Daily Survey

Belgrade, June 18, 2012



BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –The summit of South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) heads of state and government ended today in Belgrade without its participants adopting a joint declaration, since the representative of Albania had objections to the text of the draft document.After the participants were presented with the draft declaration, Deputy Foreign Minister of Albania Selim Belortaja stated that, despite the good will he had when he came to the summit, he cannot support the text, since, as he put it, it lacks constructiveness.We cannot accept this declaration, because it is necessary for it to reflect the significance of agreements reached between Belgrade and Pristina and their full implementation, Belortaja said, after which Foreign Minister Jeremic, who presided over the meeting at the moment, noted that the declaration was not adopted, because of opposition from one country.Previously, Belortaja conveyed in his speech Tirana's stance that Kosovo should be allowed to become an equal member of the SEECP and other regional initiatives.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –President Nikolic expressed regret over the fact that a joint declaration was not adopted at the conclusion of South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) although members of the initiative agree with its goals.During a joint news conference with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and his Macedonian counterpart Djordje Ivanov, Nikolic stated that the declaration of the summit should be adopted by a consensus which was not reached because Albanian representatives insisted on one point no other member demanded.They insisted that SEECP should open a new chapter and that the Pristina administration should be presented in a way which is not acceptable because it was not agreed on so far, Nikolic stated.According to him, this cast a slight shade on a successful meeting which was organised to the satisfaction of all participants.Nikolic expressed hope that SEECP summits in the coming times would not be deprived of the final act.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –The South-East European region has made progress in cooperation and its EU path, participants concluded at the Summit of heads of state and government of countries in the South-East European Process (SEECP) held in Belgrade on Friday.Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan stated that regional cooperation was especially important in the times of the global crisis.According to him, the time of crisis can be a challenge and one must not yield to protectionism because history has demonstrated that this is not the best recipe for recovery and that a better solution lies in strengthening regional cooperation and integration.Romanian Foreign Minister Andrei Marga said that his country continued to support the European path of all regional countries and noted that some countries had made essential progress since the previous SEECP summit in Budva.State Secretary at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Bozo Cerar stated that the region had found the courage and wisdom to change the logic of the past, because it believed that cooperation needed to take the place of competition since things that are good for the region are also positive for each individual country.More can and should be done to implement the agreements reached at the summit, Cerar said and added that regional cooperation had to be brought to the level of tangible projects. He drew attention to international projects in railway and road traffic.Secretary General of the Greek Foreign Minister Yannis-Alexis Zepos said that the integrity and credibility of the EU enlargement process for South-East Europe had to be strengthened.Over the course of last year, we have seen a positive turn of events in Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. I believe we need to maintain our stride and keep building on this impulse, said Zepos.Croatia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nebojska Koharovic said that in today's globalized world, regional cooperation was becoming increasingly important, both for reasons of economic prosperity and for preserving regional identity."Croatia is an example that the reform process can lead to meeting EU standards and I hope this will serve as an incentive for other countries in the region. Croatia will continue offering technical and expert assistance to aspiring EU member countries," Koharovic said, adding that his government also intended to sign bilateral agreement to formalize this role.OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said in his address that the SEECP was an important organization whose approach was similar to that of OSCE.He noted that the OSCE had focused for two decades on building partnerships and offering support in overcoming the legacy of the past.Talking about the 40th anniversary of OSCE coming up in 2015, Zannier said it was significant that Serbia would then be chairing the organization which had done a lot in this part of Europe.We hope European integration has inspired a whole series of positive changes in the region. Progress in the region is tied above all to the readiness to carry out reforms, said Zannier.Hido Biscevic, secretary general of the Regional Cooperation Council, believes the changes since the last summit are obvious."Countries have made significant progress on the path toward the EU, they are now reaping the rewards of regional cooperation and are determined to solve problems from the past," he said.We need to find better modalities of fostering cooperation and make it more effective, stressed Biscevic.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –During bilateral meetings held within the South-East European Process (SEECP) Summit, President Tomislav Nikolic called for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between the countries of that region, particularly the economic one, the Serbian president's press service released."The President dedicated particular attention to the cooperation between the Southeast European countries so that, by sharing their experiences, they would succeed in jointly overcoming problems created by the global economic crisis," the statement reads.According to the statement, Nikolic conferred with President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic, Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev, Moldova Nicolae Timofti, member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yannis-Alexis Zepos.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic stated that he is ready for talks with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic."I pose no obstacle for talks. I expect the beginning of our full cooperation after the period of initial disorientation in certain regional states," Nikolic said responding to the journalists' questions after the regional South-East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit held in the Serbian capital.Nikolic added that he "will be available for talks on the future of our citizens and peoples" when Josipovic and Izetbegovic make up their minds.Josipovic and Izetbegovic did not attend the inauguration of the newly elected Serbian president, holding against him the statements on Vukovar and Srebrenica, nor did they appear at today's summit in Belgrade.Nikolic added that all countries at the SEECP Summit were represented as they though they should be."Serbia's presence was the strongest, and will continue to be so at all gatherings," Nikolic announced.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Goran Svilanovic said that the biggest challenge facing the organization is to make sure that all countries in the region are tackling a deep economic and financial crisis in an adequate way."The real challenges of today are those related to economy, unemployment, finding a sustainable model of social and economic growth," Svilanovic said for the Monday issue of the Belgrade-based daily Danas.Svilanovic, who was elected as RCC secretary general in Belgrade on Friday, said that the political issues such as the status of Kosovo, smooth running of all levels of government in BiH, or the use of the name 'Macedonia' are taking on a different dimension in the conditions of the crisis and joblessness."In such conditions, my job and RCC task is to back all democratic forces in the region, which will try to hear their neighbours out and understand their expectations and interests, while at the same time acting in full accordance with their national interests," Svilanovic underlined.When asked to qualify current relations in the region and name positive and negative examples of that cooperation, Svilanovic said that "the relations between countries are good", which was confirmed by the summit of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP) that was held in Belgrade on Friday."We are linked by the common history, shared language and cultural background. We also have shared aspirations towards the EU," Svilanovic said.



BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –Vuk Jeremic, Serbia's foreign minister and the newly elected president of the UN General Assembly, has confirmed that his team on the East River will include former foreign ministers of Italy and Spain, Franco Frattini and Miguel Angel Moratinos, and that he is talking to several other "big names", including "influential people from Russia.""Serbia's chairmanship of the UNGA will not go unnoticed. It will be boosted by familiar names and a strong team which will be quite visible on the world scene," Jeremic told B92 television.Asked whether his presidency could lead to division in the General Assembly, just like the vote in which he was elected, Jeremic noted that Serbia's foreign policy "has won this referendum." "We are presiding over the entire world and we must act in line with its interests. We must be conciliators. This was a vote on Serbia's foreign policy in a way, and Serbia has won this referendum," said Jeremic.Asked whether he was entering the UN Headquarters on the East River as "a Russian man," as he has been called by many Western countries, including the United States, Jeremic said he could not answer such questions."We have been elected to head the UN, which implies a sort of dignity that prevents me from answering such questions," he said.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –Russian Ambassador in Belgrade Alexander Konuzin said that, unlike some other ambassadors, he did not give suggestions for the formation of the new Serbian government, but stressed that it should reflect the mood of the voters expressed at the polls.I know that some of my colleagues gave suggestions as to how and when Serbia could form a government, he said. I had no suggestions to give for one simple reason - that Russia will always treat with respect the decisions taken by those elected by the Serbian people, Konuzin told Tanjug.According to Konuzin, the elections reflected the mood of voters in Serbia, and the task of political forces in the country, including MPs, is to reflect that mood and form a government in accordance with the constitution and laws. I understand that Serbia has so far failed to form a parliamentary majority due to the discrepancies that exist between political parties elected to the National Assembly, the Russian ambassador said.He added that this is an internal problem of Serbia. Russia will, Konuzin said, regardless of what government will be formed, continue to consistently develop relations with Serbia. Asked whether, as claimed by some media, that a suggestion was made to the socialist leader Ivica Dacic during his recent visit to Russia that a government be formed with the progressives, Konuzin said that Dacic was in Russia for consultations on security issues.According to Konuzin, Dacic, as the interior minister, had appropriate contacts in Russia.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade announced on Twitter Friday the appointment of Michael Kirby, presently Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of State, as new U.S. ambassador to Serbia.The White House announced Thursday, also on Twitter, U.S. President Barack Obama's intention to appoint Kirby as ambassador to Serbia.Kirby will replace Mary Warlick as head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Belgrade. Warlick has been holding the position since 2010.


