Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 07.06.2017.
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BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on June 6 that Serbia remained committed to joining the European Union, but that it couldn't join the Union's restrictive measures against Russia, China and other states supporting Serbia in the matter of Kosovo. In his speech at the conference Deepening Security and Defense Policy in a Multy-Speed Europe, Dacic urged the EU to focus on the region and support Serbia in its intent to step up the reform process and join the Union. "Serbia is not able to join the decisions and restrictive measures related to Russia and China, the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, because out territorial integrity has been threatened by the attempted secession of a part of our territory, and these states persist in respect to international law. We treat in the same way all the other states supporting Serbia in the matters related to Kosovo and Metohija," Dacic said at the conference organized by the ISAC fund. Speaking about harmonization with the EU foreign policy, Minister Dacic recalled that "Serbia is still waiting for an EU screening report on Chapter 31, even though the bilateral screening in October 2014 was assessed as very successful." Dacic said that Serbia was expected to gradually harmonize its foreign and security policy with the Union's, which was "unobjectionable," underlining that in terms of values, geographic location, politics and security, Serbia belonged to Europe, which the country had proved repeatedly.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - State Secretary of Germany's Federal Foreign Office Markus Ederer said during a June 6 visit to Belgrade that it was clear that the European Union couldn't afford to have yet another unresolved bilateral conflict imported through the enlargement process, referring to a dispute between Belgrade and Pristina.  Ederer said at the conference Deepening of the EU's Security and Defense Cooperation in a Multi-Speed Europe that he believed that Belgrade and Pristina had to identify durable solutions to their problems, despite the obstacles, and that both sides were interested.
When asked for a comment on the German official's remarks, Serbia's acting prime minister, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, said to reporters after the conference that Serbia had its own opinion on some painful issues, including the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state. Dacic recalled that there was no consensus between EU members on Kosovo's independence, adding that he was traveling to Spain on June 6, one of the five EU states that hadn't recognized Kosovo's independence. "Serbia is not standing in anyone's way, we don't slow anyone down, but we don't want to be the subject of political experiments regarding territorial integrity and sovereignty." The Serbian foreign minister said that the Belgrade-Pristina talks constituted an active process that had to be stepped up, but that Serbia would not take steps that were not in line with their national interests. Minister Dacic said that it made no sense to make the opening of new chapters in Serbia's EU accession talks conditional on progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, because then the progress would not depend only on Belgrade. "If (Ramush) Haradinaj is actually elected Kosovo's prime minister, our path to the EU will depend on him and his view of the dialogue," Dacic illustrated the point.
The German diplomat praised Serbia's commitment to the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, adding that the EU hoped for progress in the process, perhaps as early as after Kosovo's elections. Ederer said that Germany's messages to Belgrade and Pristina about the north of Kosovo and the Community of Serb Municipalities were unambiguous. "We have made it clear to both sides that they can't block each other's talks in the EU integration process," the German official said. He underlined that the politicians in the Western Balkans needed to stand behind their words when they said they were committed to the EU integration, adding that they shouldn't blame the EU if there was no visible progress. Ederer said that it would be advisable for Serbia to bring its foreign policy close to the Union's in the accession process. "The EU doesn't insist that the states of the region should suspend their traditionally good relations with other countries... We might be sensitive in the case of Ukraine though," the German official said, adding that at the end of the enlargement process all members had to accept joint rules. European External Action Service Director for Western Europe, Western Balkans and Turkey Angelina Eichhorst underlined the importance of encouraging regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, not only between political leaders, but between citizens and civil societies as well. Eichhorst said that Serbia worked closely with the EU in a number of areas, including a joint security policy, hoping for the trend to continue.