Daily Survey

Belgrade, March 22, 2012



WASHINGTON, March 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic stated Wednesday after a number of meetings in Washington and New York that Serbia is receiving increasing support for its presidency over the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Serbia has excellent relations with a large number of countries in North and Latin America, and it is getting growing support for its candidacy for the UNGA chair, the head of the Serbian diplomacy told Tanjug.
Jeremic took part Wednesday in a meeting the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, which gathered the countries of North and Latin America and Caribbean states. "We were exceptionally honored to address the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, and Serbia is one of the rare countries which got this opportunity," Jeremic said, and expressed belief that the majority of the OAS countries will support Serbia's candidacy for the UNGA chair in September 2012.
Jeremic said that Serbia is an observer to the OAS, but also a country with the largest number of activities in this organization after Spain. "Serbia can assume the role of an election observer, and it has developed good cooperation in the domain of education given that many students from Latin America and Caribbean states now study in Serbia," the foreign minister added.
Before his arrival to Washington, Jeremic took part Tuesday in a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which gathers Muslim majority countries.
"We have presented Serbia's candidacy for the UNGA chair, and we will continue to carry out activities aimed at gathering majority support," the minister concluded.
During his stay in New York, Jeremic addressed a regular meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations, reporting about the preparations for a regional meeting in Belgrade.


WASHINGTON, March 21 (Beta) - At a session of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington on March 21, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said over the past few years Serbia had strengthened cooperation with the OAS "which has the most important role in ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the Western Hemisphere."
Serbia has observer status in the OAS, which rallies all the countries of North and South America and island states in the Caribbean Sea.
Jeremic also said based on a memorandum on understanding, which Serbia signed with the OAS two years ago, cooperation had intensified in many domains, including the schooling of students from Latin America and the Caribbean states at the Belgrade University.
The minister also said Belgrade fully backed the OAS efforts in curbing organized crime, noting that Serbia had strengthened police and judicial cooperation with a number of countries in the Western hemisphere, which had resulted "in several successful joint operations against smugglers and big time smuggling gangs."
Jeremic also said "to both North and South America, Serbia is now one of the most important European partners in fighting drug smuggling across the Atlantic."


BELGRADE, March 21 (Tanjug) - The security situation in Serbia is stable and the Serbian Armed Forces (VS) have maintained the achieved operational and functional ability level, participants at the regular annual analysis of operational and functional capabilities of the VS for 2011 agreed Wednesday.
The participants pointed out that the VS capability and interoperability should also be improved by increasing the number of VS members in peacekeeping operations in the future.
The analytic meeting was organized in the Guard House in Belgrade, and the participants included Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac, VS Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic and senior officers of the VS and the Ministry of Defense.



BELGRADE, March 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian Minister for Kosovo Metohija Goran Bogdanovic Wednesday sent a letter to UNMIK chief Farid Zarif asking that an agreement be reached with the UN mission about local elections in the province.
Elections have been called in the entire territory of Serbia, and since the southern province is under UN protectorate, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, agreement must be reached with the UN mission in Kosovo Metohija about the way elections should be organised there, reads a statement by the Serbian government press office.
Parliamentary and local elections are scheduled for May 6.
Minister for Kosovo Metohija Goran Bogdanovic conferred Wednesday with UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez Taranco, stressing on the occasion that human rights in the province are still violated and that citizens are faced with various daily difficulties.
According to a release by the Ministry for Kosovo Metohija, Bogdanovic informed the UN official that holding of Serbian elections in Kosovo needs UNMIK support, adding that the framework of Resolution 1244 has to be observed.
"Serbia is committed to peaceful resolution of problems, compromise and dialogue, as well as the implementation of the agreements reached in Brussels," he noted.
Bogdanovic underlined that Serbia views the UN as the highest authority in terms of legitimate international presence in Kosovo Metohija.
On his first visit to the region, Fernandez Taranco was interested to learn how the UN agencies can help sustainable development and life of ordinary citizens, the statements adds.
Expressing gratitude for the trust in the UN mandate in Kosovo Metohija, the officials agreed that the UN and its agencies should continue their activities in the field.


