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DAILY SURVEY 08.11.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC: COMOROS WITHDRAWS RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Nov. 7 that the Union of the Comoros had withdrawn its recognition of Kosovo's independence. Dacic made this announcement at the joint news conference with the minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation of that island country in the Indian Ocean, Souef Mohammed El-Amine. The Union of the Comoros is the tenth country to have withdrawn recognition of Kosovo, Dacic said. Souef Mohammed El-Amine said the Comoros supported the territorial integrity of Serbia. We are with you regarding your territorial integrity. Therefore, we view Kosovo as an integral part of your territory, he stated. The reporters at the Serbian Foreign Ministry were also given the translation of the note of the Union of the Comoros about the withdrawal of the recognition of Kosovo. The note, dated Nov. 1, reads that the government of the Union of the Comoros withdraws the recognition of Kosovo in order to enable the two sides to reach a just, equal and lasting political solution to the issue of the status of Kosovo.

COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA AND UNION OF THE COMOROS

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - The foreign ministers of Serbia and the Union of the Comoros, Ivica Dacic and Souef Mohammed El-Amine, signed a memorandum of cooperation of the two ministries in Belgrade on Nov. 7. El-Amine said the memorandum would direct the two countries' cooperation and that the signing of new cooperation contracts was envisaged, and they also agreed on harmonizing stands at international conferences. The Comoros minister expressed thanks for the support of the SFRY to his country during and after becoming independent, and for Serbia's support to the territorial integrity of the Union of the Comoros. Dacic said Serbia and the Comoros had similar problems and were seeking common interests in that context. He said the goal was greater economic exchange and that cooperation could be established in culture, science, sports, and defense.

DACIC: KOSOVO IMPOSING CUSTOMS ON SERBIAN, BOSNIAN GOODS IS PRESSURE ON EU

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Nov. 7 that the customs duties which Kosovo introduced on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina represented Pristina's message to the European Union that it had to allow the visa liberalization. "We do not have to do anything. That is Pristina's method of operation," Dacic said, replying to a question about whether Pristina's steps were an introduction to a trade war. In his words, Pristina's decision violated CEFTA, the Berlin Process and the idea about the joint economic space in the Western Balkans, which was presented by the European enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, and it is a reaction because "Pristina is not doing well." "This is against all logic. We are now waiting for the EU's response. You know the dialogue should have resumed, but how can it be with such acts being done just days ahead of the talks," the Serbian foreign minister said at the joint news conference with the foreign minister of the Union of the Comoros. Dacic also said Serbia had nothing against the visa liberalization for Kosovo, because they were "citizens of Serbia."

DACIC: KOSOVO HAS NO VOTES FOR INTERPOL

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Nov. 7 that, despite the Pristina authorities' claims, Kosovo was not even close to having enough votes to become a member of Interpol. Dacic said during the news conference with the foreign minister of the Comoros that members of that police organization were being pressured into voting for Kosovo, and that this was "not good." The Union of the Comoros would not vote for the admission of Kosovo to Interpol, although it was on the list of "secure votes" of Pristina, the Serbian foreign minister said. In his words, Interpol admits only states, and Kosovo only wants membership in order to present itself as an independent state. Dacic also dismissed Pristina's claims that Serbia was behaving "savagely". "We have been savagely bombed in order for Kosovo to be independent. Haradinaj and the others have killed savagely and now they are claiming Serbia is behaving savagely. (...) We are working in the interest of peace and stability," Dacic stated.

DACIC MEETS WITH NEW COUNCIL OF EUROPE HEAD OF OFFICE

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Nov. 7 that he expected the good cooperation between Serbia and the Council of Europe (CoE) to continue during the mandate of the new head of the organization's office in Belgrade, Tobias Flessenkemper. During the talks with Flessenkemper, who is a German diplomat and legal expert, Dacic said that significant progress had been accomplished in the 15 years since Serbia's admission into the Council of Europe and that Serbia had fulfilled almost all of the obligations it had assumed, the Serbian Foreign Ministry has stated. The Serbian foreign minister declared Serbia's firm resolve to become member of the European Union and that, on its European path, it continued with reforms in the fields of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, which the Council of Europe is helpfully contributing to.

