Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 05.06.2017.
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BELGRADE, 3 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met in Brdo, near Kranj on June 3, with his Slovenian counterpart, Karl Erjavec, and both officials shared their concerns over the situation in Macedonia, the Serbian foreign ministry reported. The two foreign ministers were pleased with Serbian-Slovenian relations. Dacic briefed Erjavec on the inauguration of Serbia's new president, Aleksandar Vucic, and repeated invitations to Slovenia's president and prime minister, Borut Pahor and Miro Cerar, to visit Serbia. The Serbian foreign minister said that it was in Serbia's best interest that the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's properties in New York, residencies and diplomatic offices that had not been used for years, be sold as soon as possible. The two officials also talked about the next joint government session, in Slovenia this fall.


BELGRADE, 2 June 2017 (Beta) - At a June 2 meeting, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that Russia was one of Serbia's major strategic partners, that Belgrade was grateful to Moscow concerning Kosovo-related issues and pledged that Serbia would never impose sanctions on Russia. "I said at the opening of the International Economic Forum on June 1 that friends remained friends, and that we would never impose sanctions on Russia," Dacic was quoted by his ministry as saying at the beginning of the meeting. At the fringe meeting during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the two foreign ministers said they were pleased with the extraordinary relationship between the two states and the two peoples in all areas, the Serbian foreign ministry said in a press release. Lavrov confirmed that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was planning a visit to Serbia in the foreseeable future.


BELGRADE, 2 June 2017 (Beta) - At a June 2 meeting with Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, Serbian Foreign Minister said that it was very important for Serbia that the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) stayed in there, with the neutral status provided by the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244. Guterres said that the U.N. maintained a very clear position on the mission in Kosovo, and the need to keep it there, as the problem had yet to be solved, the Serbian foreign ministry said. Dacic used the fringe meeting at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to express Serbia's readiness to continue cooperation with the U.N., including peacekeeping missions. On the same day, Dacic also met with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto, to discuss bilateral relations and cooperation in the energy sector. The meeting was attended by Serbian Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Branislav Nedimovic and Minister of Economy Goran Knezevic. Opportunities were discussed for Hungary to be Serbia's guest at the 2018 Agriculture Expo.


BELGRADE, 4 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbia's senior officials on June 4 expressed their condolences over the terrorist attack in London on June 3, which left seven dead and 48 injured or wounded. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sent a letter of condolence to Queen Elizabeth II regarding the attack, which he called "horrendous," according to a press release from the Presidency's media service. "The brutality with which they were committed warns us that dark forces are not hesitant about where and when they will show hatred and violence. It is our great responsibility to decisively fight terrorism and defend common values, and ensure a life without fear for our citizens," Vucic wrote in the letter.
Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs and technical prime minister Ivica Dacic sent a telegram of condolence to British Prime Minister Theresa May. He said that Serbia had with great astonishment and outrage received the news of new terrorist attacks in London.
Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic expressed her condolences to the heads of the House of Commons and House of Lords of the UK Parliament, John Bercow and Lord Fowler, respectively.
A statement from the Ministry of Labor says that Minister Aleksandar Vulin sent a letter of condolence to British Ambassador to Serbia Denis Keefe.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic also sent Keefe a letter of condolence.


BELGRADE, 3 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic visited Brdo, near Kranj, Slovenia, on June 3 to attend a conference of the South East European (SEE) leaders in his first presidential visit. After a Brdo-Brioni Process meeting, attended by regional heads of state, President Vucic said that the words peace and stability, as well as fewer inflammatory words, dominated the conclusions, feeling that in regional politics "there is not too much love, but there are plenty of interests." The Serbian president underlined that regional economic ties were extremely important. President Vucic had a separate meeting with his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was a special guest of the conference in Slovenia, Macedonian President Djordje Ivanov, Alain Richard, a special envoy of the French foreign ministry for economic cooperation with the Western Balkans and senator, as well as member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Covic.
Vucic discussed bilateral relations with the German president, along with the situation in the region, problems in the talks with Pristina, and Serbia's EU accession, the Office of the Serbian President reported. The Serbian president also briefed Steinmeier on Serbia's economic reforms, plans to develop its economy and thanked Germany for its interest in regional problems and the role of German investors in Serbia.
At the meeting with the Macedonian president, Vucic said that it was necessary to build bilateral relations in all spheres, and to boost trade. "The southern section of Corridor X will improve connections between the two states. The two nations are very close. We will do everything to improve the relationship between Serbia and Macedonian at all levels," Vucic said.
The French official, Alain Richard, said he would do everything for France's new government to continue good cooperation with Serbia. "I am convinced that we will keep developing good relations. President Emmanuel Macron is committed to a stronger European Union, and resolving its economic and political problems," the French envoy said.


