ALFANO: SERBIA BELONGS IN EUROPE
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - The Serbian and Italian foreign ministers, Ivica Dacic and Angelino Alfano, said in Belgrade on March 14 that the two states had maintained good political and economic relations, experiencing a strong upward trend, and the latter added that Serbia belonged in Europe. The Italian foreign minister said that Serbia and Italy had excellent cooperation, built on a very strong foundation, and that he hoped that Serbia would make considerable progress in the EU accession process. "We have strong political and solid economic relations, and we work closely in implementing reforms in Serbia. I believe that more considerable progress will be made soon, in terms of Serbia's EU accession, and I hope to meet my Serbian counterpart at the meetings of EU foreign ministers," Alfano said at a joint press conference. The Italian foreign minister praised the Serbian government for the determined implementation of economic reforms, and the EU accession talks. "Serbia belongs in Europe. Europe has the need to expand its horizons, and the region has been, and should be oriented toward Europe," the Italian minister said. Alfano, starting a tour of the Western Balkans with a visit to Serbia, explained that the reason why was that "the driving force is in Serbia." Alfano and Dacic signed a memorandum of cooperation between the two ministries in the work of bilingual Italian-Serbian classes in Serbia. Vucic said that Serbia's European path depended on Germany, that our country had a lot to learn from looking at the example of Germany and their "winners' mentality." "Germany is today becoming one of Serbia's key partners," Vucic said, adding that the Germans had a much better understanding of the reforms that the Serbian cabinet had undertaken. According to him, the number of persons in Serbia employed with German companies is growing daily.
DACIC: SERBIA WILL NEVER STOP DIALOGUE WITH PRISTINA
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on March 14 that Serbia would never stop the dialogue with Pristina, but that it was against any unilateral moves. "Serbia is always in favor of dialogue. We'll never stop it, even if we are dissatisfied. We will never attach conditions to our participation, as Pristina does, and there will be no acts of provocation on our side," Dacic said at a press conference after a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano. The Serbian foreign minister said that Belgrade wanted an agreement and a durable solution to the Belgrade-Pristina relationship, but that it was against unilateral moves, and was unable to allow such actions to shape Serbia's positions. Commenting on Kosovo's moves to join the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other international organizations, Dacic said that conditions from an agreement on Kosovo's regional presentation appeared to have been forgotten, including an asterisked footnote referring to the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244. "We are not opposed to Kosovo's membership of international organizations, but only if it's clearly defined that it can only be asymmetrical, because for Serbia, the status of Kosovo hasn't been defined yet," Dacic said.
ALFANO CONVEYS ITALY'S SUPPORT TO VUCIC
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano met on March 14 with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, saying at the meeting that Italy supported Serbia on its path to the European Union, as well as the Serbian government's reforms. "Europe is the right place for Serbia, and I want to support your ambition to join the European family of nations," Alfano said. The Serbian cabinet reported in a press release that the two ministers discussed the situation in the region, the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina talks and relations between Serbia and Italy. Vucic said to the Italian foreign minister that Serbia was grateful for Italy's support to Serbia's EU accession process, underlining that his expectations were high as to the upcoming meeting of Western Balkan leaders and EU leaders in Trieste. "The Berlin Process is a big hope for the region, and we want to see more tangible results in the infrastructure programs," Vucic said, adding that the government was trying to keep the situation in Serbia stable, so that the region could be stable as well. Alfano said that the Italian investors were "very pleased with business conditions in Serbia," underlining that the struggle against corruption, amendments to Serbia's criminal legislation and legal system were key points of success for the government in the domain of law.
VUCIC: MERKEL DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT BALKANS
BERLIN, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Berlin on March 14 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was very concerned with the events in the region of the Western Balkans. "She is concerned about the events in the region. She does not know all of the details, her associates do, but she sees the big picture and recognizes the gist. She is one of the rare European leaders who are deeply worried," Vucic told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation after a meeting with the German chancellor. Vucic said that he had discussed bilateral relations with Angela Merkel, attracting investors, regional stability, stressing that the German chancellor "is very pleased" with Serbia's economic stability. Vucic said that Serbia's European path depended on Germany, that our country had a lot to learn from looking at the example of Germany and their "winners' mentality." "Germany is today becoming one of Serbia's key partners," Vucic said, adding that the Germans had a much better understanding of the reforms that the Serbian cabinet had undertaken. According to him, the number of persons in Serbia employed with German companies is growing daily. Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Berlin on March 14 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was very concerned with the events in the region of the Western Balkans. "She is concerned about the events in the region. She does not know all of the details, her associates do, but she sees the big picture and recognizes the gist. She is one of the rare European leaders who are deeply worried," Vucic told the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation after a meeting with the German chancellor. Vucic said that he had discussed bilateral relations with Angela Merkel, attracting investors, regional stability, stressing that the German chancellor "is very pleased" with Serbia's economic stability.
