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DAILY SURVEY 23.08.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC: I EXPECT VUCIC TO TALK TO ZAEV ON AUG. 23

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has said that he expects Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to talk with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Aug. 23 and that there is no danger of disrupting diplomatic relations between Serbia and Macedonia. "We are heading in the direction of calming down, we will return a number of staff next week. Our ambassador will probably return in September. I expect Vucic to have a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Zaev on Aug. 23 and I will talk with my colleague [Nikola] Dimitrov," Dacic told Pink TV. He said that at a summit of prime ministers in Albania during the upcoming weekend Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic would have a chance to see Zaev. Dacic said that the Serbian side wanted a normalization of relations and to defuse tensions and that Serbia was not doing anything against Macedonia. "It will not be easy for the authorities in Macedonia either to know that we know about everything that went on, in which the foreign factor was involved. We know everything about what they decided, what they are doing and what they will do," Dacic said.

VUCIC, KEEFE DISCUSS BILATERAL, REGIONAL ISSUES

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met in Belgrade, on Aug. 22, with the British ambassador to Serbia, Denis Keefe, to discuss bilateral and regional issues, as well as preparations for the next Western Balkans Summit, to be hosted by Great Britain in 2018. The Serbian presidency quoted Vucic as saying that Britain was very important for Serbia, because of shared interests in the future and the country's considerable support and assistance to Serbia. Vucic was proud of fiscal consolidation and a budget surplus, which were the results of very painful measures, while both officials described the Serbian economic situation as satisfactory, despite the problems arising from natural disasters. The British diplomat said his country wanted to play a positive role in the region, heralding a visit by British officials, including a permanent under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and two parliamentary delegations.

VUCIC, GERMAN AMBASSADOR DISCUSS INTERNAL DIALOGUE ON KOSOVO

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said at an Aug. 22 meeting in Belgrade with the German ambassador to Serbia, Axel Dittmann, that the there would be a better future for the Balkans if Serbian-Albanian relations improved. The Office of the Serbian President quoted Vucic as emphasizing the importance of an internal dialogue on Kosovo, as well as the continuation of Belgrade's talks with Pristina, for the establishment of durable peace in the region. "If we manage to establish a better Serbian-Albanian relationship, this region will have a better future," Vucic said. The German ambassador said that "the call for an internal dialogue was a serious, responsible move." The presidency reported that the economic situation in Serbia was another topic discussed by the two officials. "Fiscal consolidation has been successful, and a budget surplus reported to be EUR670 million today," the presidency released. The president and the German diplomat were pleased to see the number of German companies in Serbia growing, and the ambassador suggested a German department should be opened at the Faculty of Philosophy in Nis, because it might produce new, educated staff for the German companies. The rule of law, institution building and Serbia's EU accession were also discussed at the meeting, the Office of the Serbian President reported.

VUCIC, UAE AMBASSADOR DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT OF COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Aug. 22, in Belgrade, with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador to Serbia, Juma Rashed Al Dhaheri, to discuss the projects run jointly by the two states. The ambassador handed over to the Serbian president a letter by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, underlining that during his term he would work to improve bilateral relations, the Office of the Serbian President reported. The UAE diplomat was particularly pleased to see the Belgrade Waterfront project grown into, as he put it, a symbol of Belgrade. President Vucic said he was proud of the joint projects in Belgrade and across Serbia. The presidency quoted Vucic as saying that the crown prince's visit to Belgrade last June was very important for the development of bilateral relations.

BRNABIC, TURKISH MINISTER FAKIBABA DISCUSS COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ahmet Esref Fakibaba met in Belgrade on Aug. 22 to discuss cooperation between the two countries in all areas of common interest, the Serbian cabinet has said in a statement. During the meeting Fakibaba stressed that Serbia was a key country to stability and the further economic development of all countries in the region. He stressed that he had had extremely successful meetings on Aug. 22 and that he believed that cooperation between the two states, after an Aug. 22 economic forum, had taken another step forward where the production of agricultural goods was concerned. Fakibaba stressed that "the two countries could achieve cooperation where exports to third markets are concerned," adding that Serbia was an important economic destination and great friend of Turkey. In the statement, Brnabic stressed that Serbia had great agricultural potential which could be tapped through the "more intense use of modern technology and advancing the productivity of production." She explained that it was necessary to focus on the export of products with "a higher degree of processing, instead of exporting raw materials."

CITIZENS OF INDIA, IRAN NO LONGER NEED VISAS FOR SERBIA

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - The Serbian government decided on Aug. 22 to lift visas for the citizens of India and Iran. The cabinet announced after a session that the move would facilitate the arrival of potential investors, in order to "create a more favorable business setting, and improve bilateral relations with the two states." The government added that the decision would also raise the number of Indian and Iranian visitors to Serbia.

STEFANOVIC, ARGENTINE AMBASSADOR ON COOPERATION IN STRUGGLE AGAINST CRIME

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Argentine Ambassador Ricardo Fernando Fernandez concluded in Belgrade on Aug. 22 that there was a possibility to enhance cooperation in the battle against organized crime. The collocutors agreed that this particularly pertained to the area of fighting drug trafficking, human trafficking and high-technology crime, the Serbian minister said in a statement. The also talked about implementing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Serbian Interior Ministry and Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights of Argentina, the statement said.

SERBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: STRENGTHENING OF COOPERATION BETWEEN SERBIA, REGION AND AFRICAN STATES

BELGRADE, 22 August 2017 (Beta) - Chairman of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce Marko Cadez and the founder and secretary general of the Serbian-African Investment Forum (SAIF) Zolani Mkiva have signed a contract on business cooperation for the purpose of advancing joint activities and strengthening economic ties between Serbia and the region of the South African Republic and African Union, the Chamber said on Aug. 22. The statement says that cooperation between the two business associations will substantially contribute to preparing and organizing a business summit in Belgrade in October, which will gather the officials and business leaders of the South African Republic. "Several months ago we began talks on organizing a big business summit in Serbia which would not be a one-time event but a roadmap toward the long-term promotion of business ties between Serbia and the South African Republic, but other countries in both regions as well. We have defined the concept and basic guidelines of events and expect that the summit will be supported by the chambers of commerce and companies in both the region of the Western Balkans and eastern and central Europe - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary," Cadez said after signing the agreement. The joint activities of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and SAIF, in the words of the chairman of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, should advance investment cooperation, the transfer of technology and know-how from Serbia and regions in Africa, raise exports to the African market, as well as the sale of goods, through Serbia, in third markets. Mkiva recalled good historical and friendly relations, which he stressed, needed to be strengthened with quality economic cooperation. "We want the economy to tie our two regions together even more firmly, while a contract between the Chamber and SAIF will introduce a new dynamic into our relations and cooperation between business communities," Mkiva said. The founder of the SAIF stressed the large potential for cooperation between Serbia and the region with African countries in the area of agriculture, investment in real estate, infrastructure, the exchange of technology and know-how, services and products in the arms industries and tourism.

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