern part of the province, Kocijancic said that the EC believes violence is not the answer and that problems need to be resolved through dialogue.We call on both sides to abstain and to behave responsibly, Kocijancic stressed when asked how the EC looks upon recent statements of Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Redzepi and Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuci that they do not rule out the use of force in northern Kosovo.The tension in northern Kosovo has rapidly mounted after an ethnic Albanian was killed by a bomb planted on the window of his apartment in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

JOSIPOVIC SUPPORTS KOSOVO'S EUROPEAN AMBITION

ZAGREB, April 16 (Beta) - Croatian President Ivo Josipovic stated, at a meeting with the Kosovo deputy premier, Edita Tahiri, that he supported the European ambition of Kosovo and offered the help Croatia can provide to Pristina on the path of accomplishing this ambition. The statement from the office of the Croatian head of state said that Josipovic and Tahiri, who is paying an official visit to Croatia, both said they were pleased with their countries' very good bilateral relations. Josipovic welcomed the agreements reached between Kosovo and Serbia, aimed at reaching permanent stability, security and peace in the region, it said in the statement Kosovo deputy premier was received by the chairman of the Croatian Parliament's Committee for Foreign Affairs, Milorad Pupovac, who stressed that the region's security and stability are important for Croatia just like "the European prospects" of the neighboring countries, the Parliament's media service reported.

KOSOVO POLICE SAFEGUARDS DEVIC INSTEAD OF KFOR

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, April 17 (Tanjug) - The Kosovo police announced on Tuesday that it took on the duty of securing the Devic Monastery (northern Kosovo) from KFOR.Kosovo Police regional commander Nehat Taci signed with representatives of EULEX and KFOR an agreement which stipulates that the Kosovo Police should safeguard the Devic Monastery.The trilateral agreement will be carried out as part of the duties and obligations related to the protection and preservation of cultural and religious monuments.The Devic Monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church was set ablaze during the unrests stirred by Kosovo Albanians in March 2004, and then partly restored.The monastery was founded around 1434 by Serbian medieval ruler Djuradj Brankovic.