Belgrade, May 22, 2012
SERBIA – PRESIDENT ELECTION - REACTIONS
PUTIN CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC ON BEING ELECTED
MOSCOW, May 21 (Tanjug) - Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated on Monday Tomislav Nikolic on being elected president of Serbia and wished him success in his new office, the Kremlin information service has stated.
The two countries are connected by friendship, mutually beneficial relations and cooperation, said Putin. They have traditionally been characterized by intensive political dialogue and close cooperation in economy, culture and humanitarian work, he added.
Putin believes the cooperation between Russia and Serbia will continue when it comes to existing agreements, including the promotion of large investment projects that will improve coordination between the two nations on the international stage to the benefit of both countries and in the interest of Europe's stability and security.
The Russian president wished Nikolic success in such a high and responsible position and peace and prosperity for the Serbian people.
JOSIPOVIC CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC ON ELECTION WIN
ZAGREB, May 21 (Tanjug) - Croatian President Ivo Josipovic sent a note of congratulations to the newlyelected Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic and expressed hope that the two countries would continue developing their cooperation.
On the occasion of your election as the Serbian president, I offer sincere congratulations to you and wish you great success in the performance of the responsible duty, Josipovic said in the note addressed to Nikolic and added that he also hopes the two countries would continue developing intensive cooperation with a view to ensuring stability, security and peace in the region and the entire European continent.
Josipovic noted that Croatia remains committed to the promotion of comprehensive good neighborly relations with Serbia, including the full support to the country's integration into EuroAtlantic organisations.
Josipovic also talked with former Serbian president Boris Tadic over the phone and thanked him on everything he did in order to improve the relations between Croatia and Serbia. He also expressed gratitude to Tadic for his contribution to the establishment of cooperation and lasting peace in the region, the release issued by the president's cabinet states.
SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC
LJUBLJANA, May 21 (Tanjug) - Slovenian President Danilo Tirk congratulated on Monday the new president of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, on his election. He expressed hope that the friendly relations between Slovenia and Serbia would continue to develop, Tirk's office said.
"On this occasion I would like to express my wish and conviction that the friendly relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Serbia will continue to positively develop in the future as well and that our dialogue will contribute to the good relations between the two countries," Tirk wrote to Nikolic.
The Slovenian president also said he expects Serbia to stay committed to EU values and efforts for the implementation of reforms necessary for the country to move towards EU membership.
"Regional cooperation and good neighborly relations are one of the key elements in the mosaic of assuring and reaffirming of stability and development in the region," Tirk said.
Tirk also wished his counterpart, who was elected in the second round of presidential election on Sunday, a lot of success and personal satisfaction in the tackling of future challenges, Slovenian agency STA reports.
MARTIN SCHULZ CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC
BRUSSELS, May 21 (Tanjug) - Following the election of Tomislav Nikolic as President of the Republic of Serbia, European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement:
"I congratulate Mr. Nikolic on his election as Serbia's new president. I am particularly glad that both parliamentary and presidential elections on 6 May and 20 May were fair and peaceful. Those elections came at a crucial time, both for Serbia and the European Union. Growing unemployment and poverty is undermining faith in the European project, giving rise to egoism and nationalism across the continent.
In these challenging times, it is especially important, both for Serbia and the EU, to keep European integration alive. I sincerely hope that under the presidency of Mr. Nikolic, Serbia will continue on its path towards EU membership. This was a clear wish of Serbian voters.
Serbia can be proud for having achieved EU candidate status. I would like to thank outgoing President Boris Tadic for having done so much in Serbia for European integration and regional reconciliation. I would now like to see accession talks opened as soon as possible. I hope this will be possible once Serbia makes more progress on its reform path while demonstrating a constructive approach towards regional reconciliation and cooperation.
It is important to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which has already brought some concrete results that benefit the citizens. I look forward to cooperating with the new Serbian parliament and government once they are formed and I would like to reiterate the European Parliament's continued strong support for the European future of the Western Balkans," the statement says.
TURKISH PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC ON VICTORY
BELGRADE, May 22 (Tanjug) - Turkish President Abdullah Gul congratulated Tomislav Nikolic on becoming the new Serbian president and expressed the hope that ties between the two countries would be further strengthened in the future.
I would like to assure you that we attach utmost importance to maintaining the high level friendly relations between Turkey and Serbia and carrying them to the future stronger during your presidency, Gul said in his message.
The Turkish president said that Turkey sincerely wished that, under Nikolic's visionary and skilful leadership, Serbia would continue to contribute to the regional peace and stability in the coming years.
Gul also said he expected Serbian would make significant steps towards integration with Europe and the EuroAtlantic institutions, according to a release that the Embassy of Turkey to Serbia delivered to Tanjug on Tuesday.
ASHTON: SERBIA NEEDS A STRONG GOVERNMENT
BRUSSELS, May 21 (Tanjug) - EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton Monday joined the European leaders who congratulated Tomislav Nikolic on his election victory.
"I congratulate Presidentelect Nikolic on his victory in the Serbian Presidential election yesterday and the Serbian people for the free, fair and peaceful elections.
Let me also commend Mr. Tadic for everything he has helped achieve during his time in office, both in European integration and in regional reconciliation. I wish him all the best.
The EU looks forward to the early resumption of work in parliament and the rapid formation of a new government committed to reforms and continued European integration. Serbia needs a strong government and parliamentary majority to achieve the economic progress its people desire and the European integration that they aspire to. Neither is possible without difficult reforms and political courage.
