Belgrade, April 27, 2012
SERBIA ON RIGHT TRACK TO EU
VIENNA, April 27 (Tanjug) - Serbia is on the right track to the EU membership and it will have Austria's support in that, it was said at a discussion dubbed 'We are a candidate Serbia on EU path' organized at the EU office in Vienna.
Goran Svilanovic, the coordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities and the former Serbian foreign minister, said that the continuation of the fight against corruption and an efficient judicial reform will be first topics Serbia will deal with on its further path of European integration.
It is most important that Serbia be an organized country, he said, adding that the obtaining of the candidate status is a great success for the Serbian government.
Wolfgang Machreich, the spokesperson of European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur for Kosovo Ulrike Lunacek, said that no one should think that Lunacek is against Serbia and for Kosovo.
Lunacek and the EP want all Western Balkan countries to be integrated into the EU as soon as possible. The Union's basic principle is cooperation, not confrontation, Machreich said.
When it comes to Serbia's further EU integration, he said that it is important that the process of dialogue and agreement between Belgrade and Pristina continues, adding that what has been agreed has to be implemented.
Johannes Huber, an Austrian MP from the opposition Freedom Party of Austria, pointed out that his party disagrees with Austria's decision to recognize the independence of Kosovo.
He said that the EU also has to be observed critically and not only in a propagandist way, and added that he supports Serbia on its EU path.
The Union treated Bulgaria and Romania differently during the process of their admission, although the countries did not have the appropriate status, Huber said, pointing out that his party is not against the EU.
Johannes Aigner, newly appointed Austrian Ambassador to Serbia, stressed that Vienna's role in supporting Serbia on its EU path is part of Austria's policy towards the entire Western Balkans.
The further process of EU accession will also be connected with Serbia's relation towards Kosovo. One day Serbia will be asked to recognize Kosovo on its EU path, just as Croatia is now expected to provide support and a positive attitude when it comes to other countries in the region, he said.
Serbia's Ambassador in Austria Milovan Bozinovic said that there is a foreignpolicy consensus between all political parties in Serbia when it comes to the country's EU path.
SERBIA SUCCESSFULLY PRESIDES OVER REGIONAL INITIATIVE
BELGRADE, April 26 (Beta) - Top parliamentary representatives of seven countries of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative declared readiness for the further improvement of antiparliamentary cooperation, at the gathering in Belgrade on April 26, while Serbia, whose oneyear term of presiding over the Initiative was estimated as very successful, transferred this function to Slovenia.
The members of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative, formed in 2000, are Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Serbia.
The general secretary of the Initiative, Fabio Pigliapoco, estimated that Serbia had ended its presidency of the Initiative very successfully, and recollected that the process of approving the European strategy for the Adriatic Ionian region had begun during Serbia's term.
He said that parliamentary cooperation of the countries of the Initiative will be financed for the first time this year at the level of the European Union, and that it is necessary for the goals of further regional cooperation to be more visible to the public.
We have a common cultural and historical experience, and we have to protect the common heritage, Pigliapoco said.
Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica Djukic Dejanovic said that the creation of the strategy for the Adriatic Ionian region is very important, and that it should identify the needs of the region in a similar fashion to other regions, like the Baltic and the Danubian regions.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
SUTANOVAC BACKS KFOR PRESENCE INCREASE
VALJEVO, April 26 (Tanjug) - Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac backed Thursday the announced increase in the number of KFOR troops in Kosovo Metohija.
Sutanovac said that this activity has been thought through, and expressed expectation that KFOR will have enough capacity to prevent any kind of incident.
He recalled that since the moment when he assumed the office of the defence minister, he insisted in all talks with the NATO and KFOR representatives for the security situation to be carefully analyzed, stressing that KFOR should not cut down the number of its members in Kosovo Metohija. "We have reached a stage when the KFOR analysis of the security situation in Kosovo Metohija determined that the mission should step up its presence," Sutanovac said.
NATO has requested urgent increase in the number of the troops in Kosovo Metohija due to the coming elections in Serbia.
A German Austrian reserve battalion of about 550 German soldiers and 150 Austrian troops will start to deploy in Kosovo soon.
ANOTHER 70 GERMAN TROOPS ARRIVE IN KOSOVO
PRISTINA, April 27 (Tanjug) - The KFOR Command announced on Thursday evening that another 70 German troops, members of 2nd battalion of the Operational Reserve Forces (ORF), landed in Kosovo.
This is the second group to arrive, out of a total of 550 German and 150 Austrian soldiers, who will be deployed in Kosovo until next Monday.
As of Wednesday, the troops are being deployed in Kosovo at the request of KFOR Commander Major General Erhard Drews, after he gave an assessment that there had been a rise in tensions in Kosovo.
Drews will decide as to when, where and how these reserve forces will be used, the release reads. Members of the ORF battalion are coming to Kosovo from their units in Germany and Austria.
NATO WILL PROVIDE OPTIMAL SECURITY IN KOSOVO
BRUSSELS, April 26 (Tanjug) - An additional battalion of NATO troops who will be arriving at Kosovo will be operationally ready by the beginning of May, Danish General Knud Bartels said Friday in Brussels.
After a twoday meeting of chief of staffs in Brussels, Bartels said they discussed the situation in northern Kosovo prior to Serbian elections scheduled for May 6.
We resolutely plan to ensure optimum security in Kosovo and to avoid the spreading of tensions, Bartels told reporters. Asked by Tanjug's reporter to explain the deployment of additional forces in the north, Bartels said that the holding of Serbian elections in Kosovo could lead to increased tensions.
For the purpose of general safety, it was decided to send one more battalion of about 750 people, composed of soldiers from Germany and Austria, which will be operationally ready at the beginning of May, he said.
Bartels said that the purpose of reinforcement is to ensure sufficient available resources in the event of an outbreak of incidents, but expressed hope that their engagement would not be necessary.
NATO and partner countries in Kosovo have about 6,500 regular soldiers, and there is one battalion of 750 soldiers in the north. The deployment of the new battalion will practically double the NATO military presence.
SERBIA INTERESTED IN INVESTMENTS FROM CHINA
WARSAW, April 26 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said that his Thursday meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao opened important economic topics and that Serbia expressed special interest in the arrival of Chinese investments.
Cvetkovic said in a statement for Tanjug that the bilateral meeting also focussed on the progress of works on the Zemun Borca bridge, as well as on the modernization of the Kostolac power plant, which are financed from Chinese sources.
We opened questions that are not related to credit arrangements but to the arrival of Chinese investors in Serbia, for what we have expressed special interest, Serbian prime minister said.
He said some energy companies from China had earlier expressed interest in building the block B3 in the Nikola Tesla power plant.
Cvetkovic told Wen that Serbia has offered the opportunity to learn Chinese language for the first time and that the interest is much greater than expected.
In addition to the bilateral meeting with Chinese prime minister during his visit to Poland, Cvetkovic also attended a Poland Central Europe China economic forum.