DACIC, NEW IRAQI AMBASSADOR DISCUSS WAYS TO IMPROVE COOP

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - In a meeting with newly appointed Iraqi Ambassador to Serbia Fakhri Hassan Mahdi Al-Issa on Nov. 7, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that Serbia was proud of the history of relations with Iraq and cooperating, dating back to the period of the former Yugoslavia, according to a release from the Foreign Ministry. "Dacic stressed that Serbia had given its great contribution to combating terrorism in Iraq and the preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq. He underlined that Serbia had an interest to further develop cooperation with Iraq in the fields of the economy, internal affairs, but also in culture, education and other domains with realistic potential," the release said. The Iraqi ambassador thanked Serbia for its support in combating terrorism, adding that at the moment Iraq needed a swift and efficient reconstruction, and called on Serbia to take part, stressing that "Serbia's companies have a special image in Iraq in this field." The ambassador again reiterated Baghdad's support to Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and agreed that possibilities for bilateral cooperation were many. They agreed that traditionally friendly bilateral relations, with a long and rich tradition, should serve as a foundation for economic cooperation, and mutual support in the international arena and international organizations, according to the release.

BRNABIC: KOSOVO VIOLATES CEFTA, ALL REGIONAL COOPERATION AGREEMENTS

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated on Nov. 7 that the Pristina authorities' decision to increase customs duties on imports of goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was a clear violation of the CEFTA agreement on free trade, the Stabilization and Association Agreement and all agreements on regional connecting and cooperation. She told reporters during the presentation of the "White Paper" of the Council of Foreign Investors, that she hoped Ramush Haradinaj and his team would reconsider the justification of these measures. "This is against everything that is expected in the 21st century, when we speak about stability, predictability and a better quality of life for the people," the Serbian prime minister said. Asked about whether Serbia would impose counter-measures on Kosovo, she refused to make any statements about that at this time. The chief of the EU Delegation in Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, said the EU opposed the Kosovo government's decision to increase customs fees and that additional explanations were demanded. On Nov. 6, the Kosovo government decided to increase customs on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina by 10 percent, which came into effect on Nov. 7.

PROTOCOL SIGNED ON IMPLEMENTING AGREEMENT ON SERBIA NATIONALS' EMPLOYMENT IN SLOVENIA

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - Labor, Employment and Veteran and Social Affairs Minister Zoran Djordjevic and Slovenia's Labor, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities Minister Ksenija Klampfer on Nov. 7 signed a Protocol on implementing an Agreement on the employment of Serbia's nationals in Slovenia, which protects the rights of Serbia's nationals. "With this agreement, we wanted to fully protect our workers in Slovenia and to enable them to work in line with Slovenia's laws. Also, a number of Slovenia's nationals and investors are coming to Serbia and Slovenia also wants to protect their rights," Djordjevic said according to a release from his ministry. He also said that until now, the two countries could exchange data on employment and employee migrations. Klampfer said that the agreement would further improve cooperation between the two countries. "This way we work on removing all illegalities that Serbia's nationals could encounter in Slovenia," she said. Klampfer also said that a total of 3,500 Serbia's workers had been registered in Slovenia this year, and expected the number to be around 4,000 by the end of 2018.

CHAMBER PROTESTS KOSOVO'S DECISION BEFORE EC, CEFTA SECRETARIAT, MINISTERS

BELGRADE, 7 November 2018 (Beta) - In response to the Kosovo authorities' decision to introduce up to 10% customs fees on goods from Serbia, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce sent a protest letter to the European Commission (EC), the Secretariat of CEFTA, the regional countries' ministers in charge of implementation of the free trade agreement and to the Eurochambres, demanding a prompt solution of that problem. "Imposing customs fees is directly against the CEFTA agreement, which guarantees free trade without customs barriers," reads the letter, signed by the president of the chamber of commerce, Marko Cadez. The letter reads that the move by the Kosovo authorities had "no political justification and is a demonstration of disrespect for international obligations, wherein a particularly grave fact is that such measures are being imposed at the time when Kosovo is presiding over CEFTA and when its responsibility for honoring the agreement should be the greatest." "As one of the active advocates of economic integration in the region, the Serbian Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that the free movement of goods, services, people and capital is crucial for economic growth, attracting foreign investments and improving the region's competitiveness," the letter reads. He also wrote that such measures would have far-reaching consequences and undermine the efforts of the region's commercial chambers towards successfully connecting, and cooperation between businesses. The Serbian Chamber of Commerce urged Johannes Hahn, the EU enlargement commissioner, the relevant officials of the Secretariat of CEFTA, and the relevant government ministers of the CEFTA countries, to implement measures for re-establishing a predictable, safe and stimulating atmosphere for business, in keeping with the international agreements which are mandatory for all CEFTA countries, and underscored the European Commission's key role.