Daily Survey

Belgrade, 29 05. 2007.

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SARAJEVO, May 28. (Beta) - The foreign ministers of Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina, Vuk Jeremic and Sven Alkalaj, agreed on May 28, in Sarajevo, that "the time has come for bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia to experience an upswing" and for neighborly relations to improve.

"One of my priorities as Serbia's foreign minister will be to improve good neighborly relations, which is why Bosnia has been chosen as the first country I am visiting officially since assuming my duties," Jeremic said after his meeting with Alkalaj.

Alkalaj said Jeremic's visit to Sarajevo was "a strong message to the region, Brussels and Washington that the two states can cooperate in a friendly way."

After the meeting, Jeremic also said cooperation with the Hague tribunal was one of the main goals of Serbia's new government and that "the Serbian government feels that this difficult page of history should be finished, as soon as possible."

He underlined that Bosnia and Serbia had common goals entry into Euro Atlantic integrations.

On behalf of Serbian President Boris Tadic, Jeremic invited members of the Bosnian Presidency to come to Belgrade in the fall for the session of the Interstate Council on building relations.


SARAJEVO, May 28 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that his Bosnia-Herzegovina counterpart Sven Alkalaj in Sarajevo on Monday told him the position of BiH on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija was unchanged and that for Sarajevo was acceptable what is agreed between Belgrade and Pristina.

Vuk Jeremic, at a joint press conference after the talks, thanked Sarajevo for, what he called, a balanced position on the issue of the final status for Kosovo-Metohija and emphasized that Serbia and BiH were committed to the integrity of states and to respect for sovereignty and internationally recognized borders of all countries in the region.

We expect that in the course of this week an official document at the United Nations will become also a request for initiating a news stage of negotiations on Kosovo-Metohija, which the Serbian government sent last week to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Jeremic said. According to him, the debate at the UN about the draft resolution, prepared by the United States and the EU on the basis of Martti Ahtisaari's plan, will be complex and difficult, and also expected to be discussed is the Serbian proposal for reopening negotiations.

He reiterated that for Serbia the independence of Kosovo-Metohija was unacceptable in any form. It would be extremely wrong to impose any solution, as that would mean a return to the past, and the Serbian government will fight against all imposed solutions with all diplomatic and political means, Jeremic said.


BANJA LUKA, May 28 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Republika Srpska Premier Milorad Dodik on Monday opened a new building of the Serbian Consulate-General in Banja Luka.

"The new Serbian government is committed to the reinforcement of the Agreement on Special and Parallel Ties between Serbia and the Republika Srpska and the opening of the new Consulate building is the first step to that effect," Jeremic said.

Dodik gave Jeremic his personal request for Serbian citizenship and the Serbian foreign minister, in keeping with the procedure, gave it to Serbia's Consul-General in Banja Luka Jadranka Derajic.

Jeremic announced that a mixed committee on the implementation of the Agreement on Special and Parallel Ties, made up of the presidents and premiers of the Republika Srpska and Serbia, would hold a meeting in Belgrade by the end of the week.

The Serbian foreign minister said he hoped that the new building would not be used only for administrative purposes, but that it would also be a meeting point for company representatives, researchers and cultural workers.

Derajic said that the "door of the new Consulate is open to all those who wish to help strengthen the cultural and economic cooperation and generally improve bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina." The ceremony was attended by numerous public, cultural and political figures from the Republika Srpska.


SARAJEVO, May 28. (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said on May 28, in Banjaluka, that any decision by third parties on independence for Kosovo was not acceptable and would represent a null act for Belgrade.

"The government of the Republic of Serbia has dispatched a letter to the U.N., asking for negotiations to continue. Until a compromise solution, acceptable both for Belgrade and Pristina, is reached, any change in the internal organization of Serbia will be out of the question," Jeremic told journalists in Banjaluka.

He said he had had very good talks in Sarajevo on May 28, with his Bosnian counterpart Sven Alkalaj, which included Kosovo.

"We also discussed the Kosovo issue. On that occasion, Alkalaj repeated to me the official position of Bosnia, which we appreciate highly that a solution agreed on by Belgrade and Pristina is acceptable for Bosnia," Jeremic told journalists in Banjaluka.



BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac on May 28 had separate talks with the ambassadors of Italy and Russia, Alessandro Merola and Alexander Alekseev, the Defense Ministry announced.

In his meeting with Merola, Sutanovac pointed out that Italy was one of Serbia's most important partners and stressed that he especially appreciated Italy's support for Serbia's full membership in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

Alekseev and Sutanovac voiced a common dedication to continue cooperation between their two countries' ministries and armies.

