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DAILY SURVEY 07.08.2017.
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SERBIA

DACIC, QATARI COUNTERPART DISCUSS IMPROVING ECONOMIC RELATIONS, INVESTMENT

BELGRADE, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - The foreign ministers of Serbia and Qatar, Ivica Dacic and Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, on Aug. 4 concurred that relations between the two countries were good and could be improved, and highlighted economic relations and investment as the two most important fields. The ministers voiced a desire to improve economic ties between the two countries by increasing the volume of foreign trade and bringing Qatari investment to Serbia, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The two collocutors noted that political dialog had intensified at the high and highest levels and conveyed the belief that an upcoming visit by the emir of Qatar to Serbia would additionally fortify the two countries' relations, the statement said. Dacic confirmed Serbia's determination to develop multifaceted cooperation with Qatar, in all fields with real possibilities and mutual interests. The two ministers also discussed the current crisis involving Qatar, which started when a group of Arab countries suspended diplomatic relations with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism. "The Serbian foreign minister reiterated Serbia's position that the crisis in the Gulf must be resolved through dialog, in a peaceful manner, without pressure and sanctions, and offered Serbia's assistance in relaxing the situation in the region," adds the statement.

SERBIA MARKS 22ND ANNIVERSARY OF OPERATION STORM IN NOVI SAD

NOVI SAD, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - The central state event marking the 22nd anniversary of the plight of the Krajina Serbs in the Croatian military and police operation called Storm took place in the Veternik Football Club's stadium in Novi Sad on Aug. 4. At the marking of the Day of Remembrance of the Plight and Exile of Serbs, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the Serbian nation had "raised its head" and wanted peace and a future, but must not and never would forget the tragedy. "The Serbian people could not go through another Storm ever again. That is why I tell and promise you, citizens, that Serbia will never again allow the perpetration of such criminal actions against the Serbian people anywhere. We have no more right to lose heads and Serbian hearths. We are not threatening anyone, we do not covet that which belongs to others. That is Serbia's policy - peace and the protection of that which has been destroyed for decades," said Vucic. He said he was proud of the people he belonged to, voicing the hope that the Serbs would know how to forgive, but that they must not and would not forget the suffering of their people. Serbian Patriarch Irinej, who at the start of the commemoration served a memorial service for all who had been killed, said that the Serbian people on Aug. 4 and 5, 1995 in the Croatian military and police operation Storm had suffered a terrible tragedy which it must forgive, but never forget, so that it never happened again. Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said that Serbia and Republika Srpska were the most stable in the region and were offering everyone the hand of reconciliation. The event was attended, among others, by the representatives of Serbs from the region, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and her cabinet's ministers, head of the Vojvodina administration Igor Mirovic, Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic, Matica Srpska President Dragan Stanic and Novi Sad Mayor Milos Vucevic, as well as other officials. According to the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration's data, more than 200,000 Krajina Serbs were expelled in Operation Storm, whereas more than 2,000 lost their lives or are registered as missing. The operation began on Aug. 4, 1995 with an offensive of the Croatian army, police and National Defense Council units on the areas of Banija, Kordun, Lika and northern Dalmatia, i.e. the selfproclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina. The following day, Aug. 5, the Croatian army entered the nearly abandoned town of Knin and hoisted the Croatian flag, while lines of refugees were entering Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on tractors and other agricultural vehicles.

VUCIC TALKS WITH SERBS FROM REGION

NOVI SAD, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met in Novi Sad on Aug. 4 with the representatives of Serbs from the region on the position of the Serbian people in the countries they were living in and the problems they faced on a daily basis. Vucic said it was important to consider these problems, so that Serbia could in the best way contribute to the Serbs exercising guaranteed rights in line with international norms, the Presidency said in a press release. He went on to say that Serbia respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries in which Serbs lived and wanted the best relations with said countries, because peace, stability and cooperation in the region were in the interest of the Serbian people. By strengthening its economy and reputation in the world, as he put it, Serbia can do more for the position of Serbs in the region and other parts of the world. Vucic pointed out that Serbia would continue to support the educational and cultural institutions of the Serbian people in the region, in order to preserve the Serbian language and culture, and will also support the activities of the Serbian Orthodox Church, reads the press release. The meeting was attended by Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej, Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, cabinet ministers and others.