Serbia will succeed only through successful coalition building at home and good relations with its neighbors. Continued dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina remains particularly important.
Finally, I congratulate the OSCE for its successful facilitation of voting in Kosovo, supported by EULEX, KFOR and local actors who helped to ensure a calm and secure environment," Ashton said in her message.
EU: PATH TO EU AND DIALOG SHOULD REMAIN PRIORITIES
BELGRADE, May 22 (Tanjug) - European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn has said he is confident that Serbia will remain on its proEuropean course after the election of Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, as president.
I see that the majority of the Serbian people are in favour of EU membership and I can recall discussing about it with Nikolic a few years ago, Rehn said for Tuesday's edition of Blic, a Belgradebased daily.
Rehn believes that there is a consensus in Serbia about the need to secure the membership of the Union and also that Serbia will endeavour to meet all the relevant recommendations.
Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the EU expected the dialog between Belgrade and Pristina would be continued after the government was formed and that all open issues would be tackled.
Kocijancic said that it was "vital to continue implementing the already reached agreements" between Belgrade and Pristina, Radio Television of Serbia reported.
U.S. WELCOMES NIKOLIC'S COMMITMENT TO EU
BELGRADE, May 21 (Tanjug) - The United States congratulates Serbian Progressive Party leader Tomislav Nikolic on his election as president of Serbia and welcomes the reaffirmation of his commitment to Serbia's European future, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade stated on Monday.
"We welcome Presidentelect Nikolic's reaffirmation of his commitment to Serbia's European future and encourage him to work constructively with Serbia's future Prime Minister and government to achieve this goal, particularly with respect to regional stability and a constructive relationship with Kosovo," the Embassy said in a statement for Tanjug.
The United States remains strongly supportive of Serbia's goal of membership in the European Union and is committed to working with Serbia's leadership to advance this goal, the statement reads.
SERBIA - K&M
NATO: BELGRADE, PRISTINA SHOULD CONTINUE DIALOGUE
CHICAGO, May 21 (Tanjug) - NATO leaders advocated Monday in their Chicago Summit Declaration to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and called for the deepening of cooperation between Serbia and NATO.
The following are excerpts from the Declaration:
We continue to support Serbia's EuroAtlantic integration. We welcome Serbia's progress in building a stronger partnership with NATO and encourage Belgrade to continue on this path. NATO stands ready to continue to deepen political dialogue and practical cooperation with Serbia. We will continue assisting Serbia's reform efforts, and encourage further work.
We call upon Serbia to support further efforts towards the consolidation of peace and stability in Kosovo. We urge all parties concerned to cooperate fully with KFOR and EULEX in the execution of their respective mandates for which unconditional freedom of movement is necessary. We urge Belgrade and Pristina to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to promote peace, security, and stability in the region, in particular by the European Unionfacilitated dialogue. We welcome progress made in the European Unionfacilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, including the Agreement on Regional Cooperation and the IBM technical protocol. Dialogue between them and EuroAtlantic integration of the region are key for a sustained improvement in security and stability in the Western Balkans. We call on both parties to implement fully existing agreements, and to move forward on all outstanding issues, including on the conclusion of additional agreements on telecommunications and electricity. We welcome progress achieved and encourage further efforts aimed at consolidating the rule of law, and other reform efforts, in Kosovo.
Here in Chicago, our Foreign Ministers are meeting with their counterparts from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Georgia, in order to take stock of their individual progress, plan future cooperation, and exchange views with our partners, including on their participation in partnership activities and contributions to operations. We are grateful to these partners that aspire to NATO membership for the important contributions they are making to NATOled operations, and which demonstrate their commitment to our shared security goals.
In the strategically important Western Balkans region, democratic values, regional cooperation and good neighborly relations are important for lasting peace and stability. We are encouraged by the progress being made, including in regional cooperation formats, and will continue to actively support EuroAtlantic aspirations in this region. Together, Allies and partners of the region actively contribute to the maintenance of regional and international peace, including through regional cooperation formats.
OSCE GREETS PEACEFUL COURSE OF ELECTIONS IN KOSOVO
VIENNA, May 21 (Tanjug) - The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) welcomed on Monday the peaceful course of Serbian elections in Kosovo.
OSCE Chairman and Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore expressed satisfaction that the second round of Serbia's presidential elections passed peacefully in Kosovo.
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier established that OSCE successfully performed its tasks and that election materials were delivered to Kosovo and then taken back to Vranje and Raska, central Serbia, where the Republic Electoral Commission counted the votes.
OSCE was active at 90 polling stations around Kosovo and we made it possible for voters to use their democratic rights, Zannier stated and added that this is an excellent example of how a constructive and positive dialogue which includes international and local institutions can lead to practical results in the field.
Gilmore and Zannier commended the staff of the OSCE mission in Kosovo and the neighboring missions on efforts they exerted over the past few weeks, and also thanked the police, KFOR and EULEX on their support.
OSCE has once more demonstrated its capability to face new challenges, cooperate with relevant factors and conduct the required activities within a very short period of time, Gilmore stated.
The OSCE mission in Kosovo employs 670 officials and for the needs of the elections, the mission was reinforced by around 300 locally recruited individuals and over 100 OSCE officials from missions engaged in the territory of Southeast Europe.