Belgrade, March 23, 2012
JEREMIC: SERBIA CONTRIBUTING TO WORLD POLICY
BRUSSELS, March 22 (Beta) - Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said on March 22 in Brussels that at a ministerial meeting of European Union countries and candidate countries Serbia would contribute to the debate and formation of EU stances and visions on key foreign policy issues.
The topics of the meeting are Afghanistan, Pakistan, the events in the Arab world, and, as Jeremic underscored, the granting of EU candidate status had opened the doors for Serbia to this kind of forum in the EU and that the country would in the future participate in all similar EU meetings.
"Serbia is a country which has a very active foreign policy, has a large number of contracts and ties in the world, so I think our contribution to this discussion will be fundamental and we will be able to make our contribution, which is not negligible," added Jeremic.
The foreign minister said that now Serbia would be able to contribute to a better understanding of the foreign world with its experience, and to gain direct insight into how others see international circumstances.
JEREMIC: EACH COUNTRY VOTES AS IT WANTS
BRUSSELS, March 22 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Thursday that every member of the United Nations, including Croatia, has the sovereign right to decide whom it will support in the upcoming election for president of the United Nations General Assembly.
He was asked to comment on yesterday's statement by Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic that Croatia would not support his candidacy for this position, but would vote for his opponent from Lithuania. Our principle is to support the neighbors and other countries in the region when their representatives run for important international functions, Jeremic said.
Jeremic is on a two-day visit to Brussels, where he will attend the ministerial meeting of European Union member states and candidate countries for membership. He will Friday have a series of bilateral meetings with European counterparts, including Vesna Pusic.
SERBIAN AMBASSADOR HOLDS SPEECH IN ZAGREB
ZAGREB, March 23 (Tanjug) - Serbian Ambassador to Croatia Stanimir Vukicevic spoke about the experience of Serbia in the process of accession to the European Union and the country's foreign policy priorities at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb late Thursday.
"The priorities of Serbia's foreign policy are European integration, regional cooperation, economic relations and Kosovo, and these are mutually complementary and cannot be sorted out by relevance, even though the focus is now mainly on the relations with the EU," Vukicevic pointed out in a speech he gave as a participant in the 'Know Your Neighbors' project at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb.
Vukicevic stressed that surveys had shown that about 80 percent of Serbia's citizens were "for" the EU accession, adding that Serbia would use Croatian experience in the preaccession talks to make the process faster.
Progress in the negotiations with the EU will depend on Kosovo, but the Union does not seek from Serbia to recognize Kosovo, it rather wants the issues important for ordinary people to be resolved through dialogue, he said, adding that it is essential to make sure that Kosovo is not a security problem for the region.
As part of its cooperation with the ICTY, Serbia has extradited 45 people, it has provided legal assistance to The Hague Tribunal over 2,000 times and prosecuted a number of perpetrators of war crimes committed in Vukovar (eastern Croatia), Zvornik (Bosnia Herzegovina), giving them heavy sentences, the ambassador said.
Vukicevic talked about the expectations that Serbia, like other countries of the region, has from the donor conference to be held in April, which should help resolve the outstanding issues of return of refugees to their homes or ensure their integration in the countries they have taken their refuge in.
DIAZ: SPANIARDS INTERESTED IN INVESTING IN SERBIA
BELGRADE, March 22 (Beta) - Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz stated on March 22, during a meeting with Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic in Belgrade, that Spanish investors are very interested in investing in Serbia.
According to the Serbian government, Diaz also told Cvetkovic that Spain will continue to support Serbia on its path to the European Union.
Cvetkovic said that Serbia appreciates very much the strong support Spain provides with its active stance in the European Union, pointing out that he expects this support to continue for the start of negotiations with the EU about Serbia's admission.
The prime minister thanked Spain, as it was said in the statement, for its principled stand of not recognizing Kosovo's independence, and said that he expected Madrid to maintain this stand.
Prior to that, Diaz met with Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic.
JAPAN TO DONATE EUR 40,600 TO KRALJEVO RED CROSS
BELGRADE, March 22 (Tanjug) - The Japanese government will donate EUR 40,600 to the Red Cross of the city of Kraljevo (central Serbia) to help it renovate its premises for social activities, as envisaged by the grant agreement signed by representatives of the Embassy of Japan to Serbia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy on Thursday.