Outgoing Russian military attaché, Vladimir Lugavoy, also attended the talk.


BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) - The ambassadors of Sweden and Poland in Serbia, Krister Bringeus and Maciej Szymanski, respectively, said cooperation with the Hague tribunal was necessary for Serbia's accession to the EU. The ambassadors made the statement during their visit to Cacak on May 28, as part of the project dubbed "EU Visiting Serbia."

Speaking at a news conference, Bringeus said it was up to the Serbian people to determine their political future, adding that the EU has received "a clear message" from the new cabinet that it wants to integrate in the EU. The ambassador also said the EU is ready to "give its best" to help Serbia integrate, but stressed that the necessary condition was Serbia's cooperation with the Hague tribunal.

"We have clear requests from Serbia for reestablishing relations with the EU and Serbia knows well that this depends on its cooperation with the Hague tribunal," the Swedish ambassador said.

Speaking at the same news conference, Szymanski said he believed that Serbia has now demonstrated the will to cooperate with the Hague tribunal.

The ambassador, however, noted that over the past years, such promises were not sincere and that there was no political will for cooperation.


BELGRADE, May 29 (Tanjug) - Serbian Army (VS) Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Zdravko Ponos said late on Monday that as regards the plan for cooperation with the ICTY, the "VS is already doing all that is required and respects all the decrees of the judiciary in scope of what it is authorized for." "We have made our decision. This is something which has to be done, there is no dilemma about that," Ponos said in an interview for TV B92, when asked whether VS backed Ratko Mladic's arrest.

"At the moment, VS has 30,000 men. I cannot know what is going on in each of those heads, but what I do know is what the dominant system of values and the general feeling is in the VS. This is a job that has to be brought to an end. The whole country cannot be held hostage for just one man," he pointed out.

Ponos reminded of the good results of his last-week visit to the United States and the agreements on bilateral military cooperation. Asked about the possibility of similar cooperation with other countries, Russia for one, Ponos said that VS was "open to cooperation with all that have compatible interests."


BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Head of the National Council for Cooperation with the ICTY Rasim Ljajic said on Monday that ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte would visit Belgrade on June 4 and meet with top Serbian officials.

The report on Serbia's cooperation with the ICTY, which Del Ponte will present to the UN Security Council on June 18, will depend on the talks, Ljajic told the Belgrade television station B92.

The prosecutor usually visits the region before she presents her report to the Security Council and this visit will be used to build trust between the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor and new Serbian government, he said. Ljajic said that preparations for this visit had been made for the past ten days and that Serbian President Boris Tadic had talked with Del Ponte by phone. Ljajic said that on behalf of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and his personal behalf Tadic voiced readiness for the meeting and determination of the government and all state institutions "to meet all obligations towards the ICTY as soon as possible."

Ljajic will be Del Ponte's host in Belgrade and meetings with President Tadic, Prime Minister Kostunica, War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic, heads of the VBA and BIA and the ministers of defence, justice and internal affairs.


BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) - Serbian European Integration Office head Tanja Miscevic on May 28 said the stabilization and association talks with the EU could resume over the next few weeks, but added that the condition was to continue cooperation with the Hague tribunal.

"There is no announcement on the possible resumption of the talks in these days, but it is obvious that we are not speaking about a long period of time... The EU is keen to resume the talks and we no longer speak about months, but weeks," Miscevic told the press.

She reiterated that cooperation with the Hague tribunal and submission of the required documents to the tribunal were still the conditions for the resumption of the talks and added that Serbia is ready for the talks.

According to Miscevic, the problem is that the Serbian parliament was not working over the past few months and it therefore has a large number of priority bills to pass in a short period of time.

"As far as I know, the parliament will be working throughout the summer and the chances are good that a set of laws will be adopted by the end of the summer," said Miscevic, who took part in the conference entitled "Serbia's responses to the challenges of time," held under the auspices of the Democratic Political Forum on May 28.

The meeting pointed out that the unresolved issues of the Kosovo status, cooperation with the Hague tribunal, and the lack of a consensus on the country's European integration were the main obstacles to Serbia's path to the EU.

European Movement President Zivorad Kovacevic said the declarative support of the local political elite to Serbia's accession to the EU should be backed by concrete actions. Democratic Party MP Dragoljub Micunovic noted that Serbia primarily lacks a democratic dialog on the need to access the EU.


BELGRADE, May 29 (Tanjug) - Visiting Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Emilio Caballero Rodriguez yesterday informed Deputy Mayor of Belgrade Zoran Alimpic about the wish of the mayor of Havana for fraternization between the two capital cities.

