DACIC MEETS WITH UNMIK CHIEF ZAHIR TANIN
BELGRADE, 10 February 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic expressed his gratitude on Feb. 10 for the efforts invested in executing UNMIK's mandate, during a Belgrade meeting with U.N. secretary general envoy and UNMIK chief Zahir Tanin, the ministry said in a press release. Dacic voiced the expectation that UNMIK would continue to perform its mandate in the coming period in line with Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999, the statement said. Tanin is on a regular visit to Belgrade ahead of a Security Council session on UNMIK's work. The topics of discussion included the state of affairs in Kosovo, UNMIK's actions and the importance of the continued and unreduced involvement of the mission in areas of key importance to the survival and normal and dignified life of Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija, the press release said.
PALMER MEETS WITH VUCIC, DACIC, STEFANOVIC
BELGRADE, 10 February 2017 (Beta) - Director for South Central European Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Matthew Palmer held separate meetings in Belgrade, on Feb. 10, with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Minister of the Interior Nebojsa Stefanovic.
At a meeting attended by the U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, the Serbian prime minister and the U.S. official discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the region and Serbia's effort to carry out social and economic reforms. The two agreed that the relationship between the two states had a strong foundation, and was developing in the right direction, the Serbian cabinet reported in a press release. The U.S. officials reiterated their country's support for Serbia's efforts to meet the requirements for EU membership, adding that the U.S. Embassy had launched different programs to support the Serbian government in the EU integration process, the cabinet went on to say in the press release.
Dacic and Palmer described bilateral relations as good, with opportunities for development. They also underlined a readiness for the political dialog to continue, along with regular contacts at all levels of importance for the development of overall bilateral cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Stefanovic and Palmer discussed cooperation between the two states in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. "Serbia's efforts in the EU integration process, particularly under Chapter 24 on justice, freedom and security, were also discussed," the press release says.
DJORDJEVIC: SERBIA'S FOREIGN POLICY GOALS INCLUDE EU MEMBERSHIP, NEUTRAL MILITARY STATUS
BELGRADE, 11 February 2017 (Beta) - At a Feb. 11 meeting with the acting secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Valery Antolevich Smerykov in Moscow, Serbian Minister of Defense Zoran Djordjevic said that membership in the European Union (EU) and a military neutrality were Serbia's key foreign policy goals, reiterating that Serbia would not join the campaign to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation. The Serbian Ministry of Defense reported that the two officials also discussed the development of cooperation with the organization. Djordjevic underlined that Serbia was continuing its development of cooperation with the CSTO, as well as bilateral partnerships with CSTO members, and particularily traditionally good and friendly relations with Russia, Belarus and Armenia. "I hope that in the coming period, apart from good relations in the defense sector, economic ties with the CSTO partners will be strengthened, too, as we are trying to create favorable conditions for economic progress, which will attract foreign investors," the minister underscored. Djordjevic voiced his gratitude for the unconditional assistance that members of the CSTO had been offering to Serbia in its effort to preserve territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo and Metohija. Semerykov underlined the importance of stronger cooperation in the fight against terrorism and drug trade and invited Serbia to attend the 2017 joint exercise as an observer, a press release stated. During his visit to Moscow, the defense minister also met with a deputy to the Russian defense minister, Alexander Fomin, and director of the Federal Agency for Military and Technical Cooperation Dimitry Sugayev, to discuss the development of bilateral cooperation in the defense sector.