Charge d'Affairs at the Japanese Embassy in Belgrade Kazuaki Kameda said after signing the document at the Serbian government building that the Embassy of Japan had decided to financially assist the renovation of the Red Cross premises for societal activities, since its activities were drastically reduced due to the damage from earthquakes that hit Kraljevo in early November 2010.
Kameda said that since the earthquake, the Red Cross had not had an adequate space for societal activities to offer the local population and that empowering marginalized groups and educating young people had become more difficult because of that.
He expressed the hope that the assistance would contribute to improving the situation and help the local community's development.
He pointed out that a total of 144 projects for the basic needs of the population in Serbia had been implemented so far with the financial assistance from Japan, adding that the Japan government would endeavor to assist the socially vulnerable groups despite the still difficult situation in Japan that had been created after the devastating earthquake in March the year before.
Serbia's Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Suzana Paunovic said that the project was just one of the many partnership projects between the Japanese government and the Serbian ministry and that its goal was aimed at improving the social protection service at the local level to protect and enable the inclusion of all citizens of Kraljevo into certain social protection service programs.
U.S. DONATES USD700,000 TO DRAGISA MISOVIC HOSPITAL
BELGRADE, March 22 (Beta) - The European Command of the U.S. Army, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy, has donated USD700,000 for the reconstruction of the surgery ward of the Dragisa Misovic Clinical Hospital Center in Belgrade which was damaged in a fire in 2009.
"The U.S. Government promised that it would help the hospital... be able to work at full capacity. I am pleased that the works are in progress. Our help is reflected in an investment which is worth USD700,000," said U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick on March 22 during a visit to the hospital.
Dragisa Misovic Hospital Director Radisav Scepanovic told journalists that the work, which began on Feb. 6, should be finished by August.
"In the U.S. there is a tradition of private donors adding to the support the health system has in the budget. We hope that other donors will be led by our example and think about helping this and other hospitals around Serbia," said Warlick.
SERBIA - K&M
REPORT ON REPRESENTATION OF PRISTINA ADOPTED
BELGRADE, March 22 (Tanjug) - The Serbian government adopted Thursday a report on regional representation of Pristina that Belgrade negotiating team achieved so far in the dialogue with Pristina.
This was announced at a news conference after a government session by the director of the Office for Media Relations Milivoje Mihajlovic.
He noted that in the round of talks held in February, the Belgrade negotiating team insisted on respect for UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Serbian Constitution.
Mihajlovic said that it was agreed during the negotiations to have Pristina represented at regional conferences with a footnote, which is in accordance with UN SC Resolution 1244 and with the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the declaration of independence.
UNMIK RECEIVES BOGDANOVIC'S LETTER, RESPONSE SOON
BELGRADE, March 22 (Tanjug) - UNMIK has received the letter of Minister for Kosovo Metohija Goran Bogdanovic on the manner of organization of local elections in Kosovo Metohija, the mission's spokesperson Tanya Castle confirmed for Tanjug on Thursday.
We have received the letter, and very soon, maybe even tomorrow, we will provide a response, Castle said in a phone statement.
She could not say what the stance of UNMIK Chief Farid Zarif would be like in relation to the local elections in Kosovo. Bogdanovic sent a letter to Zarif on Wednesday pointing to the necessity of an agreement with the UN mission about the organization of local elections in the province.
UNMIK CANNOT ORGANIZE LOCAL ELECTIONS
PRISTINA, March 22 (Tanjug) - UNMIK spokeswoman Tanya Castle said Thursday that the head of the UN mission in Kosovo Farid Zarif answered Belgrade that due to circumstances on the ground, UNMIK cannot organize elections in Kosovo.
In a statement to Radio Free Europe Castle said that it was an answer to the letter Serbian Minister for Kosovo Metohija Goran Bogdanovic sent Wednesday to UNMIK chief Farid Zarif asking UNMIK to organize elections in Kosovo.
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 organized there, Bogdanovic said in his letter.
Serbia has scheduled parliamentary and local elections for May 6.
Serbian elections in Kosovo are strongly opposed by EU and U.S. officials.
They are also strongly opposed by the officials of Kosovo.
Kosovo parliament Speaker Jakup Krasnici said Tuesday that Kosovo institutions should prevent Serbian elections in Kosovo by all means, even using force if necessary.