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DAILY SURVEY 25.09.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC: KOSOVO CAN'T BEAT SERBIA AT UNESCO GENERAL CONFERENCE
BELGRADE, 23 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that during the U.N. General Assembly's regular session in New York he had held a series of fringe meetings with the representatives of states that refuse to recognize Kosovo's independence, and that their position would not change in the coming period, adding that Kosovo could not beat Serbia at the next general conference of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November. "I can say that at all of the meetings I was chiefly interested in their position on Kosovo and Metohija, and I am stressing now that our position is stable. All of the states underlined their support for the territorial integrity of Serbia, and pledged not to change their position," Dacic was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Minister Dacic said that at the U.N. headquarters he had met with Bexhet Pacolli, explaining that for Kosovo's representatives it was an incognito visit, because Kosovo was not a member of the U.N. organization. The minister also said that Pacolli had asked him "why did you say I was lying," the foreign ministry said in a press release. "Kosovo's representatives, for their own internal political reasons, have voiced untrue information. One is a report that Mauritius will recognize Kosovo's independence. I immediately called the Mauritian prime minister, with whom Serbia has good contacts. Serbia supported the territorial integrity of Mauritius, and joined its declarations and resolutions in the U.N. The prime minister told me his country's position remained unchanged," Dacic said. When it comes to UNESCO, Dacic said that even though it was unclear whether Kosovo would apply for membership, it is with great certainty that he could say that it cannot beat Serbia at the next UNESCO general conference in November.

DACIC MEETS WITH TAJIKISTAN, ERITREA, BHUTAN COUNTERPARTS

BELGRADE, 22 September 2017 (Beta) - On his last day in New York, where he is attending the 72nd Session of the U.N. General Assembly, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic had fringe meetings with the foreign ministers of Tajikistan, Eritrea and Bhutan, the Serbian foreign ministry said on Sept. 23. At a meeting with Tajikistan's foreign minister Sirodjidin Aslov, Dacic described bilateral relations as friendly, underlining Serbia's readiness to develop cooperation in different areas, especially in trade and the economy. The Serbian foreign minister also gave his thanks for Tajikistan's firm position on the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo. Aslov said that cooperation should be developed in all areas and expressed a readiness to visit Serbia.
At a meeting with Eritrea's incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs Osman Saleh Mohammed, the two officials agreed that relations between the two states good and friendly, and Minister Saleh added that his country would not change its opinion on Kosovo either.
At a meeting with Bhutanese Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji, Dacic briefed his counterpart on the Belgrade-Pristina talks, and thanked Bhutan for its firm support to Serbia in the matter of Kosovo.

VUCIC, GUTERRES DISCUSS DIALOGUE WITH PRISTINA, SERBIA'S EU ACCESSION

NEW YORK, 22 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met in New York, on Sept. 22, with U.N. Secretary-General Antonion Guterres, to discuss the Belgrade-Pristina talks, the situation in the region and Serbia's accession to the European Union (EU). Vucic said that Serbia believed the U.N. to be one of the most important international organizations in the context of Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that its importance would grow during Guterres's term, the Serbian presidency said in a press release. "The U.N. is a place where even small countries can voice their position equally," the Serbian president said. President Vucic also praised UNMIK's activity in Kosovo and Metohija, noting that the UNMIK presence was of vital importance for Serbia, since the U.N. framework, based on the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, guaranteed the neutrality of the international presence in the province," the presidency went on to say in a press release. The U.N. secretary-general underlined that he was monitoring Serbia's progress and welcomed an initiative to launch an internal dialog on Kosovo. Guterres also voiced his gratitude for the participation of Serbian soldiers and police officers in U.N. peacekeeping missions. Vucic's meeting with Guterres was his last in New York, and he used the opportunity to invite the U.N. secretary-general to visit Serbia, the presidency released.

VULIN VISITS NATO: SERBIA TO MAINTAIN NEUTRAL MILITARY STATUS

BELGRADE, 22 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Defense Aleksandar Vulin departed for Brussels on Sept. 22, to meet with Deputy Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Rose Gottemoeller and Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Camille Grand at the Alliance's headquarters, the Ministry of Defense reported. "I repeated to our hosts that Serbia was not interested in joining the NATO, or any other military alliance for that matter, and that it would maintain a neutral military status, but that we will make sure that our cooperation with the Alliance is expanded through the Partnership for Peace [program], and that we will accept everything that may be useful to Serbia and its army," Minister Vulin said. Vulin and Gottemoeller also discussed the political and security situation in the region, the Partnership for Peace program and the Serbian army's cooperation with the Kosovo Force (KFOR). The Serbian defense minister said that Serbia could not possibly accept the establishment of a Kosovo army. "To us it is a security threat and a serious problem for the entire region, but we strongly support KFOR and NATO's role in it. We believe that KFOR's role should not be reduced in any way, and that a lack of its influence must not be felt in any part of of Kosovo and Metohija's territory," the minister said. At a separate meeting with Camille Grand, the minister said that Serbia was committed to the normalization of civilian air traffic over the Balkans, and that talks should continue to identify acceptable solutions based on the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244 and the 1999 Kumanovo Military-Technical Agreement.

DJORDJEVIC MEETS WITH WORLD BANK'S DELEGATION IN SERBIA

BELGRADE, 23 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs Zoran Djordjevic met with a World Bank (WB) delegation in Belgrade, on Sept. 23, and voiced his expectation that the financial institutions would continue to provide technical, financial and professional assistance and support for Serbia. Djordjevic presented the ministry's priorities and plans to the WB team, lead by Country Manager Stefen Ndegwa. "The composition of new social cards will ensure a more just and effective distribution of assistance, and reduce abuses to the minimum," Djordjevic was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs. The minister and the WB delegates also discussed organizational changes and a new budget, designed to guarantee full financial control and transparency. Ndegwa thanked Djordjevic for having met with his delegation and for the ministry's detailed presentation and wished that cooperation with his ministry would grow, given the room and opportunities available.

SERBIA WANTS TO BE TRUSTWORTHY PARTNER TO CHINA IN DEVELOPING SILK ROAD

BELGRADE, 22 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbia wants to be a trustworthy partner to China in the joint development of the Silk Road, where culture will also have a role to play -- a role already being created with the building of the future Serbian cultural center in Beijing, Serbian Minister of Culture and Information Vladan Vukosavljevic said in Hangzhou, at the opening of a forum on cultural cooperation between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. "The Serbian cultural center in Beijing, whose opening is expected by the end of this year, will promote Serbian culture and art, strengthen ties, exchanges and new partnerships between the two countries' cultural institutions," a press release from Vukosavljevic's ministry quoted him as saying. Vukosavljevic voiced the conviction that the opening of the center -- like that of the Chinese Cultural Center in Belgrade, laid the groundwork for advancing what he termed as already successful Serbia-China cooperation. He thanked Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang for the trust shown to Serbia in organizing the Cultural Heritage Forum within the 16+1 mechanism, held in 2017 and the Forum of Cultural and Creative Industries in 2016. Vukosavljevic and Shugang also discussed the future election of the general director of UNESCO, as one of the candidates is from China. Vukosavljevic thanked him for China's support to Serbia in the U.N., especially UNESCO.

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