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DAILY SURVEY 05.09.2017.
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SERBIA

NOTE OF PROTEST HANDED TO CROATIA

BELGRADE, 4 September 2017 (Beta) - Croatia's charge d'affaires on Sept. 4 received a note of protest at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade, concerning incitment to ethnic hatred and intimidation of the Serbian ethnic minority in Croatia at a Sept. 2 rally by the Autochtoneous Croatian Party of Rights outside the Serbian National Council's offices in downtown Zagreb. Some twenty supporters of the non-parliamentary party were carrying banners saying For the Homeland, Ready!, and We Stopped You in 1991, We'll Stop You Again, and burnt a copy of Novosti, a Serbian ethnic minority weekly. "The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that an incident like this, involving a Croatian neo-fascist political group led by its president, before the very eyes of the Croatian police, was an example of incitement to ethnic hatred and intimidation of the Serbian ethnic minority in Croatia, an attempt to rewrite history and glorify the Ustasha movement and its symbols," the Ministry stated in the note of protest. The interior ministry expects those responsible for these criminal offenses to be charged and penalized by the law, and that "in the spirit of the preservation and development of bilateral relations," the Croatian authorities will prevent protest rallies "certain to end - in offending the Serbian ethnic community in Croatia, and Serbs in general," the note said.

PM: SERBIA COMMITTED TO EU, REGIONAL COOPERATION

BLED,  4 September 2017 (Beta) - Speaking at a panel of leaders at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on Sept. 4, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said that membership in the EU was Belgrade's strategic goal, but that in parallel, Serbia wanted regional stability and cooperation between the countries in the region, primarily through business. Brnabic said that meetings with EU, U.S. and regional leaders in Bled also touched on Serbia's internal dialogue on Kosovo. She stressed that Serbia, militarily, was a neutral country and that it cooperated with all countries that honored such a position. Brnabic further said that she had set digitalization as her cabinet's priority, as it should ensure the modernization of public administration, noting that digitalization was an opportunity to step up economic growth. On the sidelines, Brnabic met with a number of foreign officials. In a meeting with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee, Brnabic said that one of Serbia's foreign policy priorities was to continue the positive trend in relations with Washington. She also said it was important to continue the Brussels-brokered Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and to implement the reached agreements, primarily those referring to the formation of an Association of Serb Communities. At a meeting with French Minister in charge of European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau, she discussed bilateral economic cooperation and possibilities for boosting bilateral trade and French investments in Serbia, while in a meeting with MEP from Slovenia Tanja Fajon, Brnabic said that membership in the EU was Serbia's foreign policy priority and that Belgrade would continue to be a reliable and credible partner of the EU.

VULIN, KAZAKHSTAN'S DEFENSE MINISTER MAKE COOPERATION ARRANGEMENTS

ASTANA, 4 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Kazakhstan's Minister of Defense and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov agreed in Astana, on Sept. 4, that the two states would develop bilateral cooperation by exchanging delegations of experts and technologies, as well as through joint projects to modernize certain anti-aircraft systems. Minister Vulin said that Kazakhstan was "very interested in cooperation with Serbia's Jugoimport, Milan Blagojevic, Krusik and Jumko." The minister said that the country was a new market for the national defense industry, adding that for the first time in history, Serbia had invested EUR50 million in the defense industry. The Serbian defense minister started his visit to Kazakhstan on Sept. 3, when he visited the international EXPO 2017 in Astana, organized under the motto "Energy is the Future," and attended by 50 states, including Serbia.

SERBIAN MINISTER, ROMANIAN AMBASSADOR PLEASED WITH BILATERAL POLICE COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 4 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbia's interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and the Romanian ambassador to Serbia, Oana Kristina Popa, said on Sept. 4 that cooperation between the two police departments was very good, and agreed to expand it in the police training sector. Minister Stefanovic and Romania's diplomat explained that the training would involve an exchange of experiences and learning new skills in fighting terrorism, organized crime and other types of crime, the Ministry of the Interior reported. The two also confirmed there was good operative cooperation within Interpol, and a good, friendly relationship between Serbia and Romania.

RUZIC, MANCEVSKI DISCUSS PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM

BLED, 4 September 2017 (Beta) - Public Administration and Local Self-Government Minister Branko Ruzic met in Bled, Slovenia, on Sept. 4, with Macedonian Information Society and Administration Minister Damjan Mancevski to discuss public administration reform in the two countries. They talked about electronic services provided by the public administrations. Ruzic said that Serbia was willing to share its experience with the countries in the region and at the same time to learn from them. Mancevski expressed an interest in the inspection oversight reform in Serbia, which has contributed to establishing coordination between inspections and has enabled them to have more of an advisory rather than repressive role.

ANTIC, CHINESE AMBASSADOR: MORE DYNAMIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION A PRIORITY

BELGRADE, 4 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic and China's ambassador in Belgrade Li Manchang agreed at a Sept. 4 meeting in Belgrade that more dynamic economic relations should be made a priority. The ambassador and Minister Antic, who is also a national coordinator for the cooperation mechanism China + 16 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) States, agreed that progress had been made in the Kostolac package project, and they also discussed opportunities to develop cooperation on new mining and energy projects. The two officials also talked about the upcoming meeting of China + 16 national coordinators ahead of the Summit of "16+1" Mechanism Leaders, expected to take place in Budapest, by the end of the year.

DAILY SURVEY

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