DACIC, KRAVCHENKO: RELATIONS VERY GOOD
BELGRADE, 18 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko concluded at an April 18 meeting that relations between the two countries were very good, a statement from Dacic's office has said. In a constructive discussion the two officials exchanged opinions on bilateral relations between the two countries, concluding that there was room for their further strengthening and improvement, the statement said. It added that Dacic and Kravchenko had agreed that the continuity of high-level dialogue was very important for maintaining traditionally good bilateral relations between Serbia and Belarus.
DACIC: RAMA'S WORDS CONFIRM THAT A GREATER ALBANIA IS ALL-ALBANIAN PLATFORM
BELGRADE, 18 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on April 18 that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's words that the possibility of a union between Kosovo and Albania should not be ruled out if the European Union decided to close its doors to the Western Balkans, were "yet another confirmation that to create a Greater Albania is a shared platform of all Albanians, constituting the biggest threat to peace and stability in the Balkans and Europe." In a press release, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Minister Dacic as asking the international community "how much longer it plans to keep silent while Serbia is threatened?" "I'm asking the international community what would happen if (Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar) Vucic said that the unification of Serbia and Republika Srpska was possible if we didn't join the European Union? I'm sure that everyone would voice their opinions, accusing Serbia of being a threat to peace. That's why I'm asking the EU, the U.S., Great Britain and others, how long do you plan to keep silent while Serbia is threatened? Or does the silence equal consent," Dacic was quoted by the Ministry. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in an interview with the Politico that a union between Albania and Kosovo shouldn't be ruled out if there was no chance of the Western Balkans joining the EU. Rama said that the Albania-Kosovo union was not his personal wish, but "a possible alternative to the EU's closed door."
EXHUMATION BEGINS IN GLINA OF SERBIAN VICTIMS KILLED IN OPERATION STORM
BELGRADE, 18 April 2017 (Beta) - At a new cemetery in the village of Glina, in Sisak-Moslavina County, the Croatian authorities began on April 18 the exhumation of Serbian casualties of the 1995 Operation Storm, the Serbian government's Commission for Missing Persons reported. The Commission expects the exhumations to take several working days. Samples will be collected from all the exhumed bodies for DNA testing. Under intergovernmental documents signed with Croatia and the ensuing agreements, the exhumations will be attended by representatives of the Commission, given the status of observers. The exhumations in Glina are the most recent ones in the exhumation process carried out in the Banija region, where the victims of the Storm military operation were buried. Of a total of 298 bodies exhumed in the region, the remains of 120 persons were identified and delivered to the families, the government commission reported.
KNEZEVIC CALLS FOR LIFTING TRADE WITH BELARUS TO USD 500 MILLION
BELGRADE, 18 April 2017 (Beta) - On April 18, Serbian Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic said that doubling trade between Serbia and Belarus to USD 500 million was an economic goal. At a Serbian-Belarusian Business Council held at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, he said that economic cooperation between the two countries was characterized by the trading of a small number of goods and low investment. "Relations between Serbia and Belarus are traditionally good, but the needs of both countries are greater," Knezevic said. He added that the plan was to found joint ventures for third markets and that cooperation existed in the areas of construction, mining, the wood and military industries, agriculture, pharmaceutical products, the rubber industry and other branches of the economy. Knezevic told the representatives of 20 Belarusian companies that the conditions for doing business in Serbia were stable, and called on Belarusian businesses to participate in the privatization of Serbian companies, stressing that a contest for petrochemical companies was in progress. Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Vladimir Ulahovich said that the exchange of goods between Serbia and Belarus was modest. "Trade should be dropped and focus placed on industrial cooperation, because we can take serious steps since we are similar in economic strength," Ulahovich said. The representatives of 20 Belarusian and 50 Serbian firms will talk at the Business Council. According to Belarusian businesspeople, their representative in Serbia is businessman Dragomir Karic.