Belgrade, June 21, 2012
KOSOVO & METOHIJA
EU MEDIATOR MEETS WITH NIKOLIC'S ADVISOR
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –Robert Cooper, the EU mediator in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, met after with Marko Djuric, advisor to the Serbian president.The meeting will focus on the progress of the dialogue and implementation of the agreements reached so far. According to sources from Brussels, Cooper has brought to Belgrade all the agreements reached so far.The European mediator is meeting with Djuric because President Nikolic is attending the UN summit in Rio de Janeiro. Specifying what has been agreed in the dialogue should allow the president and the people to be informed about the dynamics of the talks and how Brussels sees the agreements made to date, Djuric said before the meeting."This is an important component that needs to be considered when formulating a future strategy for solving this problem," said Djuric, adding that he and Cooper would also talk about all the key stumbling blocks in the dialogue. Djuric invited officials of the government's office for dialogue with Pristina and of relevant ministries to attend the meeting.Invitations were extended to Dejan Pavicevic, director of the government office for the dialogue, and Sergej Bulajic, the chief of staff of the minister for Kosovo. Later today, Cooper will meet with head of Belgrade's negotiating team in the dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic.
STEFANOVIC: COOPER TO EXPLAIN FOOTNOTE DEAL INTERPRETATION
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –Head of Belgrade's team in dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic stated Wednesday that EU mediator in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue Robert Cooper is coming to Belgrade to explain his interpretation of certain agreements from Brussels, primarily the one on Kosovo's regional representation.His interpretation, as Stefanovic put it, is diametrically opposite to the one of Belgrade and in line with Pristina's interests.Stefanovic told a press conference at the Serbian government's building that Belgrade will implement the agreement only when the document is institutionally regulated in a manner agreed, which means that Kosovo's name has to be followed by the entire text of the footnote.The footnote says that Kosovo is represented without prejudice to its status, based on Resolution 1244 and advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice.Stefanovic pointed out that after Cooper's contrary interpretation, it turns out that the issue of regional representation is not resolved, since, as he underlined, it was agreed that an asterisk on Kosovo's nameplate be followed by the full text of the footnote.Stefanovic also said that, unfortunately, the agreement was interpreted in accordance with Pristina's interest, that is that is does not specifically say where the footnote should be written."If it (the agreement) does not say that the footnote is on the nameplate, does that mean it says the footnote is in documents, like Cooper claims? Where is the footnote then?" asked Stefanovic.
COOPER WELCOMES SERBIA'S READINESS TO NEGOTIATE
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –EU mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina Robert Cooper welcomed Wednesday Serbia's readiness to negotiate at a higher level the key issues related to Kosovo and Metohija, it was announced from the office of President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic.Advisor to the president Marko Djuric, who spoke with Cooper, said after the meeting at the Presidency of Serbia that it was important for the general public in Serbia to be fully informed about all aspects of the agreements reached and the political prospects for resolving the Kosovo and Metohija issue.The statement says that the discussions held up to now are an essential element for achieving consensus among the relevant political factors in Serbia over Kosovo and Metohija.This is one of the goals of the president and an essential precondition for protecting the interests of the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija, Djuric said.Today's meeting sent a clear message that ensuring peace and security for all citizens who live in the province is absolutely imperative, the statement says.Cooper visited Belgrade on Wednesday at the invitation by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, and he conferred with president's advisor Marko Djuric and head of the Belgrade's negotiating team Stefanovic.According to the announcements issued by Brussels, Cooper will next visit Pristina where he should meet with head of Pristina's negotiating team Edita Tahiri.
STEFANOVIC EXPECTS NEW ISSUES IN DIALOGUE
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –Head of the Belgrade team in dialogue with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic said that Serbia will soon have to face issues such as the area code for Kosovo and opening offices of Pristina in Belgrade, and of Belgrade in Pristina.These are issues that await us, he said. He emphasized that these issues were not part of the dialogue so far, but will certainly be future topics.Stefanovic said that, in connection with the area code for Kosovo, Belgrade's position that it can only be a sub-code of the Republic of Serbia, while for Pristina it is important that it be completely different.These are issues that we have to face and have not yet opened, Stefanovic said. Stefanovic also said that the previous rounds of dialogue focused on energy and telecommunications, but no agreement reached.
