Belgrade, June 27, 2012
NIKOLIC CALLS FOR STRONGER BSEC COOPERATION
ISTANBUL, June 26 (Tanjug) –The 20th anniversary summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) ended in Istanbul Tuesday with the participants confident that the instruments of cooperation among the Black Sea basin countries need to strengthen in order that common difficulties, especially those caused by the global economic crisis, could be overcome.Having expressed satisfaction about presiding over the organization at the time of its jubilee, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said he was confident that the mechanism of cooperation within the BSEC would get stronger and would be based on understanding and mutual respect."This will be one of the basic principles in the achievement of our common goals. I believe that our organization is ready to enter a new era of cooperation, for the sake of prosperity and advancement of all nations in our region," Nikolic told a press conference after the closing of the summit, given together with the host, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who will take over the chairmanship of the initiative on July 1.Nikolic and Gul had bilateral talks on the sidelines of the event, focusing on promotion of cooperation, especially the economic relations between Serbia and Turkey.
NIKOLIC: ACTIVATE REGION'S DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL
ISTANBUL, June 26 (Tanjug) –President Tomislav Nikolic said Tuesday that by using all instruments of regional cooperation, the Black Sea region should activate all of its development potential in order to efficiently respond to the challenges posed by the global economic crisis.At the Summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Istanbul, Nikolic said the initiative was ready to embark on a new era in relations and cooperation which would result in the prosperity and wellbeing of the nations in the region.At the summit dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the BSEC, which Serbia is chairing until July 1, he said efforts should be made to strengthen the mechanism of regional cooperation, which would be based on understanding and mutual respect, as one of the basic principles for achieving common goals.I would be very proud if the next time we met, we presented concrete results we had achieved in the meantime, and to which each country had contributed its utmost, said Nikolic, who is co-chairing the Summit together with the host, Turkish President Abdullah Gul.According to Nikolic, the BSEC anniversary is especially important considering the extremely complex circumstances in the broader international arena, with the economic crisis still in swing and the Black Sea region feelings its effects.As a primarily economic organization, the BSEC assumes an even larger role and responsibility to respond, through its actions and cooperation, to growing challenges and to exploit the region's developmental potential to the fullest, said Nikolic.Recalling that regional cooperation is one of Serbia's main foreign policy priorities, Nikolic pointed out that in addition to the BSEC, Serbia had successfully presided over many regional initiatives in 2011 and 2012 - the Central European Initiative, the Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative, the South-East European Cooperation Process and the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative.He explained that Serbia's priorities during its six-month presidency of the BSEC were promoting dialogue and multilateral economic cooperation, strengthening regional and good-neighborly relations, advancing interregional economic cooperation, and strengthening BSEC's internal structure.An important segment in this regard is the recently adopted Economic Agenda for the Future of the BSEC, which should serve as a map of sorts for achieving our common goals, said Nikolic.Among the most important joint undertakings of the BSEC, Nikolic highlighted traffic infrastructure projects such as Corridor X, pointing out that Serbia was counting on EU assistance in its realization.As an EU candidate country, Serbia strongly supports the strengthening of cooperation between the BSEC and the EU, especially in the areas of environmental protection and energy, said Nikolic.BSEC member countries are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine, while a number of countries and other organizations have observer status - Austria, Belarus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Israel, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Tunisia and the United States.
NIKOLIC CONFERS WITH GUL IN ISTANBUL
ISTANBUL, June 26 (Tanjug) –President Nikolic met his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on the sidelines of the 20th Anniversary Summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in Istanbul on Tuesday, with whom he discussed development of cooperation and economic relations between Serbia and Turkey.Nikolic said that good relations between the two countries should be further improved in the interest of their citizens, and added that Serbia sees the EU accession as its strategic goal it will not give up, the president's press service released in a statement.According to Nikolic, Serbia has great potential in natural and human resources, which are its comparative advantage.Serbia will keep building the bridges of good neighborly cooperation and striving to become an economically strong and prosperous country, Nikolic stressed while talking to the president of Turkey, which earlier offered to help Serbia overcome the economic crisis, in the form of infrastructure investments.Serbian and Turkish foreign ministers, Vuk Jeremic and Ahmet Davutoglu respectively, also attended the meeting.Today's BSEC summit is being co-chaired by Nikolic and Gul as representatives of the country which is currently presiding over the regional initiative and the one that is to take over.The summit is dedicated to 20th anniversary of the BSEC. Serbia's six-month presidency ends on July 1, when Turkey is to take over.
BREFORT: SERBIA UNABLE TO PAY DEBTS FROM OCTOBER
BELGRADE, June 27 (Tanjug) –If Serbia does not implement severe austerity measures immediately, the first signs of inability to repay foreign debts will surface in October, and next year will definitely be very problematic, warned Loup Brefort, the World Bank country manager for Serbia.It is bad that the loans are being used for current spending. Serbia must find a way to do more with less money, business in general needs to operate better and the private sector in particular requires assistance, Brefort told the daily Blic. This year, Serbia will need to pay back one billion euros to foreign creditors, 60 percent more than last year. In 2013, the country will need to come up with as much as EUR 1.5 billion, writes the paper.Serbia's public debt total is close to EUR 10 billion - around EUR 8 billion was directly borrowed by the government, and EUR 1.7 billion are guarantees for loans to companies.
PROJECT AGAINST POLICE CORRUPTION COMPLETED
BELGRADE, June 27 (Tanjug) –A meeting of representatives of the police forces of Serbia, the Czech Republic and Great Britain on Wednesday marked the completion of an EU-sponsored project aimed at organizing the internal control sector of the Serbian Interior Ministry and training its members.Serbia's Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said the goal of the twinning-project dubbed "Police reform: internal control" was to prevent one rotten apple from spoiling the whole basket, because in every country the internal affairs service reflects the readiness of the police to fight corruption.Dacic said special focus would be placed on the development of the integrity of police officers, who would be subjected to integrity tests. The Interior Ministry will predict all the opportunities for corruption offered by a certain position in its structure and then take the appropriate control measures.He said one problem during the project was the lack of special equipment for covert surveillance, but it was partially solved by a donation from Great Britain.The 21-month long project resulted in a strategic analysis of corruption inside the Interior Ministry, an anti-corruption manual, a guidebook for the internal control sector, and 14 completed projects.Head of the EU Mission in Serbia Vincent Degert and representatives of the Czech and British embassies said that harmonizing the internal affairs system with European standards was one of the conditions of Serbia's further progress in EU integration.According to Degert, the success of the project confirmed Serbia's strategic orientation which entails not only accepting values but the readiness and resources to implement international standards in various areas.We did not achieve everything we wanted, but we have a solid foundation to continue the process, especially when it comes to conditions for the work of the internal control service, its human resources and technical capabilities, said Degert.The ceremony was attended by British Ambassador in Belgrade Michael Davenport and Czech Deputy Ambassador Jiri Kyrian.
MAAS: ECONOMY CANNOT WAIT LONG FOR GOVERNMENT
BELGRADE, June 26 (Tanjug) –For Serbia's path to the EU, a month or two more or less in the formation of government is not crucial, but it is when it comes to the economic situation, which is extremely difficult, the German ambassador Wolfram Maas said.