Belgrade, 21. 07. 2008.
C O N T E N T :
SERBIA – UN
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SERBIA – EU
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KOSOVO – METOHIJA
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SERBIA – UN
JEREMIC: OBJECTION TO UNMIK RECONFIGURATION WITHOUT BELGRADE
BELGRADE, July 19 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has said that he had informed UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon in New York about Serbia's strong objection to the opening of the process of reconfiguration of the international civil mission in Kosovo and Metohija without Belgrade's participation. If the civil presence in Kosovo and Metohija has to be reconfigured, Belgrade has to be part of the talks, the Serbian state radio and television RTS reported Jeremic as saying. Minister Jeremic also said that Serbia nay "unambiguously count with the support of Russia and China" in this. Ban Ki-Moon stated on Friday that he had instructed his envoy in Kosovo and Metohija Lamberto Zannier to start the reconfiguration of UNMIK. In his latest report to the UN SC, Ban instructed the UN civil mission in Kosovo to cooperate with the EU, without waiting for a formal approval of the Security Council.
JEREMIC: NO UNMIK RECONFIGURATION WITHOUT SERBIA & SC
MOSCOW/NEW YORK, July 19 (Tanjug) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has agreed that Serbia should take part in the process of reconfiguration of the international civil presence in Kosovo and Metohija, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said in a statement with Russia's news agency Itar-Tass in New York, after his meeting with Ban late on Friday. According to the agency report, Belgrade will next week start discussing with the UN the future international presence in Kosovo. "I told the Secretary-General that our government expects that the whole process will not be completed without Serbia's and the UN Security Council's agreement," said Jeremic, underscoring that a decision of the UN SC is absolutely necessary for a legal basis of any international civil presence in Kosovo. Jeremic expressed his satisfaction with his meeting with the UN Secretary-General, and expressed hope that a final result would be acceptable to Belgrade. What is acceptable to Belgrade is determined by our policy of principle on Kosovo, according to which Belgrade will never agree to violation of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Jeremic. He also said that Serbia hopes that the status of the future international presence in Kosovo will be neutral, that it will in no way threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, and, what is most important, that its goal would not be to implement Ahtisaari's plan. Serbia has rejected the plan, it was not approved by the UN SC, to is it simply does not exist, underscored Minister Jeremic.
SERBIA – EU
JEREMIC RECOMMENDS RETURN OF AMBASSADORS TO EU COUNTRIES
BELGRADE, July 20 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on Sunday stated that he would recommend to the Serbian government at its session on Thursday to return Serbia's ambassadors to European Union member states, who were recalled from those countries that recognized Kosovo Albanians' unilateral declaration of independence, saying that both the proclamation and recognitions were illegal. "The ministry of foreign affairs has decided to suggest at the next government session, after consultations with the president of the republic, a partial revision of the Action Plan, which would imply return of ambassadors to the EU countries and normalization of relations," Jeremic told a news conference at the Serbian government. Jeremic clarified that the proposal is aimed at increasing "our diplomatic resources and our efforts to get the status of a candidate state for the EU membership by the end of the year." He underscored that this would apply only to the EU countries and that the ambassadors would be returned immediately if the government backs the proposal. Jeremic clarified that it was evaluated that such a revision of the Action Plan would produce an optimal effect. Minister Jeremic also underscored that Serbia must never send out a signal that might be interpreted as giving up the defense of its territorial integrity and sovereignty. "We believe that despite the criticism, the Action Plan produced excellent results and that our results in the area of foreign policy are excellent, because only a small number of countries have recognized Kosovo's unilaterally proclaimed independence. Kosovo did not become a member of any of the important international institutions," said Jeremic. When asked by journalists whether he had consulted Russian officials about the proposal during his recent visit to Moscow, Jeremic said that Serbia is a sovereignty state which makes its decisions alone, but that the idea received full support during his meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. "Lavrov believes that this as an excellent idea and a step that would optimize our diplomatic resources," said Jeremic. Jeremic also said that the same ambassadors would be returned to their posts immediately, because Serbia has no time to waste.