GOJKOVIC, ROUHANI: SERBIA-IRAN RELATIONS EXCELLENT

BELGRADE, 6 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic attended an inauguration ceremony for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. While in Tehran, she also met with Islamic Consultative Assembly speaker Ali Larijani. Gojkovic conveyed Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic's congratulations to Rouhani on his re-election, voicing the conviction that he would continue to contribute to the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, the parliament's press service announced on Aug. 6. Gojkovic said bilateral relations between Serbia and Iran were good and friendly, noting that this year was the 80th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. She thanked Iran for its constant and principled support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia in not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija and for its stance in the vote on admitting Kosovo into UNESCO, which did not go counter to Serbia's interests. At her meeting with Larijani, Gojkovic pointed out the potential for stepping up contact between the two parliaments' working bodies, especially the committees on foreign affairs, agriculture and the economy, and between delegations in international parliamentary organizations. According to the press release, Gojkovic invited the speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly to visit Serbia with a view to further advancing parliamentary relations.

GOV'T ADOPTS FIVE-YEAR STRATEGY OF PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

BELGRADE, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - At an Aug. 4 session the Serbian government adopted a Strategy for Preventing and Suppressing Human Trafficking, especially women and children, and for the protection of trafficking victims for the period from 2017 to 2022, which represents a more adequate and effective response by the state and society to the human trafficking problem. "The Strategy adopted is the second strategic document of the Serbian government enacted with the aim of solving the human trafficking problem, which will secure a comprehensive response by society to human trafficking, in line with new challenges, risks and threats," a government press release said. The cabinet said that the Strategy had established "a partnership between state bodies and civil society on the strategic and operative level, training programs for employees in those institutions have been introduced, projects planned in the area of education and raising awareness among youth for the purpose of recognizing the complexity of the problem and the identification and protection of human trafficking victims." The press release added that the Strategy had been drawn up in compliance with the current EU policies on in the are of eradicating human trafficking and migration, and that its integral part was an Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy in 2017- 2018.

STEFANOVIC, POLISH AMBASSADOR ON FIGHT AGAINST TERROR, CRIME

BELGRADE, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met with Polish Ambassador Tomasz Niegodzisz, on Aug. 4 and discussed advancing cooperation in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. The two officials also discussed advancing cooperation in the fight against high technology crime, illegal migration and human trafficking, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Stefanovic and Niegodzisz agreed that cooperation between the two countries' police forces was good, though there was room for improvement, according to the statement. The Polish ambassador voiced his thanks for the professional conduct of police officers after a traffic accident near Mali Feketic on July 11, 2017, when a bus with Polish citizens veered off the road.

DJORDJEVIC MEETS WITH AMBASSADORS OF BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS

BELGRADE, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs Minister Zoran Djordjevic met on Aug. 4 with Belgian Ambassador to Serbia Leo Vincent D'Aes on bilateral relations and the possibilities for improving them, especially in the areas under the purview of his ministry. According to a press release from the ministry, the collocutors said there was special interest in advancing cooperation in welfare, promoting gender equality and protecting the rights of workers, but also opening dialog and exchanging of opinions on the possibilities for cooperation in protecting and maintaining military and war memorials. The ambassador reiterated Belgium's support to Serbia's bid to join the EU and expressed Brussels' readiness to help and extend support within its capabilities for the purpose of adjusting regulations to EU directives through the exchange of experience and examples of good practice. Dutch Ambassador Hendrik van den Dool and Djordjevic expressed hope and readiness to improve cooperation in labor, employment, gender equality and preventing domestic violence in order to boost bilateral ties, in an Aug. 4 meeting. According to a ministry statement, Van den Dool said the Dutch government would continue to support Serbia's EU integration and the opening of new chapters in the talks, but also Serbia's participation in programs and projects to bolster and advance the social security system and the rule of law. Djordjevic thanked him for the Netherlands' support to Serbia's EU path and the assistance rendered during the migrant crisis through projects to strengthen crisis response capacities, securing legal assistance for migrants and improved protection of unaccompanied minors.

POPOVIC: COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA IN SCIENCE, INNOVATION

BELGRADE, 4 August 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popovic and Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin toured the Petnica Research Center on Aug. 4 and agreed on cooperation between Petnica and research and education centers in Russia. "I expect us to significantly increase the volume of student and teaching staff exchange from Serbia and Russia as soon as within the next year, for the purpose of joint work on innovative and science projects," Popovic's office quoted him as saying. He said there was vast potential for cooperation between Serbian and Russian institutes of science and research and universities, including innovation centers attached to universities. "It is useful for Serbia to rely on knowledge from Russia too in its development of science and innovation," Popovic said. He added that there was a lot of room to exchange knowledge in physics, IT, nanotechnology, space technology, medicine and the defense industry. Popovic stressed that the development of innovation and high technology in these areas was important for raising the competitiveness of Serbia's business sector. Chepurin stressed that the development of fundamental research and investing in innovation and science were pre-conditions for the economic progress of a country. I hope Serbia and Russia will continue to develop their scientific potential together, because when we do something together, we do it very successfully, the Russian ambassador said.

DAILY SURVEY

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