Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 04.09.2017.
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BELGRADE, 2 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Sept. 2 that Serbia wished to maintain a dialog and neighborly relations with Croatia, but that that implied everyone refraining from provocative acts. Dacic said at a press conference that Serbia had issued a protest note after the offices of the Serbian minority paper Novosti were set on fire during demonstrations by the Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights outside the Serbian People's Council headquarters in downtown Zagreb. "Nazi salutes are banned everywhere in the world, and the fact that in Croatia they are not speaks volumes about the state of public opinion," Dacic said. The Croatian party held a protest rally outside the Council's offices, where some 20 party members chanted "Ready for the Homeland" and carried banners reading: "We stopped you in 1991, we will stop you again." At the same rally, the president of the party which does not have representatives in parliament, Drazen Keleminec, burned a copy of the Novosti weekly which is issued by the Serbian People's Council.


BELGRADE, 1 September 2017 (Beta) - Contracts on grants in construction materials, worth a total of EUR2.7 million, went to 302 refugee families from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Belgrade on Sept. 1. Each aid package is worth around EUR9,000, and will be used to provide housing for refugees in all 17 of Belgrade's municipalities. The funds were secured under the third subproject of Regional Housing for refugees on the territory of Belgrade. Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said addressing the refugees that 235 apartments for refugees in the Borca neighborhood would be completed in November, recalling that refugees were provided assistance for 49 prefabricated and 69 rural houses as part of a regional program of providing housing. "I am proud of the results of the program," said Dacic, stressing that its full completion would hinge on donor funds, and urged them to continue to help in the future. In addition to Dacic, EU Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic, UNHCR head in Serbia Hans Friedrich Schodder, and many representatives of the donors and the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration were present at the presentation of the contracts. Schodder said it was a big day for UNHCR and the families of refugees and expressed satisfaction with the successful execution of the aid program. He also said 7,500 to 8,000 refugee families remained in Serbia and had to be helped to solve their housing situation. Joksimovic stressed the importance of the successful execution of the program to refugee families, stressing that one of the Serbian government's priorities was to help everyone in Serbia. She thanked all donors for their assistance and announced that the seventh package of assistance, providing an additional EUR9.2 million, would be signed "very soon". Joksimovic also said she expected EUR29 million to be secured to resolve the housing situation of some 6,300 refugee families.


BELGRADE, 2 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbian and Moldovan foreign ministers Ivica Dacic and Andrei Galbur expressed on Sept. 2 support for the territorial integrity of the two states, adding that bilateral cooperation had to be improved. Minister Dacic said at a press conference that Serbia and Moldova were two friendly states, and that there were no open issues between them. The friendly relationship notwithstanding, cooperation needs to be better, Dacic aid, adding that a series of agreement were under way. Moldova's foreign minister agreed that bilateral cooperation needed a boost. Galbur said that he had also agreed with his Serbian counterpart that the problem of Pridnestrovie, a separatist Moldovan area inhabited by Russians, had to be solved. Moldavia wants ties with the West and the East alike, and it should not be forced to choose, the minster said.


BELGRADE, 1 September 2017 (Beta) – A declaration on the survival of the Serbian nation will be presented to the parliaments of Serbia and Republika Srpska in November, while the first joint session of the two governments will take place earlier the same month, Belgrade and Banjaluka officials said to reporters at a Sept. 1 press conference in Belgrade. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that the two governments would meet for a joint session at the beginning of November, describing the move as evidence of a continuity in the previous and current government platforms. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that a team had been set up to draft a declaration to promote and protect the rights connected to preserving the identity of the Serb people. The president underlined that the document would honor international law and the Dayton Accords. "Serbia respects the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but we do not want anyone to hold it against that we pride ourselves in belonging to the same people. This is our right, it is in line with all international legal acts and the Dayton agreement, and it in no way contradicts our right to respect and preserve our identity," Vucic said. The main points of the declaration will be the right to use the Serbian Language and the Cyrillic Script, to study and foster Serbian culture, to study Serbian history and foster freedom-loving traditions, to preserve cultural heritage and national geography, and to provide for information in Serbian. Vucic explained that once the declaration was ready, an action plan would be prepared defining specific measures, and a budget fund defined to achieve those goals. Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik said he expected the document to be presented to the two parliaments in November. "What matters very much to me, and what hurts us very much, is the stereotype that we are the Bosnian Serbs. We are simply Serbs, and we want to underline that fact through this declaration," Dodik said.


BELGRADE, 2 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbia plans to invest between five and five and a half million euros in several projects to support the people and institutions of Republika Srpska, as well as the Muslim-Croat Federation, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sept. 2. Following talks with Republika Srpska's top-ranking officials a decision was made that no less than four million euros would be invested in the construction of kindergartens, a dorm, a leisure center and the reconstruction of roads in the republic. Vucic said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik and RS Premier, Zeljka Cvijanovic, that an agreement had been reached for a million euros to be allocated as assistance to municipalities in the Federation inhabited by Serbs. "The Serbian government achieved a budget surplus of one billion euros by August, this year, and we have an opportunity to help," Vucic explained.