JEREMIC: NO CHANGE IN STATE POLICY ON KOSOVO
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has said that the announced return of Serbia's ambassadors to EU member states that recognized Kosovo's independence does not imply any change in the state policy concerning Kosovo and that Serbia will continue to fight for the preservation of its territorial integrity using all legal, diplomatic and political means available. Jeremic rejected a statement by DSS Vice President Samardzic, who said that the announced return of Serbia's ambassadors to these EU countries presents Serbia's "capitulation" before them. "We are very careful in determining this measure and there is no normalization of relations with any other country that violated the sovereignty and integrity of our country in its act of recognition of the unilateral and illegal proclamation of the independence of Kosovo and Metohija," Jeremic said in a statement for RTS. Jeremic clarified that the Foreign Ministry, following consultations with the European Union, Moscow, the United Nations secretary-general, and Serbian President Boris Tadic, decided to propose to the government a partial revision of the Action Plan which implies the return of ambassadors to EU countries and a normalization of relations. Minister Jeremic pointed out that the proposal is aimed at increasing Serbia's diplomatic resources and efforts to secure the status of a candidate-country for EU membership by the end of this year.
MAAS: NO ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS FOR SERBIA
NOVI SAD, July 21 (Tanjug) - German ambassador in Belgrade Wolfram Maas has denied allegations by some media that this government has been increasing the number of conditions for Serbia's joining the EU. There are no additional conditions for speeding up the process of Serbia's EU integration. Serbia alone is setting the pace on its road towards Europe, he said in an interview with the Monday issue of the Novi Sad daily Dnevnik. According to him, the full cooperation with the ICTY is the condition for the coming into force of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, and the Copenhagen Criteria entail the harmonization of legal regulations with the European standards. Serbia's advance towards the EU and resolving the Kosovo issue are two separate things, Maas said and added that in this respect nothing has changed. Still, it is important to the Union that its member-states maintain good neighborly relations, the ambassador said and reminded of once very cold relations between the two Germanies, which later significantly improved. Maas said that he does not understand the reason why Belgrade is against the Eulex mission in Kosovo. He said that it is difficult to understand that Serbia, which sees itself on the road towards Europe, has a completely negative stand regarding the European initiative, which serves the interests of the Serbian minority in Kosovo, and by that of Serbia as well, Ambassador Maas said.
PARLIAMENT SESSION SUSPENDED FOR TWO WEEKS
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian National Assembly President Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic interrupted a parliament session on Monday and suspended it for two weeks. The session began with a strong debate launched by Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) MPs, who criticized the announced proposal by Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic that Serbia's ambassadors should be returned to the countries form which they were recalled when their respective governments recognized the independence of Kosovo and Metohija. DSS whip Milos Aligrudic said that Jeremic "acted in keeping with the instructions of his chief Boris Tadic and decided to return the ambassadors who were recalled from the countries that had recognized the independence" of Kosovo. "We are just half a step away from Serbia's capitulation and just one step away from recognizing Kosovo," Aligrudic said. DSS MPs concluded that this was the establishment of a break in the continuity with Serbia's policy practiced in connection with Kosovo and Metohija, and called on Minister Jeremic and President Tadic to explain their decisions before the people's deputies. DSS MP Slobodan Samardzic, former minister for Kosovo and Metohija, said that the United Nations secretary-general had adopted the decision and that "Russia yielded after Serbia changed its policy regarding Kosovo and Metohija." "The return of ambassadors to European Union countries is indicative of a lack of seriousness and it has nothing to do with European integrations, but with the fulfilment of the demands that western European countries have imposed on Serbia," Samardzic said. After several MPs took the floor in keeping with the Rules of Procedure, Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic interrupted the session and called its continuation in two weeks' time.