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met on June 6 with the outgoing French ambassador to Serbia, Christine Moro, thanking her for cooperation and the development of overall bilateral relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. Dacic, who is also Serbia's acting prime minister, thanked Moro for France's support to Serbia's EU integration, expecting the support to continue, the Ministry said in a press release. Ambassador Moro, who will end her term in Serbia soon, thanked the Serbian foreign minister for "excellent cooperation," and expressed "hope that bilateral relations will develop," and that Serbia would make progress in the EU integration process. The Ministry also reported that the Serbian official and the French diplomat described the Serbian-French relationship as "traditionally good," concluding that bilateral cooperation was very successful in many areas. Dacic and Moro described economic ties as developed, underlining the trend of growth, the Ministry added in the press release.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said at a June 6 meeting with Germany's State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Markus Ederer that Belgrade would continue a dialogue with Pristina, which had yet to fulfill its obligation to set up the Community of Serb Municipalities. The Serbian president and the German official agreed that a significant improvement in the political relationship between Serbia and Germany went hand in hand with more active cooperation in all areas, the Press Office of the Serbian President reported. Ederer said that Germany was supporting Serbia's EU accession, adding that Vucic's positions and moves were in line with the best European tradition and that Germany was encouraging them, the Office said in a press release. The Serbian president said that infrastructure links were very important for regional stability and cooperation. "Serbia wants to be Germany's reliable and credible partner, and we are thankful for the support Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials have been providing for Serbia, both in the EU accession and in terms of commitment to the stabilization of the situation in the Western Balkans, especially through the Berlin Process," Vucic said. The German diplomat thanked Vucic for having unveiled the monument to the Danube Swabians in Backi Jarak, the presidential press office said.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on June 6 with Ellen Goldstein, the World Bank's country director for the Western Balkans, to discuss further support to the national reform in Serbia, especially to the restructuring of public enterprises - the Electric Power Industry of Serbia and gas company Srbijagas. The Serbian president and the World Bank's official also discussed the continuation of cooperation between Serbia and the financial organization. Goldstein said that Serbia was firmly on the reform path, and was determined to implement the government economic policy. To illustrate her point, Goldstein quoted a World Bank press release setting a GDP rate growth at three percent, 0.2 percent higher than the bank's initial projection in January. Vucic said he was convinced that Serbia would continue to develop a stable business environment to attract foreign investment.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Andrea Orizio and Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic pointed on June 6 to the importance of prevention, by developing a concept of police in the community, for the prevention of all forms of crime. Orizio and Stefanovic said at a presentation in Belgrade of a document called Guidelines for the Operation of Police in the Community that the purpose of the project was to heighten the safety of citizens and their level of trust in the police. Stefanovic said that police could not be everywhere at the same time and that cooperating with citizens was therefore important. The purpose of the project is not, he said, to fashion a "police state," but to allow citizens to indicate problems in their environments and thereby contribute to police efficiency. He reiterated that the activities that were part of the project had been unfolding for quite a while through cooperation with local safety councils and talks with citizens and via the principle of going "door-to-door." Orizio stressed that the police in the community project was also important for crime prevention.


BELGRADE, 6 June 2017 (Beta) - A Belarusian-Serbian business forum which gathered over 100 business representatives from Serbia and Belarus opened at Belgrade's Sava Center. The business forum, which is the central event of the Days of Minsk in Belgrade, was opened by the mayors of Belgrade and Minsk Sinisa Mali and Andrei Shorets. "We want to find a way for our companies to invest more in Minsk, and for theirs to come to Belgrade to open new jobs and new factories and that, among other things, was the focus of today's meeting," Mali said. Mali added that developing tourism was a special goal - for Belarusian tourists to spend several days in Serbia and Belgrade, the city administration said in a statement. Shorets said that the June 6 business forum as well as the Days of Belgrade in Minsk event, which were held last year, indicated that the two cities had a lot in common. An exhibition of photographs titled "Minsk - old and eternally young," an exhibition of Minsk's tourism potential, the consumption of Belarusian specialties and drinks as well as visits to old crafts workshops were also set up at Sava Center.


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