DACIC, U.N. RESIDENT COORDINATOR ON IMPROVING COOPERATION
BELGRADE, 2 March 2017 (Beta) - On March 2, Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met in Belgrade with new U.N. Resident Coordinator Karla Robin Hershey to discuss cooperation with U.N. agencies in Serbia in the past and possibilities for further improvement. Dacic voiced his gratitude for the support of the U.N. development programs through the realization of developmental projects, especially in the areas of good management, social inclusion, environmental protection, transportation, energy and reducing the risk of natural disasters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia said in a statement. He said that this had helped Serbia's overall efforts en route to achieving full EU membership and the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The two interlocutors mutually concluded their satisfaction with the Serbian cabinet's decision to enable the operation of a U.N. House in Belgrade, which will house the offices of U.N. agencies, programs and funds, with the expectation that a five-year Framework for Developmental Partnership between the Serbian cabinet and U.N. Team in the country will contribute to the further enhancement of key areas of society for the period 2016-2020.
COURT GIVES SERBIA ONE MONTH TO HAND OVER EVIDENCE AGAINST HARADINAJ
BELGRADE, 2 March 2017 (Beta) - A court in the French city of Colmar decided on March 2 to extend the deadline for the Serbian authorities to supply evidence with regard to their request for leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj's extradition as a suspected war criminal. The former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader and prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, called the trial chamber's decision shameful and reiterated that he was a political hostage, and that the proceedings against him before the French court were less a legal matter and more political. "The court gave the Serbian authorities a month for further information. This is political abuse, what is happening is shameful. The KLA's fight has been filtered before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, so I am a political hostage now. All of those who are part of this decision ought to be ashamed of themselves. I will continue my stay in France," Haradinaj said.
Commenting on the French court's decision, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that Belgrade was ready to fulfill everything that was being asked in that regard, because "it is important for the victims and justice."
The investigation into Haradinaj's role in war crimes was launched in 2004 and, according to the Serbian media, in January it was expanded to new accusations and proof that had not been the subject of review at the ICTY, which acquitted him on all counts in 2012. Serbian prosecutors suspect that Haradinaj was responsible for at least 76 murders, including children, as well as rape and brutal torture. The latest expansion of the investigation pertains to 13 victims, which 30 witnesses testified to and which was also given to the French authorities.
ISRAELI AMBASSADOR ANNOUNCES ARRIVAL OF INVESTORS IN SERBIA
BELGRADE, 2 March 2017 (Beta) - Israeli Ambassador to Serbia Alona Fisher-Kamm said on March 2 in a meeting with Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic that there was interest among Israeli investors to do business in Serbia. She stressed that Israeli investors were planning on investing primarily in the areas of construction, infrastructure, energy and renewable energy sources, and that they were also interested in projects in the area of energy efficiency. The Israeli ambassador said that companies from Israel doing business in Serbia were very pleased with the business environment and reforms that had been implemented and, considering that they had invested over EUR 1 billion in real estate, they especially valued the introduction of construction e-permits. Mihajlovic said that the investors were welcome in Serbia and that the ministry that she led supported them. "We are always here, we will work together," Mihajlovic said in a statement released by her ministry.