Belgrade, May 23, 2012
SERBIA – PRESIDENT ELECTION - REACTIONS
STATE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NIKOLIC'S EU COMMITMENT
WASHINGTON, May 23 (Tanjug) - The United States welcomes the fact that Serbia's presidentelect Tomislav Nikolic has reaffirmed his commitment to Serbia's European future, Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told Tanjug.
We encourage him to work constructively with the new prime minister and government to achieve European goals, said Nuland. The U.S. urged Nikolic to work on regional stability and have constructive relations with Kosovo. Nuland stressed the U.S. would not meddle in the formation of a new Serbian government, noting this was an internal matter of Serbia.
KACIN: NIKOLIC'S WIN DOES NOT CHANGE SERBIA - EU RELATIONS
LJUBLJANA/SARAJEVO, May 22 (Tanjug) Jelko Kacin, European Parliament special rapporteur for Serbia, has stated that Tomislav Nikolic's victory in the presidential elections will not considerably change the relations between Serbia and the EU.
I do not see a need to change anything in these relations. In his first statements, Nikolic underlined that he will continue the EU accession process, and I believe that we should trust his words, Kacin said for TV Slovenia, as reported by the Bosnia Herzegovina media.
Speaking about the relations between Serbia and the neighboring states after Nikolic's arrival at the office of president, Kacin said that he would like Nikolic to visit first Sarajevo and then Banja Luka once he decides to tour Bosnia Herzegovina.
If this happens, we will be certain that he is fully committed to Serbia's EU approach, he said.
Kacin underlined that it is important to start a dialogue between Serbs in north and south Kosovo, adding that Nikolic's role will be crucial in the process.
In the manner, the presence of Serbs would be strengthened, and Kosovo would be affirmed as a multiethnic, multicultural and multireligious and European area, Kacin said, adding that both Serbia and Kosovo would benefit in this way, as well as the entire region.
RAUL CASTRO CONGRATULATES TOMISLAV NIKOLIC
HAVANA, May 23 (Tanjug) Cuban President Raul Castro Tuesday congratulated Tomislav Nikolic on his election as the president of Serbia, the Cuban Foreign Ministry has said in a release.
The Cuban president said that Cuba would be committed to strengthening and promoting the friendly relations between the two countries. The Cuban ministry pointed out that Nikolic was a former chair of the Serbia Cuba parliamentary friendship group.
SOFIA WELCOMES ELECTION OF NIKOLIC
SOFIA, May 22 (Tanjug) Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov made a statement Tuesday welcoming the election of Tomislav Nikolic as President of the Republic of Serbia, the ministry said.
"We welcome the election of Tomislav Nikolic as President of the Republic of Serbia and congratulate the Serbian people on holding democratic and open elections," reads the statement.
"We expect the rapid formation of a workable and viable government that would accelerate Serbia’s European integration process and that would continue the ongoing reforms in the interest of the country's citizens."
"Bulgaria supports the European perspective of Serbia as well as the deepening of goodneighbourly relations and cooperation on all fronts. The new Serbian authorities face a decisive phase in the initiation of negotiations on EU membership and we expect the newly elected President and Parliament to continue the previous efforts in this regard."
"Mr Nikolic will have a key role in this process. We will continue to be a responsible and reliable partner to Serbia for the sake of prosperity and security of both our peoples."
"Last but not least, we expect the achievement of further progress in dialogue with Pristina, which will lead to a sustainable improvement of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, and a further strengthening of regional stability."
"I want to thank former President Boris Tadic, who, during his term, has done much for the European orientation of Serbia and goodneighbourly relations with Bulgaria," reads the statement carried by Bulgarian agency BTA.
DODIK: CLOSE COOPERATION TO CONTINUE WITH NIKOLIC
BANJA LUKA, May 22 (Tanjug) President of Republika Srpska (RS) Milorad Dodik expressed expectation on Tuesday that he will have intensive cooperation with Tomislav Nikolic as the new president of Serbia.
Dodik added that he will initiate concrete proposals and support those which come from the new president of Serbia provided they are in the interest of RS.
Congratulating Nikolic on the election win, Dodik said that he and RS never had any dilemma about supporting a legitimate and legal president of Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina’s federal news agency Fena reported.
