Belgrade, January 20, 2012
SYDOW: SERBIA HAS DONE A LOT ABOUT KOSOVO ISSUE
BELGRADE, Jan. 19 (Tanjug) - Members of the Permanent Delegation of the Serbian Parliament in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), headed by Dragoljub Micunovic, conferred in the parliament on Thursday with Chairman of the PACE Political Affairs Committee Bjorn von Sydow who stated that Serbia has invested a lot of effort in the search for a solution to the Kosovo Metohija issue.
The efforts which Serbia invested were also acknowledged by the European Commission in its report on Serbia's progress on the EU path, Sydow stated as quoted in the release issued by the Serbian parliament.
Sydow pointed out that his visit is aimed at getting the best possible image as regards the situation in Kosovo Metohija and the stands of Serbia's competent government bodies, all with a view to preparing the report which should be adopted by PACE.
Head of the Permanent Delegation Dragoljub Micunovic underlined that the Kosovo Metohija issue should be resolved with the participation of the international community.
Micunovic reiterated the proposition for an international conference to be staged under the UN auspices that would gather representatives of Serbia, Kosovo and EULEX, and which should lead to a lasting sustainable solution.
He assessed that the report of the Council of Europe has to state that there is no respect for human rights in Kosovo Metohija and that there is no rule of law, and illustrated this point by the fact that not a single murder or missing persons' case has been prosecuted so far.
In the release, the parliament stated that members of the Serbian delegation underscored that the country's strategic goal is embodied in the EU, with the preservation of interests in Kosovo, and pointed out that a unilateral solution to the issue would not be sustainable and that both sides' interests have to be taken into consideration.
According to the release, participants in the talks concluded that EULEX has not implemented activities defined in the PACE Resolution on human organ trafficking in Kosovo and that through its actions, the international mission contributes to the distrust among citizens in northern part of the province.
Sydow backed the continuation of Belgrade Pristina talks and added that all participants are actively and unambiguously supporting the search for a compromise solution to the situation in northern Kosovo Metohija.
He underlined that prolongation of the current situation does not serve the longterm interests of either side in the talks and added that it is necessary for all relevant sides to make concessions because imposed solutions will not bring longterm stability.
PACE ON SERBIA'S HONORING OF OBLIGATIONS ON JAN 25
BELGRADE, Jan. 19 (Tanjug) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will open the first part of the 2012 Ordinary Session in Strasbourg on January 23, as part of which the report entitled "The honoring of obligations and commitments by Serbia" will be discussed on January 25.
Head of Serbia's standing delegation to the PACE Dragoljub Micunovic told Tanjug that apart from several remarks, the report is rather positive.
"The report is rather positive, it contains two or three remarks, and we expect that after this debate, we will enter a new phase the postmonitoring situation, when there is no strict monitoring as to whether the country observes all the values of the Council of Europe," Micunovic said.
The Committee on the Honoring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe noted that Serbia had met a great number of obligations and achieved considerable progress, notably in the field of regional cooperation and cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, while continuing the dialogue with Pristina by peaceful and diplomatic means, the PACE published on its website.
The Monitoring Committee considers that the Serbian authorities need to make further progress to adopt the necessary legislation and ensure its effective implementation in four essential areas the settingup of an independent and efficient justice system, independent media, the fight against corruption and the fight against discrimination.
The first part of the 2012 Ordinary Session will last until January 27.
The Serbian parliament's delegation to the PACE is comprised of 14 members, and Serbia has been a fully fledged member of the organisation since 2003.
SAF TO PARTICIPATE IN UN AND EU MISSIONS IN 2012
BELGRADE, Jan. 20 (Tanjug) - The Serbian government adopted Friday two decisions regarding the participation of the Serbian Armed Forces (VS) in multinational operations of the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) in 2012, Director of the government's media relations office Milivoje Mihajlovic said Thursday.
The two decisions will be sent to the parliament for confirmation, Mihajlovic told a press conference following the government's session.