Mr. Rodriguez clarified that Belgrade is to the citizens of Cuba a symbol of survival and resistance of a nation and its struggle for independence and freedom, the Beoinfo information service said in a statement. Rodriguez, who visited Alimpic together with Cuban Ambassador to Serbia Julio Cesar Cancio Ferrer, handed the Mayor of Belgrade an invitation for the Meeting of Solidarity and Cooperation, called for November 15 in Havana, adding that an agreement on fraternization could be signed then.


BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - The European Union (EU) will support with more than 550,000 euros a project for securing jobs for refugees and displaced persons in Serbia, representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in these activities announced on Monday.

The project will be valid for two years and it will be worth 700,000 euros, of which the EU will secure 80 percent, while donors are still being sought to provide the remaining funds, it was underscored at a press conference.

The main objectives of the project are to determine the needs for additional job qualification or new types of training, to create a professional profile of the target population, and to enable the realization of the elementary human rights, Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in South East Europe representative Nenad Sebek said. EU Serbian Representative Esmeralda Hernandez Aragones said the aim of the project was to create possibilities for the most threatened population to secure tenable existence and that their human rights should be protected.

The EU is cooperating with the Serbian government in the realization of this project, she said, pointing out that the European Commission (EC) will provide assistance to the government also in the drafting of the necessary legislative solutions concerning the refugees and displaced persons.


BELGRADE, May 29 (Tanjug) - The OSCE Mission in Serbia on Tuesday announced that new centers for police training will be opened in multiethnic communities of Medvedja, Bujanovac and Presevo.

New centers will provide modern and professional training of police force members in the south of Serbia, it was said in a statement. It was also specified that the Medvedja and Bujanovac centers will open on May 30, while the Presevo center will open the following day.

Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Hans Ola Urstad, Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia Haakon Blakenborg and representatives of the Serbian Interior Ministry will officially open the centers.


BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Norway will present to the Serbian Defense Ministry a field hospital with all the necessary equipment worth one million dollars, the Military Medical Academy (VMA) of Belgrade said on Monday.

The protocol on this donation will be signed on Tuesday by VMA Head, Major General Miodrag Jeftic and Norwegian Military Attaché to Serbia, Lieutenant Colonel Terje Haverstaadt. The two officials will sign the document on behalf of the defense ministries of the two states.

This donation will provide Serbia with capacities for international peacekeeping operations worth a total of around one million dollars, the VMA said. The donation of the field hospital and the training set of instruction equipment are envisaged under the plan of military-medical cooperation between the two states, and there are no conditions for the use of the field hospital, the Belgrade hospital said.



WASHINGTON, May 28 (Tanjug) - US President George Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Monday and agreed to continue the dialogue on Kosovo, the White House said.

"President Putin initiated the call. They discussed the importance of continuing their dialogue on Kosovo and other issues of mutual concern," said White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, Reuters reported.


BANJA LUKA, May 29 (Tanjug) - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said in Banja Luka late on Monday that he had received "with major approval" the news that Russian and US Presidents, Vladimir Putin and George Bush, had agreed that the dialogue on the settlement of Kosovo-Metohija's future status be continued.

"I am glad that the news is correct, since the official stand of Serbia is that the solution can be reached only through dialogue, with the respect of the stands of all sides and without imposing solutions," Minister Jeremic said after his talks with the Republika Srpska (RS) parliament speaker.


BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) -The U.N. Office of the Special Envoy for Kosovo (UNOSEK) has not been notified of the Serbian government's initiative to launch new talks on the future status of Kosovo, UNOSEK spokesman Remi Dourlot said on May 28.

UNOSEK has not been notified of any initiative by the Serbian government, he told BETA in a phone statement, adding that Martti Ahtisaari's office had learned this through the media.

Dourlot reminded that the Serbian government's initiative had been dispatched to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, adding that he did not expect it at UNOSEK.

He also said that no possible date for a U.N. Security Council session devoted to Kosovo was being mentioned at the U.N. headquarters.

On May 25, the Serbian government asked the U.N. secretary general for a continuation of the talks on the future status of Kosovo and Metohija.

An announcement from the government session said the government had adopted the "Initiative of the Republic of Serbia to start a new phase of talks on the status of Kosovo and Metohija" and dispatched it to the U.N. secretary general.


BERLIN, May 28 (Tanjug) - Kosovo will be one of the main topics of the meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8) foreign ministers, to be held in Potsdam, near Berlin on Wednesday, the German Foreign Ministry has announced.

This will enable the heads of state and government of G-8 (USA, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, Japan, Germany and Russia) to have a clearer picture of the topics they will be focusing on in Germany's Heiligendamm resort in week later, the German media said.