BELGRADE, 3 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in Brdo, near Kranj on June 3, that a discussion that he had had with Hashim Thaci, was one of the most strained that the two of them had ever had, but that he believed that it was better to tell the truth and exchange strong words in a dialog rather than on the ground. "A harsh debate is a way to reduce tensions in the region," the Serbian president said to reporters in Brdo, after a Brdo-Brioni Process plenary, attended by the leaders of South East Europe (SEE), adding that it was better to exchange strong words than lie. The Serbian president also said that it was better to have difficult talks on open issues than suffer the consequences of accumulated problems on the ground. Vucic said that Macedonian President Djordje Ivanov, too, spoke toughly during the talks with Kosovo's representatives, and that together they unveiled the truth about Pristina's actions and the campaign in favor of a Greater Albania. "I quoted every word about a Greater Albania... They tried to dismiss it as Belgrade's fabrications, but I must say that Ivanov fully supported my arguments, and that he spoke harshly so that it might have appeared as if Serbia and Macedonia had created a front against the two Albanian representatives, which was not the case," Vucic said, adding that the truth was the main argument in the debate. Vucic also said that it was good that everyone knew that it would take a persistent effort for everyone in Europe to understand Serbia's position. "I said to them today that we understand that the Albanians consider Kosovo independent, but they need to step into our shoes and understand that Serbia cannot see Kosovo as an independent state, and that a consensus on that will never be reached," Vucic said. The Serbian president said that it was very important that others, too, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, could hear the discussion and his arguments.


BELGRADE, 2 June 2017 (Beta) - Italy's Republic Day was celebrated on June 2 at the Italian embassy in Belgrade, and the event was attended by Serbia's president-elect Aleksandar Vucic. The Italian ambassador to Belgrade, Giuseppe Manzo, said that "no speeches are necessary to prove how close Serbian-Italian relations are," and that bilateral trade, thousands of students learning Italian in Serbian schools and hundreds of Italian companies in Serbia attested to that. "Your presence here is a testimony to special relations between our two nations," the ambassador said to Vucic. The reception at the Italian embassy was attended by the Serbian speaker, Maja Gojkovic, the defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, mayors, including Belgrade's Sinisa Mali, diplomats, political representatives and figures from the civil sector and the media community. Manzo delivered Italian language certificates to six Serbian army officers, who passed their exams at the Italian Institute of Culture in Belgrade. The officers completed an Italian language course with the support of the Italian armed force's headquarters.


BELGRADE, 2 June 2017 (Beta) - Minister of Defense Zoran Djordjevic talked on June 2 with the representatives of the embassies of Algeria, Qatar, Angola and Namibia about his Ministry's resolve to intensify military cooperation with their states in all domains of mutual interest, especially in the field of military education. In the spirit of strengthening traditionally friendly relations, Djordjevic proposed ways of cooperation that would help heighten the level of established relations and the quality of cooperation in the area of defense, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement. Djordjevic said that Serbia's traditionally friendly relations with African countries and the Middle East should constantly be advanced. The meetings were attended by the ambassadors of Algeria and Qatar, Abdelhamid Chebchoub and Mubaraka bin Fahad Al-Thani, adviser to the ambassador of Angola Iria Angela da Paz Costa Santiago, honorary consul of Namibia Vasilije Boskovic, as well as the defense envoys of Algeria and Angola, Col. Ahmed Boudra and Lt. Col. Adao Eduardo da Silva.


BELGRADE, 2 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic talked on June 2 with British Ambassador Denis Keefe on improving the business environment in Serbia, bilateral cooperation, continuing the Berlin Process and the situation in the region. Mihajlovic thanked Ambassador Keefe for his support in implementing reforms which had directly contributed to Serbia improving its ranking on the World Bank Doing Business List and landing in the top 10 reformist countries in 2016, the government said in a press release. "The aim of the government is for Serbia to be among the top 20 countries with the best conditions for doing business this year and the next and we expect Britain to help us there," Mihajlovic said. Keefe said that it was very important to Great Britain for Serbia and the entire region to be stable and for all countries to cooperate well. Other discussion topics were the activities being carried out through the Berlin Process in light of preparations for the Trieste summit in early July, where more intensive talks are expected on the modes of EU funding and assistance in the construction of a highway linking Nis to Pristina. Mihajlovic and Keefe said that the agreement with Great Britain on road transportation should be harmonized as soon as possible.


BELGRADE, 3 June 2017 (Beta) - Deputy Prime Minister Rasim Ljajic and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Wang Yang on June 3, in the Chinese city of Xi'an opened the international fair Silk Road 2017, in which Serbia took part as a special guest and had the largest presentation pavilion, the Serbian cabinet has said. "This visit and this fair have affirmed not only the traditional friendship but also the strategic partnership in the two countries' relations. As a government, we have done all that we could, built relations, signed all the necessary agreements and now it is important that we take that crucial step, and that is for businesspeople to establish cooperation with Chinese companies," said Ljajic, who is also the minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications. Ljajic said that Serbia had two main objectives as far as cooperation with China was concerned - to attract as many Chinese tourists as possible and to increase the volume of Serbian exports to the Chinese market. Ljajic and Wang opened the business forum, which alongside businesspeople from more than 40 states also involved 20 companies from Serbia, predominantly from the agricultural and food sectors. The participants of a business conference titled Serbia - China, Investment, Trade and Tourism, which took place on June 4, learned that Serbia had in January-April this year registered a 260 percent rise in visits by Chinese tourists, thanks to a well-designed campaign for the promotion of tourism on the Chinese market. The main topics of the business conference were the improvement of bilateral trade cooperation and the consideration of possibilities for attracting more Chinese tourists to Serbia. The holding of a business forum for businesspeople from the Shaanxi province in Kragujevac was also arranged.


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