DJUKIC-DEJANOVIC: BELGRADE ISSUE AFFECTED PARLIAMENT WORK
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian parliament speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic on Monday stated that she had adjourned the parliament sitting for two weeks because the atmosphere of solving the issue of Belgrade had been transferred to the republic parliament, MPs complained about the rules of procedure being broken, repeating the contents of their discussions. "One parliament day costs four million dinars, and so far we have spent 16 million. That is a lot for Serbia and my assessment was that I should adjourn the session for two weeks," Djukic-Dejanovic told journalists at the parliament. According to her, members of the parliament should take a rest over the next 15 days and think about how important the agenda of this sitting is for the citizens of Serbia and that the parliament should work correctly after the break. She believes that responsibility towards citizens will be the main guideline for the conduct of all MPs, and in two weeks, a political solution on the Belgrade government will, most likely, be certain then. When asked to give her opinion about a possibility of extraordinary parliamentary elections, which is being suggested by some opposition parliament members, she replied that her estimate is that there would be no new elections, but that everything is possible in a democratic life, if the majority supports it.
DJELIC: SESSION ADJOURNED TO PRESERVE PARLIAMENT'S DIGNITY
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Deputy Prime Minister Djelic stated that the Serbian parliament speaker had adjourned the parliament sitting in order to preserve the institution's dignity, because the opposition had decided to topple the institution."A blockade of the parliament work for the sake of everyday political interests is not democracy but desecration of democracy and the institution of parliament. This farce had to be stopped. Today is a bad day for our parliamentarianism and I am confident that our citizens know who did this," Djelic told. He also pointed out that the Radicals and the national bloc had decided to topple the institution and the break was the only way to preserve the parliament's dignity.
INDONESIAN AMBASSADOR VISITS SERBIAN PARLIAMENT
BELGRADE, Jul 18 (Beta)- Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic and Indonesian Ambassador Muhammad Abduh Dalimunthe held discussions on July 18 regarding future cooperation between the two countries, announced the parliament's Office for Public Relations.Dalimunthe handed the Serbian parliament speaker a letter from the speaker of the Indonesian Parliament requesting Serbia's support for his selection as the head of the Interparliamentary Union in October. Djukic-Dejanovic stated that Serbia appreciates Indonesia's support in protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and emphasized the need for further cooperation and the mutual support of the two countries on the international plane, it is added in the announcement.
DRAGUTINOVIC: NEW ARRANGEMENT WITH IMF WOULD BE GOOD FOR SERBIA
BELGRADE, July 19 (TANJUG) - Serbian Finance Minister Diana Dragutinovic stated that it would be good for Serbia to sign a new arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), pointing out that should Serbia's economic policy receive a positive evaluation of the IMF, it would certainly help Serbia to get the status of a candidate state for accession in the European Union. In an interview published by magazine Economist, Dragutinovic said that regardless of the fact that she does not always agree with the IMF's recommendations, the institution is forcing states to pursue a responsible financial policy, which might help improve the country's rating, which also means lower financing costs. "So, I am in favor of some kind of a program with the IMF, sooner the better," underscored Dragutinovic.
FRIED: WASHINGTON SUPPORTS PRO-EUROPEAN GOVERNMENT IN SERBIA
WASHINGTON, July 19 (Tanjug) - Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried has said that Washington supports the new pro-European government in Belgrade and that it also supports Serbia's integration in the EU. In order to achieve its goal, Serbia must not isolate itself, Fried said in an interview with the Voice of America. We hope that Serbia is aware of its European future and we want to see Serbia in Europe, said Fried. We do not have any bad intentions towards the new Serbian government and we welcome its pro-European orientation, said Fried. We don't agree over Kosovo but it is up to Serbia to decide what it wants, said he. We would welcome the return of Serbia's ambassador and we would like to have the best possible relations with Serbia, said Fried.