Mihajlovic said that VS members would take part in UN peacekeeping missions in Congo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Lebanon and Cyprus.
They will also participate in a UN mission for training security forces in Somalia and Uganda and in an EU military operation in Somalia, Mihajlovic added.
Taking an active part in UN and EU peacekeeping missions, Serbia is showing it is actively contributing to maintaining international peace and security and confirms the consistency of our country's foreign policy in that all open issues can be solved in a peaceful manner, respecting international law, said Mihajlovic.
The Serbian government also adopted a draft law on imports and exports of dualuse goods, which should provide a better system of control and supervision of imports, exports and transits of dualuse goods, as well as offering brokerage services and technical assistance for the sake of protection of defense, security and foreign policy interests of Serbia.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
NATO COMMITTEE: FIND POLITICAL SOLUTION FOR NORTHERN KOSOVO
BRUSSELS, Jan. 20 (Beta) - The chief of the NATO Military Committee, Gen. Knud Bartels, stated in Brussels on Jan. 19 that NATO is helping to create room for finding a political solution between the majority Serb population in the north of Kosovo, the government in Belgrade and the authorities in Pristina.
Gen. Bartels said this after the end of the session of the NATO Military Committee, where top military officials of the Alliance participated, and pointed out that the situation in northern Kosovo was "stable but fragile."
He explained that KFOR's direct task in northern Kosovo is to create a framework for stability and freedom of movement. We know from earlier experience that the situation there can change very quickly, Gen. Bartels said and in this context recalled the events of 2004 caused by incidents on the Ibar river, which led to an escalation.
Gen. Bartels explained that the NATO Military Committee had thoroughly considered the situation in Kosovo, saying that the goal is the stabilization of the situation in Kosovo, and that KFOR is working on it step by step.
MALMSTROM ON VISA DIALOG WITH KOSOVO
PRISTINA, Jan. 19 (Beta) - EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecillia Malmstrom said in Pristina on Jan. 19 that her visit to Kosovo officially marked the launch of a dialog on visa liberalization for Kosovo's citizens.
After meeting Kosovo Premier Hashim Thaci, Malmstrom said the procedure was the same for all, noting that the dialog first had to start, after which certain preconditions would be set that would lead to a visa liberalization guideline. She especially underlined the problem of the return and reintegration of persons who had been returned from the EU countries.
"When and how soon Kosovo's citizens will receive the privilege to travel visa free will not entirely depend on the constant efforts of the Kosovo cabinet to achieve reforms in the rule of law, but on concrete progress in the field," Malmstrom explained.
The citizens of Kosovo are the only ones in the West Balkans who need visas in order to travel to the EU.
In Pristina, Malmstrom talked with EULEX chief Xavier de Marnhac. They discussed visa liberalization and the Commission's decision to launch the visa dialog with Kosovo.
Malmstrom praised the work of EULEX and their contribution to the visa dialog process.
"We will benefit very much from the experience and work of EULEX: the knowledge that EULEX has, and the excellent cooperation with the Kosovo authorities," said the EU commissioner.
DENIAU: TADIC'S PROPOSAL OPENS DOOR TO LASTING SOLUTION
BELGRADE, Jan. 19 (Tanjug) - French Ambassador to Serbia François Xavier Deniau said on Thursday that Serbian President Boris Tadic's fourpoint proposal could open the door to a lasting solution for Kosovo while respecting its territorial integrity.
He told Tanjug Tadic's proposal was received with interest, adding that it was referred to as the four points and included decentralization, guarantees for the Serbs in enclaves, a protectorate for the Serbian Orthodox Church and efforts to solve property issues.
France thinks there are elements in the proposal that could help find a lasting and solid solution for Kosovo, Deniau noted, adding that those elements involved respect for Kosovo's territorial integrity.
Tadic recently revealed a plan for a solution for Kosovo that comprised four points: a special solution for Serb monasteries and control of monastery facilities, special guarantees for the Serbs in enclaves, addressing the issues regarding the property of Serbia and its citizens and a special solution for northern Kosovo.