VRANJE, June 16 (Tanjug) –A team of experts from the Archeological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU) and the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade have discovered an Early-Bronze-Age necropolis in the vicinity of Vranje.The necropolis is located at the Maniste dig in the village of Ranutovac, three kilometers north of Vranje, on the route of Corridor X. Aleksandar Bulatovic, the coordinator of a project of preservation on the Corridor X route, told the necropolis contained remains of the deceased who were burned in funeral pyres. "The necropolis dates back to the Early Bronze Age - based on our initial assessments between 2,000 and 1,800 BC, and it is significant because it is the only fully preserved necropolis from this period in the central Balkans," said Bulatovic.It is the most important discovery made to date on the Corridor X route, he said. "At the same site, we found multiple ceramic objects, which look quite unusual for this area, and several containers whose use is unknown," said Bulatovic.The archeological material is being processed at the National Museum in Vranje, where it will later be exhibited.The Serbian section of Corridor X, stretching from Grabovnica near Leskovac to Presevo on the Macedonian border, has 33 registered archeological sites, five of which are yet to be explored.



BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said late Friday that Albania had remained isolated after blocking a joint declaration at the regional summit in Belgrade.By this document, Serbia has blocked Kosovo, and it will continue doing so in all the organizations that only sovereign states can enjoy membership of, Jeremic told B92. "Albania was left alone. All the others agreed on the text. They (Albania) found the text unacceptable because Kosovo was not really treated as an equal member," said Jeremic, adding that "there will be no seats for Kosovo at places reserved for sovereign states as long as Serbia is present there."Jeremic was asked to comment on recent claims by unnamed sources in his ministry that Miroslav Lajcak, when he had visited Serbia in his capacity as EU envoy after the elections - he had brought a serious message from Brussels demanding from Serbia to give up on its "both the EU and Kosovo" policy, to cut its ties with the Serbs in the north of the province and to dismantle the so-called parallel institutions. "It is not the first time ultimatums are coming to us here. It is necessary to receive them calmly and respond in accordance with our policy. I hope that the new government will not change its attitude when it comes to Kosovo and the EU," said Jeremic."As long as there is a democratic order in this country, the answer to (the demand for) a waiver of this policy will be 'no'," stressed Jeremic.Commenting on the situation of not having top senior officials of Croatia and part of Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency present at the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit, Jeremic said that Serbia had invited heads of state and ministers of foreign affairs of the 12 member states of the organization and every country had been free to decide at which level they would be represented."Belgrade is an open city and Serbia was chosen to lead the UN. Our doors are open to all who want to come here," he said.