BELGRADE, March 21 (Tanjug) - Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the EU High Representative, said late Wednesday that Brussels considers the agreement on Kosovo's representation at regional meetings clear, but that event organizers decide how to implement it.
"The agreement reached in the dialogue (between Belgrade and Pristina) is clear and it was clearly publicized," Kocijancic told B92 television.
"How the agreement is implemented is a matter to be decided by the meeting's organizer," she said, adding the organizers are "in the position to decide where to place the footnote."
The footnote reads that Kosovo is represented without prejudice to positions on status, and in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the International Court of Justice opinion.
Under the agreement, at regional meetings, Kosovo should appear with a plaque bearing its name and an asterisk referring to the footnote, which must be easily visible, readable and in English. Pristina's delegation is represented without a flag or other symbols.
Since Pristina has not complied with the agreement at the last three meetings, the Serbian government passed an instruction Wednesday obligating all members of the Serbian delegation to read a statement before the start of a meeting saying that Pristina's presence is in line with the regional representation agreement and the Autonomous Province of Kosovo is part of the Republic of Serbia.
Appearing on B92 television, head of the government press office Milovoje Mihajlovic explained the instruction was adopted to avoid differing interpretations of the agreement from Pristina and Brussels, i.e. the terms under which Serbia has agreed to take part in meetings of 25 regional associations.
Commenting on Pristina's claims that they had been assured the plaque would only contain the word Kosovo with an asterisk, Mihajlovic said: "If that were the case, the Serbian government, that is its negotiating team, would not have agreed to this, because just Kosovo with an asterisk means nothing."
"It is an unwritten rule that the footnote is placed on the same document as the asterisk," said Mihajlovic, pointing out that Pristina has been trying to obstruct the agreements with Belgrade, so that the Serbian side would be accused of blocking their implementation.



MOROVIC, March 21 (Tanjug) - Serbian and Croatian Ministers of Justice Snezana Malovich and Orsat Miljenic met Wednesday in Morovic near the Serbian Croatian border, and conferred on improving cooperation and all other outstanding issues in the field of mutual legal assistance.
Malovic told Tanjug that she and Miljenic agreed that it is necessary to prosecute all war crimes and to regulate the issue by an interstate agreement between Serbia and Croatia in order to remove as soon as possible all legislative and other obstacles in both states to cooperation in this area.
They especially discussed the issue of extradition of the accused as well as execution of criminal verdicts. Malovic and Miljenic assessed that the cooperation between the Ministries of Justice and the judicial authorities of Serbia and Croatia advanced much in recent years, but that should be intensified further.
They also discussed the experience of Croatia in the EU negotiations on chapters 23 and 24, which regard the judiciary.
We were interested in the experience of Croatia, in order to be better prepared and to prevent any confusion that may arise in the negotiation process, which includes harmonization of domestic legislation with EU regulations, Malovic told Tanjug.


BUDVA, March 21 (Tanjug) - President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) Milos Bugarin stated on Wednesday during a business conference at the Budva Food Fair that Serbia is one of Montenegro's major foreign exchange partners, and noted that this year's exchange of goods should reach USD 1.5 billion.
Bugarin underscored that Serbia is Montenegro's most important foreign exchange partner and that the importance of Montenegro as Serbia's business partner is increasing.
The foreign exchange between Serbia and Montenegro totalled around USD 1 billion in 2011. Serbia's exports to Montenegro exceeded USD 901 million, while Montenegro's exports to Serbia totalled USD 112 million, PKS stated in a release.
Serbia's imports to Montenegro increased by 12 per cent and imports from Montenegro dropped by around 32 per cent relative to 2010.
Serbia's investments in Montenegro exceeded EUR 230 million, and Montenegro is also welcome to make investments in Serbia, Bugarin stated and added that everyone should bear in mind that Serbia is becoming an increasingly attractive investment destination.
Joint strategic projects of mutual interest which companies from Serbia and Montenegro can implement together comprise reconstruction of the Belgrade-Bar railway, expansion, modernisation and better exploitation of the Port of Bar's available capacities, construction of motorways connecting neighbouring countries and joint projects in the area of electric industry and tourism.
Tourism is an important area of economic cooperation, and Serbian tourists account for one third of overnight stays in Montenegro in the tourist season, Bugarin stated but he also expressed belief that the potentials of spa tourism in Serbia can be interesting for investors from Montenegro.
The problem in economic cooperation also lies in the various forms of noncustoms obstacles which for the most part refer to nonrecognition of certificates accompanying the goods.
The Wednesday business conference of Serbian and Montenegrin businessmen was organised by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and the Montenegrin Chamber of Commerce, USAID Agribusiness project and the Adriatic Fair in Budva.