VUCIC AT MEETING OF REGION'S PRIME MINISTERS IN SARAJEVO
SARAJEVO, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic will participate in a meeting of prime ministers from the Western Balkans in Sarajevo on March 15. Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told Radio and Television Vojvodina on March 14 that there were "security challenges" where Vucic's visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina was concerned, which made it important to communicate with security services in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. He said that "to this day" the state authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina had not spoken about the attack on Vucic in 2015 at the marking of the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. Earlier on March 14 Vucic said that he was not afraid of traveling to Sarajevo where he would be going after a visit to Berlin.
SERBIAN DEFENSE MINISTER, U.S. AMBASSADOR: HIGH LEVEL OF MILITARY COOPERATION
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Defense Zoran Djordjevic and the U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, said on March 14 that bilateral military cooperation was at a high level, and that it had a positive impact on overall bilateral relations. The Ministry of Defense reported that Djordjevic and Scott discussed the political and security cooperation and the U.S.' contribution to the modernization of the Serbian Armed Forces, based on a series of donations, especially the Humvee multipurpose vehicles. Djordjevic underscored that Serbia continued to lead a well-balanced defense policy, "working persistently on the development of relations with all states and international organizations, in line with defined national interests. "The reason for the March 14 meeting was the Serbian defense minister's attendance of a ministerial conference of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, scheduled to take place in Washington next week.
SERBIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER DISCUSSES SUPPORT TO PROCESSING INDUSTRY WITH WB AGENCY
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Branislav Nedimovic met on March 14 with representatives of the World Bank's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to discuss support to the development of Serbia's processing industry. They agreed at the meeting that the development of agriculture was impossible without a strong processing industry, which is why additional models of support to investors in the Serbian agriculture sector will be prepared, the Ministry reported in a press release. It's precisely the development of the processing industry that is the key prerequisite for creating value-added products, and for strengthening the position of local agriculture products at home and abroad, the Ministry explained. Heavy emphasis will be placed on efforts to secure funding for the processing sector, in order to step up the development of agriculture, the Ministry added.
RUSSIA-SERBIA BUSINESS EXPO OPENS ON MARCH 15
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - The international business fair Expo Russia Serbia 2017 and the Belgrade Business Forum, which will present a total of 200 companies, will open on March 15, at Belgrade's Metropol Hotel, and will close on March 17, a March 14 press release says. This is the fourth exposition and the business conference organized by Zarubezh-Expo, under the auspices of the Russian Trade and Industrial Chamber and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Aside from Serbian and Russian firms, companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Republika Srpska, Montenegro and other countries will be presenting their products and services. The honorary guest will be the first deputy to Russia's minister of industry and trade, Gleb Nikitin. The president of the organizing committee, David Vartanov, said that 15 trade networks interested in Serbia's agricultural producers would attend the exposition. Vartanov said that Expo Russia organized yearly expo events in eight countries, as "the quickest way to establish economic cooperation," open new jobs and expand trade in goods and services. Head of the Russian Trade Representative Office in Serbia Andrey Khripunov underscored that the exposition was to improve the business setting for small and medium-sized enterprises, not just to boost large projects.
FIAF PRESIDENT: YUGOSLAV FILM ARCHIVE AMONG MOST IMPORTANT IN EUROPE
BELGRADE, 14 March 2017 (Beta) - Eric Le Roy, president of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), said on March 14 after visiting the Yugoslav Film Archive that the institution was one of the most important in Europe, with one of the biggest funds in the world. Le Roy visited the Archive for the 120rd anniversary of screening of the first films shot in Belgrade and Serbia, and said that he was happy that there was international cooperation in conserving films. The FIAF president said he wanted to laud the standards of conserving the fund of films, which were perfect. He also said he was convinced of the longevity and preservation of the entire film fund because "I saw that you have posters in the Archive in addition to films, scripts and other records related to the film fund." Yugoslav Film Archive manager Aleksandar Erdeljanovic said that Andre Carr had made five films in Belgrade in 1896 of which two had been screened, but were listed as lost today. He announced that he would try to locate lost materials for Belgrade and Serbia in the Archive by cooperating with the FIAF. Yugoslav Film Archive director Jugoslav Pantelic said that the 120th anniversary of the creation and screening of the first film in Belgrade was a time that bound us to remember the importance, significance and preservation of film.