LESAK, June 16 (Tanjug) –Serbia's Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanovic said he expected EULEX would respect the agreement reached in Brussels regarding license plates and noted that the agreement did not apply to northern Kosovo, despite the fact some were trying to abuse paragraph seven of the agreement.We got assurances from EU mediator Robert Cooper that due to the specificity of the situation in northern Kosovo, the KS or RKS plates will not be used there until further notice, Bogdanovic said in Lesak. Obviously, the technical dialogue has come upon some problems, due to differing interpretations of some segments, and some things need to be clarified with all relevant officials and with Pristina, so that we can see how to proceed, he said.Today's protest drive to Jarinje and Brnjak showed the dissatisfaction of the people in the north, who do not want to accept Kosovo plates and personal documents, said Bogdanovic."From EULEX we want status neutrality and ask that they accept the will of the people and the agreement from Brussels, without siding with anyone," said Bogdanovic. He believes a compromise solution can ensure peace.


NOVI SAD, June 16 (Tanjug) –Oliver Ivanovic, state secretary with the Serbian Ministry for Kosovo, has said that Pristina and certain international circles are using the fact that Serbia still has not formed a new government to change the situation in the northern part of the province."The issue of the north must somehow be defined, in a political and legal sense, because the constant uncertainly we have today represents an enormous potential for minor and major incidents and further instability," warned Ivanovic.Commenting on KFOR's blocking of roads leading to Zubin Potok and the Brnjak checkpoint in a piece he penned for the Novi Sad-based daily Dnevnik, Ivanovic said that "every change like this lead to the creation of some 'new reality' which will then be taken as the starting point when the time for serious talks comes once again."While KFOR is becoming more and more active, the people in the north expect a clear message and protection from Belgrade, said Ivanovic, adding that nothing is happening because a new government has not been formed.Ivanovic pointed out that living conditions of the Kosovo Serbs could only be improved through talks, which would not only be mediated by the international community, but whose results and implementation would also come with international guarantees.



BRUSSELS, June 16 (Tanjug) –EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fuele issued the following statement: "We welcome the appointment of Mr Goran Svilanovic as the new Secretary-General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). We are confident that Mr Svilanovic will provide new impetus to regional cooperation by ensuring that the RCC becomes the principal organisation of South East Europe to strengthen regional ownership, increase efficiency and ensure inclusiveness in regional cooperation.Regional cooperation is an essential element of the Stabilisation and Association Process and consequently one of the criteria for the evaluation of candidates and potential candidates. Moreover, regional cooperation is a cornerstone of European integration. It is one of the founding principles of the EU itself. It has an inherent value for the region, for the accession process and beyond.We also take this opportunity to thank the outgoing Secretary General Biscevic, for his tireless efforts in setting up the RCC structures and ensuring that it has become the operational arm of the South East European Cooperation Process and the main interlocutor of the EU on regional issues", the statement says.


BELGRADE, June 16 (Tanjug) –The European Council has no secret conditions for Serbia, since it said in March what it expected from the country, Danish Ambassador to Serbia Mette Kjuel Nielsen has said.The ambassador pointed out that the Danish EU presidency would like to see progress in normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, including the implementation of agreements reached so far.The opening of negotiations on Serbia's EU accession depends on steps Serbia will take, Nielsen told Monday's edition of the Belgrade daily Blic.We would like this to happen by the end of the year. If the same ambition is shared by President (Tomislav) Nikolic and the new government, and if actual deeds follow, there is a chance. However, I would like to stress that there is very little time, she said.When asked whether the EU has changed its stance on Serbia after Nikolic was elected as the president, Nielsen said that the EU observes concrete things, deeds and policies, and that it would like to see continuity in good regional cooperation and full commitment to the process of reconciliation.The ambassador expressed hope that the new Serbian government will be formed as soon as possible.She also voiced belief that the government will be clearly EU-oriented.Serbia has to continue its EU path. In the light of huge economic challenges Serbia is facing, it will be necessary to reach a joint position on how to address the challenges. Belgrade should also resume its dialogue with Pristina, including further progress in finding a sustainable solution, the Danish ambassador said.Nielsen also pointed out that the investment environment is important for foreign companies, but also the degree of simplicity with which they can start and do business in Serbia.