Daily Survey

Belgrade, August 27, 2012

SERBIA

SERBIA, AZERBAIJAN READY TO FOSTER COOPERATION

BELGRADE, August 24 (Tanjug) - Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Serbia Eldar Hassanov stressed Friday the mutual interest in fostering cooperation in all fields of defense, as well as in the strengthening of strong political and economic relations between the two countries.
In addition to militaryindustrial, cooperation between the two countries will be enhanced in the militarytechnical and especially the militarymedical field, it was said at the meeting.
Vucic and Hassan discussed the development of bilateral cooperation through strengthening partnership and friendly relations, a statement from the Ministry of Defense said.

VUCIC AND WANXUE ON IMPROVEMENT IN COOPERATION

BELGRADE, August 24 (Tanjug) - Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Zhang Wanxue discussed on Friday strengthening of bilateral cooperation with the emphasis on improvement in the domain of defence.
In the coming period, the cooperation in the field of defence will focus on the continuation of highlevel talks and improvement in militaryeconomic and scientifictechnological cooperation, as well as the exchange of technologies and knowledge in the field of defence industry, the Ministry of Defence announced after the meeting.
During the meeting, the officials underlined that the Republic of Serbia and the People's Republic of China foster traditionally friendly relations, the release reads.

GRUBJESIC: RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA BEYOND QUESTION, EU PRIORITY

BELGRADE, August 26 (Tanjug) - It is only normal for Serbia to have the best possible relations with the Russian Federation, but the EU accession remains a top priority for the country, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister for EU Integration Suzana Grubjesic said.
"I do not see the reason for creating such a false dilemma as to whether this government would be inclined to Russia or the EU, or whether there is a need for a speedier EU integration as one of the main goals of this government," Grubjesic said in an interview for the Belgradebased daily Press.
As regards a date for start of entry talks, she preferred not to speculate on it, but voiced expectation that "we would obtain the date as soon as possible, but that we are well aware what needs to be done for Serbia to be granted a date, and open entry talks." "A speedier EU integration is one of the top points of the coalition agreement signed by the parties in power, but it seems to be easier to deliver a sweeping statement than commend a decisive fight against corruption and crime, upgrade of the dialogue with Pristina to the highest political level, introduction of order into public finances," she said.

INFANTE: UN WILLING TO HELP FIGHT CORRUPTION

BELGRADE, August 24 (Tanjug) - UN resident coordinator in Serbia William Infante met with Serbia's head of the bureau for coordination between security services Aleksandar Vucic on Friday and said the UN was willing to help fight corruption in all areas.
Infante stated willingness to help establish expert teams to design action plans and take actual steps, train personnel and provide funds to build the capacities necessary to fight corruption. According to a release from the government office for media relations, both sides think that reviewing good practices and potential flaws in the procedures meant to prevent risk of corruption will help the Serbian government reduce that risk.
Vucic, who is also defence minister and deputy prime minister, said a good cooperation between the Defence Ministry and the UN and its specialized agencies and bodies held great importance for continuing reforms, something the Defence Ministry was committed to, which was important for Serbia's progress towards EU membership. The priority for the Defence Ministry will be to settle the issue of surplus ordnance and storage of conventional ammunition in cooperation with the UN office in Serbia regarding joint projects to reduce risk of weapon abuse, the minister said.
Vucic thanked Infante for UN support in development and on the programme for the development of the capacity to manage the supply of conventional ammunition, which is how Serbia wants to show that it respects the standards, criteria and procedures of the UN and OSCE in disarmament and weapons control.
The two talked about gender equality in the military, so it was said the Defence Ministry was cooperating successfully with the UN agency for gender equality and stronger role of women, as well as with the UN programme for development. The cooperation serves to secure support for the Defence Ministry is conducting the national action plan Women, Peace and Security in Serbia, in accordance to the adopted UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the release says.

PAJEVIC: VOJVODINA SHOULD BE REPRESENTED IN BRUSSELS

NOVI SAD, August 27 (Tanjug) - Head of the Serbian government office for EU integration Milan Pajevic has said it is in Serbia's interest for its northern province of Vojvodina to be represented in Brussels, but that the decision by the Constitutional Court denying Vojvodina the right to an office in Brussels should be respected.
"There are various possibilities for Vojvodina to be represented in Brussels and those options should be considered calmly," Pajevic told the Dnevnik daily from Novi Sad.
It is undoubtedly in the interest of Vojvodina and the rest of Serbia, he stressed.

KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

STEFANOVIC: PLAN FOR KOSOVO IN SEVERAL WEEKS

BELGRADE, August 25 (Tanjug) - Serbian Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic has said that a plan for Kosovo Metohija is being prepared, and voiced expectation that it would be completed in several weeks, after which it would be presented to the parliament.
In a live broadcast on the RTS, Stefanovic announced that he would soon discuss the plan with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, director of the Serbian government's Office for Kosovo Metohija Aleksandar Vulin and other members of the government.
Speaking about the parliament's next steps, Stefanovic announced that he would schedule the new sitting for Wednesday, August 29, which would be followed by debates on budget review, new bill on public procurements and anticorruption bill.
The agenda of the next sitting should also include several bills from the domain of judiciary, the ratification of various international agreements, Stefanovic specified.
After the close of this sitting, a new one will be scheduled very soon, at which MPs would hold a debate on the budget review, new bill on public procurements, and anticorruption bill, the parliament speaker said.

MALI DOES NOT RECOGNIZE KOSOVO, DOCUMENT FALSE

BAMAKO, August 24 (Tanjug) - Mali does not recognize the Republic of Kosovo, a statement from the Republic of Mali presidency has said.
The statement issued on Thursday noted there was a document circulating around the world which was indicating that Mali "had recognized the Republic of Kosovo." "The presidency would wish to categorically deny this falsehood which intends to tarnish the image of Mali," the statement carried by Chinese agency Xinhua said.
"Consequently, the Malian presidency would wish to inform both the national and international community that the president has not yet signed any document recognizing the Republic of Kosovo and reserves the right to take appropriate measures to identify and punish the authors of the false document," the statement concluded.
The Serbian media, too, reported several days ago that Mali recognized the independence of Kosovo and that the relevant written document was presented at a press conference in Pristina by Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister Bedzet Pacoli.

GERMAN AUSTRIAN CONTINGENT ON ITS WAY TO KOSOVO

BERLIN, August 27 (Tanjug) - German General Erhard Drews has said that German and Austrian soldiers, who are to be deployed in Kosovo, will be responsible for a large part of northern Kosovo, and stressed that around 95 percent of Serbs in the north are not interested in an open conflict.
"They are responsible for a large part of the north, maintaining security, stability and freedom of movement," Drews told German radio Deutsche Welle explaining the upcoming mission of sending 550 German and 150 Austrian soldiers from the Operational Reserve Force (ORF) to Kosovo, in order to replace the Italian battalion in late September.
When it comes to conflicts at administrative crossings, Drews said this is not just about politics.
"It is about illegal trafficking of all kinds," he said, including "weapons, drugs, and human trafficking. When these illegal businessmen get scared when their business model is in danger they don't shy away even from deadly force," said Drews, who, according to announcements from Brussels, should be replaced by German General Volker Halbauer on September 7.
In June 2011, two German soldiers were shot as KFOR troops dismantled a Serbian roadblock. Drews qualified this as an isolated case and said that 95 percent of the Serb population in northern Kosovo is not interested in an open conflict.
The region nevertheless remains unstable as the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo is at a standstill, he added.
"As long as there is no solution there, and as long as there are no military security forces," Drews said, "conflict will always recur on the local level," Drews concluded.