Daily Survey

Belgrade, July 27, 2012



MOSCOW, July 26 (Tanjug) - Serbia's outgoing Foreign Minister and President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday and the two agreed that international issues and crises, including the Kosovo issue, could only be resolved based on international law, and that violence was not acceptable.
At the joint news conference, Jeremic stressed that Serbia and Russia had very similar views on almost all issues, including Kosovo, and that the similarity was confirmed at the meeting.
Serbia has opposed strongly the attempted secession and change of its borders and has always had Russia's support in that, Jeremic noted.
Stressing that the greatest security challenge in the Western Balkans would be to fail to settle the Kosovo issue, Jeremic stated that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 was the only base for a solution.
Lavrov agreed, adding that the UN also had a part to play in the process.
The UN Charter and Resolution 1244 pose as a unique international and legal base to solve the issue, Lavrov remarked. There is no other way but dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, he pointed out, adding that the UN had a mandate in Kosovo and had to fulfill it, and that no one had taken the responsibility off the UN's shoulders regarding Kosovo.
Serbia's territorial sovereignty over Kosovo was guaranteed by Resolution 1244, Jeremic underlined, adding that until the UN Security Council comes up with a different solution, he saw no room for changes.
Jeremic believes Serbia's next government will continue its activities in preventing new recognitions of Kosovo's independence.
No Serbian government will accept changes to the countries borders made by force, neither the present nor the next one, Jeremic said, adding that a solution to the issue could only be reached through an agreement between the two sides that would be confirmed by the UN.
Jeremic was elected president of the UN General Assembly in June, and he stated in Moscow he would strive to live up to the trust placed in Serbia by running the UN's top body in a balanced way.
Lavrov said Jeremic was an excellent choice for the position, and that his election was a recognition of Serbia and Jeremic personally.
Jeremic faces tough tasks, because the General Assembly needs to find collective answers to global challenges, and it is up to the president whether there will be a possibility of the member countries reaching a balanced solution, Lavrov noted.
Serbia is going to propose the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiations as one of the topics of the 67th session of the General Assembly, said Jeremic, adding that his whole term would be in that spirit. Serbia has been chosen for an important role, and it received that trust from a majority of member stated and is grateful for it, Jeremic emphasized. Only through a fair and balanced presidency can Serbia live up to that trust, he asserted.
Jeremic stated that Thursday was his last day as Serbia's foreign minister and that it was fate that had decided to lead him to Moscow.
He pointed out he had met Lavrov officially 20 times and thanked for the support, adding that he had learned a lot professionally from Russia's foreign minister.
When asked what his advice would be to his successor as Serbia's foreign minister, Jeremic responded that the new minister was a professional whom he had complete faith in and that he needed no advice.
Jeremic said the only advice to his successor in terms of the relations between Serbia and Russia was that he should brush up on history.


BELGRADE, July 27 (B92, Tanjug) - The cabinet of Prime Minister Ivica Dacic was elected by the Serbian parliament in Belgrade on Friday with 142 votes in favor.
72 MPs voted against, while 26 abstained. The new ruling coalition is made up of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS), the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the United Regions of Serbia (URS) along with the parties that joined them in alliances forged ahead of the May 6 elections.
On Thursday, Dacic presented his cabinet's policy, which was followed by a debate that lasted throughout the evening and into the early hours of Friday.
The new prime minister and members of his cabinet took the oath of office to the sounds of the national anthem and in the presence of a ceremonial guard.
"I pledge my loyalty to the Republic of Serbia and by my honor I pledge to respect its Constitution and laws, to perform my duties as member of the government conscientiously, responsibly and in a dedicated manner, and to be committed to keeping Kosovo and Metohija a part of the Republic of Serbia," reads the oath.
The new government has 17 ministries and four offices for Kosovo, human and minority rights, churches and religious communities, and the diaspora.
It has a total of 19 members, including four deputy prime ministers, and will be the smallest the country has seen this side of 1990.
Serbia's new PM and leader of the Socialists (SPS) Ivica Dacic for the past four years served as a deputy PM and interior minister in the previous government led by the Democrats (DS) who today joined the opposition.


WASHINTON, July 26 (Tanjug) - The United States looks forward to cooperating with the new Serbian government and wants for Serbia to constructively go forward, said State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Nuland told Tanjug's correspondent that the U.S. messages to Serbia remain the same and that she wants to send a message to the new government and the new president that the U.S. wants Serbia to constructively go forward.
We want progress in Serbia's cooperation with its neighbors, and also that the new government demonstrates strong adherence to the rule of law and democratic institutions, she underlined.
Washington also wants the dialogue with Kosovo to continue as soon as possible, under the auspices of the European Union, Nuland said.


BELGRADE, July 27 (Tanjug) - The U.S. administration would cooperate with the new Serbian government and parliament, with a view to expanding the existing scope of cooperation even further, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick said during the meeting with Serbia's new Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic.
After the meeting, Stefanovic told journalists at the parliament building that he had discussed the prospects for further improvement in cooperation between the two countries and projects which the U.S. Embassy had facilitated so as to bring the parliament closer to the public.
The parliament speaker said that the projects financed by the U.S. Embassy assisted in strengthening democracy in Serbia, adding that the Serbian parliament would like to expand the scope of cooperation with the U.S.
Stefanovic voiced expectation that today's meeting would be the first in the series of encounters between officials of the Serbian parliament and U.S. Embassy.
Ambassador Warlick said that the U.S. would like to continue to cooperate with the Serbian authorities and back their efforts aimed at acceding to the EU.
We want to continue to foster bilateral relations in all domains. We know that the parliament and government will have a lot to do in order to improve regional relations, progress in the dialogue with Pristina and strengthen the institutions. We believe that it is of immense importance that the new government works as a team in relation to these issues, the rule of law and the fight against organized crime in particular, Warlick said.