KOSOVO – METOHIJA
DACIC: SERBIA WILL NOT RECOGNIZE KOSOVO PASSPORTS
VIENNA, July 18 (Tanjug) - Serbian Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said in a statement that Serbia will not recognize passports of the so-called independent state of Kosovo. Speaking in reaction to announcements by Montenegro and Croatia that they will recognize Kosovo passports, Dacic said that is part of their state policy in connection with the southern Serbian province, which certain countries have recognized and which, as he pointed out, is not in keeping with international law. "Regarding the government and the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, we will not recognize passports of the so-called independent state of Kosovo. No Serbian citizen in possession of a Kosovo passport will be admitted through the administrative line or the border crossings of Serbia,". "On the other hand, any foreign citizens that have the stamp of the so-called state of Kosovo in their passports, that stamp will be cancelled and a stamp of the Republic of Serbia will be placed over it," the minister explained.
DJELIC: SERBIA WILL NEVER BARTER WITH ITS PROVINCE
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Deputy Premier Bozidar Djelic, in charge of European integrations, has said that Serbia will never barter with its southern province, and underscored that Serbia would always choose Kosovo if it were faced with such a choice. "Our European partners know our stands and they will set themselves accordingly. No-one has ever given us a condition in connection with the recognition of so-called Kosovo to enable us to move closer toward Europe," Djelic said to Politika. In all contacts with European officials, he said, "all of us make it perfectly clear that no-one in Serbia will recognize the independence of Kosovo and that any policy of pressures involving this issue would not produce any results." "Under our Constitution, all state employees in Serbia are obliged to defend the territorial sovereignty and integrity of the state. And that is what our partners in Europe and all over the world know. Consequently, we will do everything in our power to prevent so-called Kosovo from appearing in any forums," the deputy premier underscored.
JEREMIC: TALKS ON UNMIK RECONFIGURATION START NEXT WEEK
BELGRADE, July 20 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has said that he would on Monday send an official invitation to UN Secretary-General's special envoy Lamberto Zannier to come to Belgrade and start talks on the reconfiguration of the international civil presence in Kosovo and Metohija could start next week. Talks on the future international civil presence in Serbia's southern province under the umbrella of the United Nations will start next week, Jeremic told a news conference, specifying that this was agreed with UN Secretary-General ban Ki-moon, with the support of the European Union and Russian Federation. Jeremic underscored that Serbia had not changed its stand on the issue and that the international civil presence in Kosovo and Metohija "has to be in keeping with Resolution 1244 and should be approved by the UN Security Council." "Unfortunately the reconfiguration process has started without Belgrade's agreement and we believe that this was wrong. The process must not be completed without Belgrade's approval and without an explicit confirmation by the Security Council," said Jeremic. "We appreciate the EU's readiness to assume an important role in the civil presence in Kosovo, but this cannot be done without Serbia's approval and without a confirmation of the Security Council, and its task must not be to implement Martti Ahtisaari's plan," said Jeremic.
JEREMIC INVITES ZANNIER TO START TALKS
BELGRADE, July 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic on Monday sent an official invitation to UNMIK Chief Leonardo Zannier to come to Belgrade in order to start talks on the reconfiguration of the international civil presence in Kosovo, Tanjug learned at Jeremic's cabinet on Sunday. It is expected that Zannier might arrive in Belgrade on Wednesday and that the talks might start then, it was specified at Jeremic's office. Minister Jeremic told a news conference on Sunday that the opening of the talks on the reconfiguration of the international civil presence in Kosovo was agreed during his recent visits to Paris, Moscow and New York. Jeremic underscored that Serbia did not change its stand on the issue and that the international civil presence in Kosovo and Metohija "has to be in keeping with Resolution 1244 and it should be approved by the UN Security Council.""Unfortunately the reconfiguration process has started without Belgrade's agreement and we believe that this was wrong. The process must not be completed without Belgrade's approval and without an explicit confirmation by the Security Council," said Jeremic, reiterating that Serbia would not agree to anything that jeopardizes its territorial integrity.