EU PLANS JAHJAGA-NIKOLIC MEETING
BELGRADE/PRISTINA, June 20 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic is ready to meet with his Kosovo counterpart Atifete Jahjaga, EP Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin has said, while the Pristina daily Koha ditore reported that the EU "has optimism" that the meeting can be organized.Unnamed top officials of the international community told the daily that the EU is working on arranging a meeting between Jahhaga and Nikolic, which, as they put it, would imply progress in the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, from the technical dialogue to the one at the highest level.During his last week's visit to Brussels, Nikolic voiced readiness to talk to anyone from Kosovo except for Prime Minister Hasim Taci, and, as Kacin said, this means that the initiative for a high level meeting between Belgrade and Pristina practically came from Belgrade, the Radio Free Europe reported.Koha Ditore's international sources do not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Taci and Boris Tadic, if he is elected Prime Minister, but noted that the Jahjaga-Nikolic meeting is more likely to happen.The daily also quoted unnamed officials close to the office of Catherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, who said that the agenda of fostering the relations between Belgrade and Pristina was clarified after Nikolic's visit to Brussels and his readiness to cooperate.According to the sources, besides the high level meeting, the international officials also have a list of tasks Belgrade and Pristina should accomplish by the end of 2012 - such as implementing agreements reached during the dialogue in Brussels and reaching new ones, including agreements on energy and telecommunications.
JAHJAGA READY FOR MEETINGS IN INTEREST OF KOSOVO
PRISTINA, June 21 (Tanjug) –At the beginning of her tenure, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga that she was ready to meet with anyone, anywhere and at any time if it was in "the interest of the people and the state of Kosovo", public affairs advisor to the president Vlahiu Arber has said.Vlahiu told Radio Free Europe that the president had given her strong support to the process of the EU facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina taking place in Brussels.President Jahjaga sees the dialogue in Brussels as the only way Serbia can be made to respect the international norms with regard to Kosovo and its people,said Vlahiu. President Jahjaga emphasizes that it is necessary to apply all the agreements reached so far in the dialogue between the "two countries," he added.The statement from the President Jahjaga's office came after Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, during his stay in Brussels, expressed his willingness to meet with Jahjaga.
STAVRIDIS: NATO WILL NOT REDUCE TROOPS IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, June 20 (Tanjug) –NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Admiral James Stavridis has stated in Pristina that the Alliance will not reduce the number of its troops in Kosovo.During a meeting with Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga, Stavridis said that NATO stays committed to creating safe and peaceful environment for all the citizens of Kosovo, the Kosovo president's office released in a statement.Jahjaga said that the north remains a major challenge for Kosovo institutions and voiced strong support for NATO's operations aimed at removing roadblocks and creating conditions for freedom of movement of people and goods on the entire territory of Kosovo.She condemned the bomb attack on KFOR near the Brnjak administrative crossing that left one KFOR soldier injured. Jahjaga called on KFOR to increase alertness in the period of opening the administrative office for northern Mitrovica, and during the meeting the two officials also discussed the future of the Kosovo Security Force and achievement of its full operational capacity, the statement reads.
BOGDANOVIC: ANOTHER PROVOCATION BY PRISTINA
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –Minister for Kosovo-Metohija Goran Bogdanovic qualified as another provocation by Pristina late on Wednesday the fact that the Kosovo government opened its office in northern Kosovska Mitrovica and appointed Adrijana Hodzic as its head.Pristina officials attempted to open the office on several occasions in keeping with the Ahtisaari Plan, but this does not mean that Serbs should accept the office, Bogdanovic said in an interview for Radio and Television of Serbia.The Kosovo government appointed Adrijana Hodzic as head of its office in northern Kosovska Mitrovica on Wednesday.According to earlier announcements, the task of the Administrative office is to provide services to citizens and coordinate investments in this part of Kosovo, and Hodzic will have the authorities of the municipal president.