BELGRADE, 2 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met on Sept. 2 with Moldova's deputy prime minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Galbur, to discuss international relations and the two states' challenges in the EU integration process. The Serbian cabinet quoted Brnabic as saying that Serbia was committed to the implementation of essentia reforms in the country's EU accession, and that the pace at which it had opened new chapters in the negotiating process was proof that it was close to its goal. Brnabic and Galbur agreed that regional stability was of vital importance, and that cooperation had to be developed. They also agreed that the passage and implementation of anti-corruption laws and public sector reforms were very important to both countries on their paths to the EU. Galbur underlined that Moldova respected Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that it was opposed to Kosovo's moves to join international organizations. The Moldovan foreign minister added that Moldova would support Serbia's EU accession in the future, as well.


SKOPJE, 1 September 2017 (Beta) - Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Serbian Ambassador Dusanka Divjak-Tomic said on Sept. 1 that there was a sincere friendship between the two countries and that there was a realistic foundation to deepen relations. Zaev met with Serbia's ambassador after her return to Skopje, as Serbia had recalled all of its embassy staff in Macedonia for consultations on Aug. 20. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said a day later that this had been done because the responsible agencies had provided proof of highly aggressive intelligence activities against the agencies and institutions of Serbia. Zaev told Divjak-Tomic that the government of Macedonia was committed to developing neighborly relations and contributing to the Euro-Atlantic outlook of the entire region "with a proactive role in regional cooperation," the Macedonian cabinet said in a press release. "The Republic of Serbia is a traditional friend of the Republic of Macedonia and we are focused only on positive relations which will contribute to bilateral relations on the regional plane too," Zaev said in talks with Serbia's ambassador. Divjak-Tomic expressed gratitude for Zaev's constructive approach to advancing cooperation between Macedonia and Serbia, and for the frank approach to resolving open issues, the press release read. "I am conveying a positive and constructive atmosphere from Serbia when it comes to further close cooperation. I am also conveying gratitude for the Macedonian government's support to have the headquarters of the Transport Community be in Belgrade. The fact that the general secretary of the Transport Community is from Macedonia only proves the two sides' commitment to nurturing and developing their friendship," Divjak-Tomic said. The officials noted that the two neighbors had an interest in following European tendencies in democratic and economic development.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin began a visit to Kazakhstan on Sept. 3 by visiting the Expo 2017 international exhibition in Astana, held this year under the motto Energy Is The Future, which includes Serbia among 50 represented countries. According to a press release, Vulin said that the focus of his visit to Kazakhstan would be finding room to engage the Serbian defense industry. "Kazakhstan is a big country, a country that has access to a market of 60 million people, and it really has a significant capacity to allow the defense industry of Serbia to market its technology, its knowhow and its finished products on this big market. I will speak with everyone in Kazahkstan who is a decision-maker in these affairs," Vulin said. The Defense Ministry delegation will stay in Kazakhstan until Sept. 5. Vulin is slated to meet with his Kazakh counterpart Saken Zhasuzakov and Minister of Defense and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov, and to tour the Kazakh military industry and the National Space Center. Expo 2017 opened on June 10 and it will stay open until Sept. 10. It is expected to host almost five million visitors, among whom two million tourists. According to an earlier announcement, the delegations of 50 countries gathered at the Serbian pavilion of the Expo 2017, while the event was organized to celebrate the pavilion's 400,000th visitor.


BELGRADE, 3 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbia's interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and deputy director at the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL) Detlef Schroeder signed a working arrangement in Belgrade, on Sept. 3. The working arrangement will make it possible for the Serbian interior ministry's staff to improve their knowledge and skills through the agency's training programs, the ministry reported after the signing ceremony. "The signing of the working arrangement with CEPOL marks the beginning of a good reform path for the Ministry of Interior, in full correspondence with what we have been doing for three years already - investing in training, the best training and education models for police officers," Minister Stefanovic said. The minister explained that the arrangement would make it possible for his ministry to send Serbian police officers to attend training programs at European institutions, and for Serbian instructors to share their knowledge and skills with their European peers. The CEPOL deputy director described the arrangement as a big step, adding that it was very important for the agency to have Serbia as a partner.


BELGRADE, 2 September 2017 (Beta) – Serbian Minister of Innovation and Technological Development Nenad Popovic said on Sept. 2 that the area of innovation and technological development had great potential to advance the cooperation of Serbia and the Republic of Korea, the minister's office said in a press release. At a meeting with Korean Ambassador to Serbia Yoo Dae Jong, Popovic said Korea was one of the best examples in the world of how investing in innovation produced fast economic growth, and that the most important role belonged to numerous research and development centers. "Through closer cooperation with Korea and employing its experience, Serbia wants to encourage the opening of as many such centers in Serbia as possible. Our goal is for our young experts and engineers to apply their innovation in the industry," Popovic said. He stressed that Serbia was open to Korean investment, especially attracting hi-tech investment. Ambassador Yoo stressed that Korean businesses were already present in Serbia, but that it was in the interest of both countries to raise the volume of investment in the area of innovation and new technology as these investments created new value.


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