DACIC: SERBIA-SPAIN RELATIONS AT HIGH LEVEL
BELGRADE, 5 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic expressed gratitude to Spain on April 5 for its principled decision not to recognize Kosovo and its support in Serbia's European outlook. At a centennial ceremony marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Spain, held at the Archive of Serbia, Dacic said the two nations had very good and friendly relations and that they had numerous forms of cooperation, mutual respect and common values connecting them, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release. The Serbian minister thanked Spain for not recognizing an independent Kosovo, stating that, through the Belgrade-Pristina dialog, Serbia remained committed to a just and lasting solution which would contribute to stability and security in the region. "We highly appreciate the continued support and understanding of the Kingdom of Spain on our road of European integration, our strategic foreign policy priority, and we hope it will remain one of the main advocates of the process of enlargement and the European outlook of the West Balkans," Dacic said. He said Europe today was integrated into one political system, whose strong economic and social policy permitted the preservation of peace and the standard of living for the people. This is the very ideal Serbia strives for, he noted -- improving overall living conditions for citizens, reducing unemployment, especially among youth, and fighting to eradicate poverty. "Since no state, no matter how strong, is able to resist global challenges on its own, connecting and working together are becoming the foundation for the preservation of peace and a pre-condition for development," the Serbian minister said.
DACIC: KOSOVO NOT A U.N. MEMBER AND IT CANNOT SUE SERBIA
BELGRADE, 5 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic accused Hashim Thaci of continued provocation on April 5, because of his statement about Kosovo intending to sue Serbia for genocide, adding that it was not possible because Kosovo was not a member of the U.N.. "Hashim Thaci is continuing with provocation. After experiencing a debacle with his idea about forming the so-called Army of Kosovo and after the draft law was withdrawn under pressure from the international community, Thaci immediately tried to shift the domestic public's attention onto another subject – the genocide lawsuit against Serbia. Thaci knows that it will be to no avail, because Kosovo is not a member of the U.N. and has no right to sue before the International Court of Justice in The Hague," Dacic said in a statement. The statement also reads that "it is well known that Serbia did not commit any genocide in Kosovo and that it was the KLA that committed genocide against the Serbian people." "The proof of this is the fact that there are fewer Serbs in Kosovo than there were before 1999. After all, not even the Hague tribunal and its prosecution ever accused Serbia of genocide. Instead, a special court for the crimes of the KLA has been formed. So the criminals from the KLA will stand trial, not Serbia," Dacic stated. According to the report of the Pristina daily, Bota Sot, Thaci said Pristina was preparing to sue Serbia for genocide in Kosovo.
VUCIC AGREED TO MEET WITH IVANOV AND TO PARTICIPATE IN MEETING OF BRDO PROCESS IN SLOVENIA
BELGRADE, 5 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had a telephone conversation with Macedonian President Djordje Ivanov and Slovenian President Borut Pahor on April 5, who congratulated him on winning the presidential election. Ivanov said he hoped relations between Serbia and Macedonia would be even better and that the two countries would work together on the preservation on peace and stability in the region. He proposed that the two presidents meet as soon as possible, after Vucic's appointment to the new post. Pahor invited Vucic to attend the meeting of the Brdo-Brioni Process, which is to be held in Slovenia in June, which Vucic accepted, stressing that it was necessary to continue the Brdo Process in order to strengthen economic cooperation and ties between the Western Balkan countries, through infrastructure projects.
ZORANA MIHAJLOVIC, CHINESE AMBASSADOR DISCUSS INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
BELGRADE, 5 April 2017 (Beta) – The Serbian minister for construction, transportation and infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, had talks on April 5 with the Chinese ambassador to Serbia, Li Manchang, about possibilities for speeding up the infrastructure projects in Serbia which the two countries are cooperating on. The statement from the ministry reads that the talks were about the works on the beltway around Belgrade and about the prompt start of works on the modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest railway. These are projects that were signed last year at the summit of 16 countries of central and eastern Europe and China, which was held in Riga, Latvia. Zorana Mihajlovic and Ambassador Li stated that the forthcoming visit of Serbian president elect Aleksandar Vucic to China would contribute even more to the political and economic cooperation between the two countries, which is at an "exceptionally high level", it said in the ministry's statement.
GERMAN, RUSSIAN, ITALIAN AMBASSADORS CONGRATULATE VUCIC
BELGRADE, 5 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had separate meetings on April 5 with the ambassadors of Germany, Russia and Italy, Axel Dittmann, Aleksandar Cepurin and Giuseppe Manzo. Dittmann congratulated Vucic for winning the presidential election and conveyed congratulations from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Serbian government stated. Dittmann said Germany would support Serbia's decision to become an EU member, as well as on its reform path in the fields of economy and the rule of law. Vucic said political and economic relations with Germany were very important for Serbia, but also for the entire Western Balkans, the stability of which was one of the principal foreign policy priorities of our country, the statement reads.
Cepurin, the ambassador of Russia, said that Vucic's victory at the presidential election was a sign that Serbian voters supported his policy and gave him the mandate to continue that policy. Cepurin congratulated Vucic and presented him with congratulatory messages from the president and prime minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, respectively, the government stated. Cepurin also said Russia would continue to develop overall relations with Serbia in the mutual interest. Vucic confirmed the participation of Serbia's top level delegation at the St. Petersbourg Forum in June this year, saying that it would be an opportunity to deepen military-technical, industrial, agricultural and scientific cooperation between the two countries.
The Italian ambassador, Giuseppe Manzo, also congratulated Vucic for winning the presidential election on his own behalf, and on the behalf of Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gientiloni, it was stated by the Serbian prime minister's office. Manzo conveyed Mattarella's invitation to Vucic to visit Italy, which the Serbian prime minister accepted, expressing gratitude to the Italian state helm for its commitment in developing bilateral relations between the two countries and for their strong support to Serbia in carrying out reforms, in European integration and in regional cooperation. Vucic stressed how important the forthcoming summit in Trieste was important for cooperation in the region, within the Berlin Process, and said he hoped that concrete agreements would be reached for infrastructural connection and all forms of economic cooperation to the benefit of the Western Balkan population, the statement reads. Vucic also received congratulatory messages fromthe presidents of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev, of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the prime minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Hungarian President Janos Ader, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Czech President Milos Zeman.