NIKOLIC DISCUSSES ECONOMY WITH STOLTENBERG & PINERA
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic met Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on the sidelines of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.During the talks, Nikolic underlined the importance of upgrading and stepping up cooperation and strengthening economic and cultural ties between these countries and Serbia, the president's office released.The Serbian president told Stoltenberg that Serbia will stay on its EU path, and the Norwegian prime minister took this opportunity to congatulate Nikolic on the victory in the presidential election and underline that the friendly relations between two peoples date back to World War II. "That is important for Serbia's future," Nikolic said, adding that Serbia will spare no effort to improve the business climate with a view to attracting more foreign investments.Nikolic also thanked Stoltenberg on the interest that Norwegian companies had shown in Serbia, and voiced hope that more investments would follow in the coming period.During the first meeting with Nikolic which was held at his own request, the Chilean president said that efforts should be put in improving the economic cooperation between the two countries, which is in the interest of citizens of the two friendly countries. Rio+20, the three-day UN Conference on Sustainable Development is bringing together more than 100 heads of state and government. Nikolic heads the Serbian delegation which also includes Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic. At the Rio Summit, world leaders are discussing steps to root out poverty and protect the environment. Opening the summit, Ban Ki-moon warned that "time is not on our side" for fixing a mounting list of problems.
RIO SUMMIT BEGINS, NIKOLIC HEADS SERBIAN DELEGATION
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 20 (Tanjug) –The three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 started Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro where over 100 heads of state and government, including President Tomislav Nikolic, will try to form a 'green planet pact' which would save billions of people from poverty.Ahead of the Earth Summit, at which delegation is also represented by Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Minister of the Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic, an agreement was reached on the draft document with guidelines for the next decade, which will be submitted to world leaders for signing.The draft document points to numerous issues around the world and the ways of tackling them. The text entitled The Future We Want contains guidelines for sustainable development in the forthcoming decade and later.The Serbian delegation will host a panel entitled "The Green Economy: Achievements and Perspectives in the Adriatic-Ionian Region."
US: SERBIA MAKES PROGRESS IN COUNTERING TRAFFICKING
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –The U.S. deeply believes that Serbia has made progress in tackling the human trafficking issue, U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick stated in Belgrade on Wednesday commenting on the report of the U.S. Department of State which recognises the efforts of the Serbian government in the fight against human trafficking.Serbia made progress in resolving the issue and took many positive steps so as to provide security for victims of human trafficking, Warlick told reporters during a visit to the collective refugee centre in Krnjaca near Belgrade. She added that the U.S. believes Serbia would continue paying attention to the important problem.Warlick assessed that it is exceptionally important for the government to do more in the prosecution of individuals dealing in human trafficking, in addition to the efforts invested in victim protection. Certain activities should be implemented so as to put an end to trafficking while at the same time achieving good coordination in the region so as to ensure that the search for a solution to the problem remains one of the top priorities of national governments, the ambassador noted.The U.S. Department of State noted in its report that Serbia has not yet fully met the standards needed for rooting out trafficking, but the Serbian government is investing considerable efforts so as to achieve this. U.S. officials also stated that Serbia has made notable progress in the protection trafficking victims.
WARLICK AND CUCIC TOUR REFUGEE CENTER
BELGRADE, June 20 (Tanjug) –US Ambassador to Belgrade Mary Warlick and Commissioner for Refugees at the Serbian government Vladimir Cucic toured on Wednesday, on the occasion of International Refugee Day, a collective center in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Krnjaca which provides accommodation for 280 refugees and displaced people.On that occasion, the officials visited two refugee families from Croatia, the Pozar and Andjusic families, with whom they talked about the problems they are facing in everyday life. In both cases, the condition of both spouses is seriously jeopardised, neither member of their family has a job, and they are living in 28m2, that is 15 m2.They informed Warlick and Cucic that they are living in extremely difficult conditions, that they did not manage to claim a pension in Croatia, and that living in a collective center for few decades is taking the toll on them, making them lose hope that they will ever manage to resolve their housing issue permanently.Ambassador Warlick said she is deeply touched by the stories of refugees and that increased efforts should be put in finding an adequate housing solution for refugees and displaced people. She recalled that since 1997, the U.S. earmarked more than USD 30 million for the resolution of the refugee issue in Serbia, noting that her country is still a donor within the regional project aimed at closing collective centers in all countries.