With regards to Kosovo, the German media said that the G-8 summit is not a decisive "round," but that it could provide an impulse. Underscoring that, with the exception of China, all the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, will be present in Heiligendamm, the German media said that this is why this gathering could be used to speed up the negotiations on Kosovo. The media also warned about the differences on the position on Kosovo between the US and Russia, pointing out that it seems that neither Washington nor Moscow are especially willing to make concessions.


KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, May 28. (Beta) - The newly appointed French defense minister, Herve Morin, said in Kosovska Mitrovica on May 28 that "the status quo cannot last" and added that Kosovo needed a solution that would offer a peaceful future to its citizens.

Speaking to the press, Morin, who is on his first foreign visit in the capacity of defense minister, said "it is of essential importance to reach a final solution, which would facilitate a peaceful future for the Kosovo population."

Noting that Kosovo is "at a crucial turning point in its history," the French minister said the antiSerb violence in March 2004 "showed that the status quo cannot last."

As part of his one day stay in Kosovo, Morin visited the French soldiers deployed in the northern part of the province.

"In this delicate phase, your role is of essential importance in maintaining a peaceful security situation and in preventing a crisis that could endanger this absolutely capital process," Morin told the French soldiers.


BELGRADE, May 29 (Tanjug) - Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Serbia Ivan Jestrab on Tuesday stated that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is one of the most difficult issues that the international community is faced with at present, but that it is encouraging that the presidents of USA and Russia had agreed to continue the dialogue.

"The Kosovo issue is one of the most difficult issues in Europe at present. One cannot say that there is an easy and simple solution. However, we believe that it would be very important for Serbia, the Western Balkans and Europe as a whole to find a solution at the Security Council in order to end the issue," Jestrab said in an interview with Tanjug.

It is rather encouraging that presidents of the United States of America George Bush and Russia Vladimir Putin had spoken on the phone and agreed to continue the dialogue on Kosovo, said the Ambassador, reiterating that the Group 8 will soon hold a meeting and that Kosovo will be one of the items of its agenda.


LJUBLJANA, May 28 (Tanjug) - Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said on Monday, after talks in Ljubljana with United States (US) Senator of Serbian extraction George Voinovich, that it is important the European Union (EU) and the US preserve unity on the issue of the future status of Kosovo province.

Addressing a joint press conference, Voinovich expressed hope that all Balkan countries would join NATO and the EU, the Slovenian news agency STA reported.

The US senator from Ohio said he would do everything in his power in order to preserve the stability and improve the living standard of the residents of this region. In addition to Kosovo, Rupel and Voinovich also discussed Slovenia's future EU Presidency and their bilateral relations, STA said.


BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) - Cuba feels that Kosovo is "a complex, but internal issue" and opposes an externally imposed solution, Eumelio Caballero Rodriguez, deputy foreign minister of Cuba, said in Belgrade, on May 28.

At a news conference at the International Press Center, Rodriguez said it was Cuba's position that the solution for Kosovo should be reached through negotiations and peacefully.

"The solution should be acceptable for both sides," the deputy Cuban minister said, adding that the Nonaligned Movement shared the position that the solution for Kosovo should be found in talks.

This position is also ensuant from the U.N. Charter, Rodriguez said, adding that the world would be a much worse place were it not for the charter.

Rodriguez visited Belgrade as part of his tour of the region. He spoke at a news conference on the publication of "Cuba at a Glance for Beginners" by Hadzi Dragan Antic.



BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Fruit and vegetables are in the first group of Serbia's export products and it annually exports 300 million dollars' worth of the products, but for the greatest part in fresh and semi- processed condition, it was said on Monday in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Last year Serbia exported a record of 340 million dollars' worth of fruit and vegetables, but for increasing exports of processed products producers and exporters need to meet European standards of food quality and security, PKS Agriculture Association secretary Milan Prostran said.

Consultant of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Exports from Developing Countries Hans Klerken pointed out that in West European countries around 90 pct of fruit and vegetables are sold in super markets and stores that require quality and continuous supply.


BELGRADE, May 28. (Beta) - The biggest exporter from Serbia in 2006 was the "U.S. Steel Serbia" company, with exports of steel products totaling EUR 664.6 million, the publication "Top 300 exporters," reported on May 28.

According to the list of the 300 biggest exporters in 2006, published in a publication of the magazine "Economist", "Petrohemija" from Pancevo holds ranks second with exports amounting to EUR 207 million worth, and "Tigar MH" is third with exports worth EUR 104 million.

