DACIC LAYS CORNERSTONE FOR REFUGEE APARTMENTS IN PROKUPLJE
PROKUPLJE, 31 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic visited Prokuplje on March 31 to lay a cornerstone for the construction of 20 new apartments for refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. "The building is part of the Regional Housing Program which has been implemented in Serbia for the past five years. The new apartments will solve permanently the problems of people exiled from their homes in the former Yugoslav republics," Dacic said in his speech. Noting that Serbia had supported the Sarajevo Process and its Regional Housing Program since its onset, Dacic said that Serbia had always strived to improve the position of refugees and protect their rights. "Experience has taught us that, in the long run, assisting the victims of war and persecution supports the prosperity of the coming generations and stability in all spheres of society. I believe this to be the case in Prokuplje, too," the Serbian foreign minister said. Minister Dacic said that within the Regional Housing Program he had participated in cornerstone-laying ceremonies for 40 refugee apartments in Sremska Mitrovica, and another 20 in Krusevac. Within the program, 49 contracts were signed for prefabricated refugee homes in Belgrade, while the construction of another 20 apartments in Paracin will begin soon.
NIKOLIC: GREAT FRIENDSHIP MARKS VISIT TO CHINA
BELGRADE, 31 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on March 31 that his landmark visit to China had passed in an atmosphere of great friendship with China's leaders and people towards Serbia. Summing up the results of the visit, Nikolic said that his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, offered his unreserved support and pledged to support all Chinese companies willing to invest in Serbia. The Serbian president also met with the Chinese prime minister, Li Keqiang, and the president of the Chinese National Congress. "We have met with companies investing in Serbia, or those that intend to and those that have decided to invest in Serbia, and all of these meetings were extremely successful. I believe we have opened the door to Europe for China, and I am very pleased with the warm welcome here," Nikolic said. President Nikolic recalled that he became a honorary citizen of Beijing, and that he was the first head of state granted that status, and that the ceremony was attended by the Chinese president. Nikolic said that cooperation with China should be persistent and fair, with a wish to make it possible for Serbia to work, too. China, as he put it, is ready for that, and Serbia should learn from China, especially the technologies being used in China. Serbia's delegation visiting China also discussed the situation of the Bor mine and smelter complex, Belgrade's investments, including an industrial park, and Petrohemija. The Serbian president said he insisted most on a direct flight to link Shanghai or Beijing with Belgrade, adding that two companies were interested. "I think that with the assistance of China, Serbia is starting a completely new cycle, not just one of recovery, but of development, too," Nikolic said.
ALEKSANDAR VUCIC WINS SERBIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
BELGRADE, 2 April 2017 (Beta) - The leader of the Serbian Progressive Party and sitting Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has won the presidential election in Serbia held on April 2. According to the figures of CeSID (Center for Free Elections and Democracy) after processing 93.3 percent of the sample, Vucic won 55.7 percent of the ballot, Sasa Jankovic, put forward by the civic group For Serbia without Fear, 15.6 percent, Luka Maksimovic, candidate of the civic group The White - Keep It Strong, 9.6 percent, Vuk Jeremic, run by the civic group We Have To Do Better, 5.7 percent, while Serbian Radical Party hopeful Vojislav Seselj got 4.5 percent. CeSID said that, based on the same sample, Dveri (Doors) contender Bosko Obradovic won 2.2 percent of votes, Enough Is Enough leader Sasa Radulovic 1.3 percent, Democratic Party of Serbia candidate Aleksandar Popovic 1.1 percent, Cajetina Municipality head Milan Stamatovic 1.1 percent, League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina president Nenad Canak 1.1 percent and People's Freedom Movement candidate Miroslav Parovic 0.3 percent. According to official estimates, some 55 percent of citizens on the voting roster turned out to vote. The Serbian Electoral Commission will announce the offical results in the days to come.
VUCIC TO MEET COVIC IN MOSTAR ON APRIL 3
BELGRADE, 2 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is meeting with Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Covic in Mostar, on April 3, according to an announcement on the Bosnian Presidency's website. Vucic is arriving in Mostar a day after the presidential election in Serbia, which he won in a first-round landslide. Before meeting with Vucic, Covic will have separate talks in Mostar with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
MIHAJLOVIC, CUSHEV: SERBIA AND BELARUS TO EXPAND COOPERATION
BELGRADE, 31 March 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic met on March 31 with the Belorussian ambassador to Serbia, Vladimir Chushev, to discuss bilateral cooperation and economic cooperation between the two states. The minister and the ambassador described bilateral relations as traditionally friendly and very good, but said there was plenty of room for stronger economic ties. Minister Mihajlovic believes they should be established in transportation and construction, the Ministry of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure quoted Mihajlovic as saying in a press release. "The Serbian government has already made it clear how important relations and cooperation with Belarus are important for the country. We are here to create conditions for business people to connect which will also bring together the two nations," the minister said at the meeting. Chushev also met with Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin, to discuss the development of economic cooperation, ad the signing of agreements to improve the position of Serbian workers in Belarus, and vice-versa.
DISTRIBUTION OF FORMER YUGOSLAVIA'S ASSETS ABROAD TO BE DISCUSSED IN BELGRADE, IN LATE APRIL
BELGRADE, 1 April 2017 (Beta)- Representatives of the former Yugoslav republics will be meeting in Belgrade, at the end of April, to discuss the distribution of the remaining 51 properties owned by the former Yugoslavia, located abroad and worth over $110 million, the Politika daily reported on April 1. The newspaper said that Yugoslavia owned 123 diplomatic and consular offices, residences and apartments across the world, and that 72 properties had been distributed so far under Annex B of the Agreement on Succession Issues. Serbia received 30 properties, Croatia - 18, Bosnia and Herzegovina - 10 each, and Macedonia got four. Secretary General of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Veljko Odalovc said in an interview with Politika that the exact date for the mixed committee in charge of the distribution of former Yugoslavia's diplomatic and consular property to meet had yet to be established, but that the idea was that the meeting should take place at the end of April, or early May.