LAGUMDZIJA DOES NOT EXPECT CHANGE IN RELATIONS
SARAJEVO, May 22 (Tanjug) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Zlatko Lagumdzija said that after the election of Tomislav Nikolic as Serbian president, he does not expect dramatic changes in the relations between Serbia and Bosnia.
It is the sovereign right of citizens of every country to choose their own president and parliament. Serbian citizens have spoken and elected a president. President Nikolic is a man whom we respect, above all, as president of the Republic of Serbia, Lagumdzija said after returning from Chicago where he attended the NATO Summit.
He said that the first messages by Nikolic show that one should not expect any dramatic changes, especially not in a negative sense.
Lagumdzija said that Nikolic should be given a chance to show what his actual policies are.
He said it is now important that the Serbian government is formed as soon as possible, and that Serbia is stable.
LUKASENKO CONGRATULATES NIKOLIC ON VICTORY
MINSK , May 22 (Tanjug) President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, on his victory of in the presidential elections in Serbia.
I am confident that the Belarusian Serbian cooperation, built on the solid foundation of the spiritual and cultural ties between our nations, has plenty of potential for further fruitful development, reads Lukashenko's message. President Lukashenko also confirmed Belarus' interest in active cooperation with Serbia in all spheres of bilateral relations.
BRAMMERTZ MEETS WITH LJAJIC
BELGRADE, May 23 (Tanjug) - Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Serge Brammertz met with Chairman of the National Council for the Cooperation with the ICTY Rasim Ljajic in Belgrade Wednesday, for a discussion on further steps in the cooperation.
Brammertz told a press conference held at Belgrade's special court yesterday that he was satisfied about the results coming from the cooperation with the council and Ljajic, particularly about the facilitation of access to archives and documents vital to the procedures taking place before the tribunal in The Hague.
The ICTY prosecutor said he would send his new report on the cooperation between Serbia and the ICTY to New York during the day, adding that the document would be presented before the UN Security Council on June 7.
Brammertz said that the report would be positive for Serbia, particularly in the part concerning the Serbian war crimes prosecutor investigation into the network of individuals who had helped in hiding of the ICTY fugitives.
Brammertz is scheduled to travel to Croatia's Brioni Islands to attend a regional prosecutors' meeting on cooperation with ICTY today.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
GALLUCCI: PRISTINA JUST WANTS NORTH, NOT TALKS
BELGRADE, May 22 (Tanjug) Pristina doesn't really want negotiations on the Kosovo north and they are provoking the Serbs to set off violence that they can use to justify new repression, Gerard Gallucci, a retired US diplomat and UN peacemaker in Kosovo, said Tuesday.
Kosovo Albanians "do not want negotiations on the north, they just want the north," and the May 17 arrest of a young Serb employee of UNMIK's north Mitrovica office, clearly a political decision, is a proof of that, Gallucci said in an article he wrote for TransConflict, a website dedicated to intra and interethnic relations in the Western Balkans.
Pristina, he said, "wants to have their 'rule of law' imposed there so that they can use it to enforce more 'returns' of Albanians and eventually push the Serbs out entirely." "They expected the internationals to do this for them; first UNMIK, then the ICO and EULEX. Having failed in that, they have mounted steady provocations since July 2011," he said. He added that the international community was now pushing Pristina to talk with the northern Serbs.
Gallucci thinks that Pristina does not want to engage in a dialogue that could effect a possible agreement along the lines of the Ahtisaari Plan, whereby the north would remain part of Kosovo while the northern Serbs would enjoy local selfrule and maintenance of ties with Serbia. "And their (Albanians') international supporters the Quint appear not to have the stomach for imposing it on them. EULEX cannot even prevent the 'police' from acting more like an ethniccleansing squad," said Gallucci.
The Quint capitals, he adds, "allow the Kosovo Albanians to make barely veiled threats to destabilize the region even provoking incidents in south Serbia and Macedonia if they don't get everything they want." "Only the strongest pressure from the US and EU plus real peacekeeping along the Ibar (River) by KFOR, EULEX and UNMIK offers a stable alternative to the return of Serbia in the north," he concluded.