BOGDANOVIC: SERBIA NOT READY TO GIVE UP KOSOVO
GRACANICA, July 18 (Tanjug) - Serbian Minister for Kosovo and Metohija Goran Bogdanovic said on Friday that Belgrade "wants the reconciliation of ethnic Albanians and Serbs,...(but) is not ready to give up Kosovo and Metohija," and that it will "fight for the preservation of the territorial integrity of Serbia using all diplomatic means." The Serbian government will continue to help Serb environments in Kosmet, Bogdanovic said, addressing a press conference in Gracanica, Kosovo and Metohija province, and announced that the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija will deal with the living problems in those areas. "We will do our utmost to strengthen the Serb community in the economic sense, we will fight for the return of those people who were expelled in 1999 and 2004, and we will take care of the families of kidnapped persons or those who went missing," the minister said. "We will do everything to preserve the Serb community in Kosovo and to establish unity among the Serbs in the province," Bogdanovic said. UNMIK is the only legitimate organ in Kosovo and Metohija with which Serbia will cooperate, Bogdanovic said, reiterating the stand of Belgrade that the presence of the European Union (EU) mission EULEX is unacceptable for Serbia without a new resolution and decision adopted by the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
EU, NATO, OSCE & UN FAVOR COORDINATED ACTIVITIES IN KOSOVO
BRUSSELS, Jul 18 (Tanjug) - High officials of the EU, NATO, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the UN pointed at their informal meeting Friday to the need for coordinating international activities in Kosovo. The participants pointed to the need for defining what each international organization will be doing in Kosovo when the international civilian presence will be reconfigured as announced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. EU High Representative for foreign policy and security Javier Solana said that the EU goal is to have its EULEX mission fully operational in Kosovo by autumn. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has approved reconfiguration of UNMIK paving the way for EULEX deployment, Solana said. Thaking Ban for his role in reconfiguration of UNMIK, he said that Ban's last report defined the framework in which each organization is to function. For EULEX, this framework will be the UN SC Resolution 1244, Solana said, adding he would make sure that all necessary reports are sent to Ban. The meeting was attended also by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier, and ambassadors of EU and NATO member-states and of states taking part in EULEX and KFOR but are not EU or NATO members.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: MORE COUNTRIES TO RECOGNIZE KOSOVO
WASHINGTON, Jul 18 (Beta)- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said that the number of countries that recognized Kosovo's independence would grow and that the former Serbian province's independence was a fact that those who opposed it would have to come to terms with.Talking to reporters in Washington after meeting a Kosovo delegation that arrived in the U.S. last week at the invitation of U.S. President George Bush, Rice underlined that Kosovo had been recognized so far by 40 nations, including the U.S., the majority of EU and NATO member states, and some Asian and Near East nations. "I know there will be more," Rice said after meeting with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and Premier Hashim Thaci.Rice pledged that the U.S. would assist Kosovo and called on its leaders to ensure the country's future by building a multiethnic democracy, protecting minority rights and religious freedoms and fostering economic development. Sejdiu said that he hoped that the fact that he had piloted the first delegation from Kosovo to Washington would help "Kosovo become a part of the NATO and EU families, and that we will always have excellent relations with the U.S."
SEJDIU: THERE ARE SIGNS THE SERBS HAVE REALIZED NEW REALITY
WASHINGTON, Jul 20 (Beta)- Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu stated on July 20 that "there are signs that the Serbs of Kosovo have realized the new reality, that they are a part of that reality and that they will become more involved" in Kosovo's institutions."It's good that they are in the government and Assembly of Kosovo and that we will together build a better life and future for all our citizens," Sejdiu said and added that he would intensify activities relating to the integration of Serbs into Kosovo society. In an interview with Voice of America, he also expressed the belief that the U.S. and EU "would exert pressure" on the policy of Belgrade which, in his words, "forces those people to be inactive and isolated." In Washington, Sejdiu is heading a delegation from Kosovo, which will be received tomorrow in the White House by U.S. President George Bush.Sejdiu and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci on July 18 held discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the Kosovo president met in the Pentagon with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. "Those discussions were an opportunity to reaffirm U.S. support for the democratic and economic development of Kosovo," said Sejdiu in the interview with Voice of America.