The methanol vinegar production complex from Kikinda is the fourth with exports totalling EUR 63.6 million, followed by the "Sunoko" sugar factories with around EUR 63.58 million.

Among the ten biggest Serbian exporters are Hemofarm (EUR 59.6 million), the NIS oil industry of Serbia (EUR 48.3 million), Tarket (EUR 46.3 million), Electrical Utility of Serbia (EUR 44.3 million) and Tetrapak (EUR 41.2 million).

According to the publication, Serbian exports in 2006 totalled EUR 6.5 billion, and U.S. Steel made 12 percent of this amount, and there are 12 multinational companies among the top 20 exporters.


BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Fruit and vegetables are in the first group of Serbia's export products and it annually exports 300 million dollars' worth of the products, but for the greatest part in fresh and semi- processed condition, it was said on Monday in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Last year Serbia exported a record of 340 million dollars' worth of fruit and vegetables, but for increasing exports of processed products producers and exporters need to meet European standards of food quality and security, PKS Agriculture Association secretary Milan Prostran said.

Consultant of the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Exports from Developing Countries Hans Klerken pointed out that in West European countries around 90 pct of fruit and vegetables are sold in super markets and stores that require quality and continuous supply.


SOMBOR, May 28. (Beta) - During the next four years, the priority of the National Investment Plan (NIP) will be investing in new projects, which will enable new job opportunities, Dragan Djilas, minister without portfolio in charge of the NIP, said in Sombor on May 28.

"There will be some changes in the NIP regarding priorities. Apart from investments in projects, enabling new job opportunities, the priorities will still be schools, hospitals and all that is necessary to improve living conditions," Djilas said after signing a Memorandum on allocating money from the NIP to an Italian company Calzedonia.

Calzedonia is planning to build a new factory of women's underwear in Sombor, and a sum from NIP of 2000 euros per employee will be granted to this company. The new factory is to employ 400 employees.

On the same occasion in Sombor, the minister of economy and regional development, Mladjan Dinkic, said that in future, the NIP would not finance projects connected with the military, justice and taxation such projects will be treated as these budget beneficiaries' regular expenditure.

According to Dinkic, this year the plan is to allocate the sum of EUR 25 to 30 million from the NIP to support "greenfield investments", and till this moment contracts worth EUR 10 million have already been signed.


SOMBOR, May 28. (Beta) - During the last five years, foreign investors have invested around EUR 3 billion, and there have been 53 foreign direct investments, the president of the Vojvodina Executive Council, Bojan Pajtic, said in Sombor on May 28.

"Along with Belgrade, Vojvodina is the most interesting region for foreign investors. The municipalities of Zrenjanin, Indjija and Pecinci were the most attractive for investing," Pajtic said at a press conference.

Pajtic also underlined that signing the contract on May 28 with the Italian company Calzedonia, to open a factory for women's underwear in Sombor, ranks this town among the leading Vojvodina municipalities in terms of foreign investments.

EUR 15 million will be invested in this factory, which covers 12.000 square meters, and production will be export oriented. Construction works for the factory will start in February 2008, and it will open in November 2008.


ARANDJELOVAC, May 28. (Beta) - The mineral water and fruit juice bottling company, "Knjaz Milos" from Arandjelovac, will, for the first time since privatization, have a positive balance this year, the general manager of this company, Slobodan Petrovic, said on May 28.

During the first three months of 2007, "Knjaz Milos" had a turnover of EUR 19,5 million, which is around 18 percent more, compared to the same period last year, Petrovic said at a press conference.

This year "Knjaz Milos" plans to produce 222 million liters of mineral water and fruit juices, and 15 percent of this production will be exported, Petrovic added.

Petrovic also said "Knjaz Milos" had signed a three-year contract with the "Carlsberg BH", the Carlsberg branch company for Bosnia and Herzegovina, on distributing "Knjaz Milos" products to the Bosnia and Herzegovina market.

According to Petrovic, the main reason for business cooperation with "Carlsberg" was the decline in "Knjaz Milos" sales in Bosnia and Herzegovina by about 30 percent, which began last year as a result of the poor distribution network. The new contract with "Carlsberg" will enable "Knjaz Milos" to step up its sales in Bosnia and Herzegovina for about 20 percent.

The major owner of "Knjaz Milos", with a share package of 58 percent, is FPP Balkans Ltd., and the Danube Foods Group, Netherlands, and Danube Foods, Belgrade, own 38 percent of the shares.


BELGRADE, May 28 (Tanjug) - Industrial production in Serbia increased 6.5 pct in April this year compared to the same month in 2006, the Serbian Statistics Institute said.

The registered monthly increase in April however has stayed at the level of the total last year's average, the statement said.