Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 24.11.2017.
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BELGRADE, 23 November 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said during a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide in Oslo on Nov. 23 that Belgrade highly appreciated Norway's support in Serbia's European integration, and that Norway's experience would significantly contribute to continued reforms in Serbia. Brnabic said that membership in the EU was the key foreign policy goal of Serbia, which, she recalled, had so far opened ten negotiation chapters, and that she expected "three or four more" to be opened in December, the Serbian government has stated. "Serbia greatly appreciates the help and support Norway is providing in the implementation of reforms in Serbia, the goal of which is the improvement of the quality of life of all citizens and the acceleration of the process of European integration," Brnabic said during the meeting with the Norwegian foreign minister. The prime minister said political relations between Serbia and Norway were at a high level and that Norway was one of the biggest donors in Serbia, "with its aid so far having focused on the fields of rule of law, strengthening competitiveness, reform of public administration and energy efficiency." "Continued support and assistance from Norway would be precious for Serbia, especially in the priority fields for the Serbian government: education, innovation and entrepreneurship, digitalization and creative industries," Brnabic said on the second day of her visit to Norway. The Serbian prime minister and the Norwegian foreign minister also discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of security and defense, the statement reads.


BELGRADE, 23 November 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said in Oslo on Nov. 23, before the members of the Norwegian parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, that Serbia was actively contributing to the preservation of peace and security in the world, and that it was determined to continue cooperation with Norway in the field of defense. "Besides the excellent bilateral political relations, cooperation between Serbia and Norway in defense is highly developed. We are determined to continue cooperation in the defense field, especially in the medical corps and military education," Ana Brnabic said, as quoted by the Serbian government. According to the statement, Norway has provided significant support to the reform of Serbia's defense system over the past seven years, with more than four million euros in various projects. Brnabic said that Serbia was actively contributing to the preservation of peace and security in the world, with 344 of its soldiers currently participating in six missions with a U.N. mandate and four EU missions. The prime minister reiterated that membership in the EU was the key foreign policy goal of Serbia and that help and support from Norway in the implementation of reforms were extremely important for Serbia. Another topic of the meeting with representatives of the Norwegian parliament's committee was cooperation between the two countries' police forces, the statement reads.


BELGRADE, 23 November 2017 (Beta) - The sentence of the war commander of the Republika Srpska Army, Ratko Mladic, represents a part of the ongoing "politicized and biased line" which has existed in the work of the tribunal from the very beginning, the spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said on Nov. 23. "The unilateral, anti-Serb interpretation of the tragic events which the Hague tribunal created artificially is not only detrimental to the realization of the fundamental principle of imminence of punishment of crimes, but also undermines the restoration of mutual trust in the Balkans," Zakharova said in a reply to BETA's question about Moscow's view on the Hague tribunal's sentencing of Ratko Mladic. She said the Hague tribunal had failed to function without bias in the punishing of "all the perpetrators of horrible crimes," and had even excused a number of persons despite existing evidence, and gave them a kind of "arrangement for political life." The first-instance chamber of the Hague tribunal sentenced Ratko Mladic on Nov. 22 to life imprisonment for genocide in Srebrenica and crimes against humanity in 15 Bosnian municipalities, which include persecution, eradication, murder, deportation and forced relocation. He was found guilty on all counts of the indictment except the first, which is about genocide in six municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zakharova said Moscow expected the consideration of all cases handed over to the tribunal, as well as Mladic's appeal, to be processed "with maximum efficiency, and considered professionally and without bias" for the sake of stability in the Balkans. She said it was indicative that neither the Hague tribunal, nor the court in Bosnia and Herzegovina, "which has copied its activities," saw elements of crime in the case of Naser Oric, "whose fighters were hiding in Srebrenica from 1992 to 1994, from where they attacked the Serb civilian population." The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson accused the tribunal of disregarding the generally accepted standards, like the time frame for trials and the fundamental rights to life, health protection and medical treatment. Zakharova said the tribunal had refused to provisionally release Mladic for medical treatment in Russia in May, "despite Russia having provided detailed guarantees."


BELGRADE, 23 November 2017 (Beta) - The chief prosecutor of the Hague tribunal, Serge Brammertz, on Nov. 22 welcomed the life sentence for Ratko Mladic, pronounced by the Hague tribunal, explaining that this was not a verdict on the Serb people. Brammertz said that he completely agreed with Presiding Judge Alphons Orie, who ended the reading of the sentence by stating that Mladic's crimes, which included genocide and extermination, were among the most heinous in the history of mankind. Some will say that this is a verdict against the Serb people. The prosecution dismissed that adamantly. Mladic's guilt is his and his alone, Brammertz pointed out. He stated that the real heroes were the victims and the survivors who never gave up on their search for justice. Brammertz stressed that work on the prosecution of war crimes would not end with the closing of the Tribunal in mid-December, because survivors from all communities and families who still do not know the fate of their loved ones were still awaiting justice. Brammertz referred to the Nov. 22 verdict to Ratko Mladic as a cornerstone in the history of the tribunal and of international justice. Ratko Mladic is one of the first persons indicted by the tribunal, and the last to be convicted. This verdict justifies the vision of the U.N. Security Council from 24 years ago, to secure peace through justice, by calling to account the top leaders responsible for crimes, Brammertz said.


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