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DAILY SURVEY 30.03.2018.
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KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

VUCIC: NO ONE KNOWS HOW WE WILL TALK WITH PRISTINA

BELGRADE, 29 March 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on March 29 that no one knew what the talks between Belgrade and Pristina would look like in the future, but that it was certain that they would be held. "The question is will we talk after this, we will talk, but how, no one knows. How am I supposed to look at Thaci and those who ordered the beating of Marko Djuric," Vucic said adding that he had told international officials to "let some time pass and we will see." He said that the question of trust between Belgrade and Pristina was being posed and added that he knew that Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj had ordered Djuric's arrest. "Let us preserve the peace, as for what we will do next, I myself do not know what to tell you," Vucic said. He said that the the Pristina officials essentially did not want a Community of Serb Municipalities, that they wanted it to be in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Kosovo, which would reduce the Community to the level of a non-governmental organization. "It is supposed to be an NGO, whose members will chew the fat when Thaci and Haradinaj allow it," Vucic said. He said that the Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija would not try to create the Community on their own but were ready to do this in accordance with the Brussels Agreement and what Hashim Thaci and Ramush Haradinaj had said in the past several days regarding the Community. "The Brussels Agreement was signed on April 18 or 19 in 2013, and for more than 1,800 days someone has not met their internationally acknowledged obligation nor has anyone pressured them to do so," the Serbian president said. Vucic added that the Serbs still wanted to create the Community with Kosovo Albanian representatives, but added that the adoption of a statute for the Community would never happen as Pristina would always say that there was something unconstitutional. He said that he had been criticized since that morning for talking with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that his response was that he would talk with everyone as well as that he would talk with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on March 29. "My job is to protect Serbia and I do not care from where someone comes," Vucic said.

DJURIC: GOV'T SUPPORTS FORMING OF COMMUNITY OF SERB MUNICIPALITIES IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

BELGRADE, 29 March 2018 (Beta) - The director of the government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, said on March 29 that the Serbian government supported the Serb representatives in Kosovo and Metohija in their intention to start the forming of the Community of Serb Municipalities. He told reporters that, if Pristina did not do anything within the next three weeks, the Serb representatives would form the Community themselves. Asked how the Community of Serb Municipalities would function if Pristina did not consent to its forming, Djuric said that the agreement on the forming of the Community had been reached with EU mediation and signed by the international community.

SERBIA

EU MEMBERSHIP WILL DEPEND ON POLITICAL WILL, SOLVING OF NEIGHBOR DISPUTES

BELGRADE, 29 March 2018 (Beta) - The chief of the European Union's Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, said on March 29, while presenting the new EU Strategy for the Western Balkans to members of the Foreign Investors Council, that the prospects of member candidates would largely depend on strong political will, carrying out of true and sustainable reforms and finding definitive solutions to disputes with neighbors. Fabrizi recalled that Serbia and Montenegro were the only two countries in the region with pre-accession negotiations well under way, and that the Strategy clearly defined that the EU's door for further accession would open when the individual countries fulfilled the criteria, stated the Foreign Investors Council. Credible prospects of enlargement call for constant effort and irreversible reforms. Progress on the European path is a process bound to goals and their fulfilling. Serbia's path to the EU is in the country's national and state interest, he said. The vice president of the Foreign Investors Council, Ingeborg Ofsthus, said that this business association supported the process of European integration, because that was an excellent mechanism for improving the competitiveness of Serbia's economy. During the negotiations, a candidate country must carry out comprehensive reforms and raise the administrative capacity for enforcing the law, which is one of Serbia's key problems nowadays. The economy should modernize in order to sustain the pressure of competition at the end of the accession process. These are great challenges and we on the Council can respond to them, because 74 percent of our members come from the EU with the knowledge and strength to support the process of accession, Ofsthus said.

AMBASSADOR: FRANCE WILL SUPPORT SERBIA'S WISH TO BECOME ASSOCIATE MEMBER OF FRANCOPHONIE

BELGRADE, 29 March 2018 (Beta) - French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni said on March 29 that France would support Serbia's "Francophone ambitions" and the country's desire to become an associate member of the international Francophonie organization (OIF) at its next summit. Addressing guests at a ceremony marking the end of the Francophonie month at the French ambassador's residence, Mondoloni pointed to three main elements for marking Francophonie in Serbia - closeness, variety and availability. "Closeness - in your surroundings, in all of Serbia. The Francophonie month was celebrated in fifteen or so towns in Serbia. It was available. The program of the French Institute (in Serbia) was completely free of charge and open to all. The Francophonie month was rich in its diversity, with concerts, plays, debates and other events," the ambassador said and thanked all partners. He said that an agreement had been reached on founding a group of Francophonie embassies in Serbia which, he said, would gather diplomatic missions belonging to Francophonie and using the French language, which would like to help everyone who supported Francophonie in Serbia. "France will support with fondness the Francophone ambitions of Serbia and its wish to become an associate member of the Francophonie at the next summit in Yerevan," Mondoloni said at the reception in honor of Francophonie. Mondoloni recalled that French President Emanuel Macron had presented a plan for the French language on International Francophone Day on March 20 and stressed that France "is just a part of Francophone and the responsibility does not solely lie upon it." At the reception, which was attended by diplomats, culture, science and education officials, awards for Francophone dictations were passed out and a winner of a contest for Francophone poem chosen.

MEMORANDUM SIGNED FOR POZEGA-BOLJARE MOTORWAY SEGMENT

BELGRADE, 29 March 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian minister of construction, transportation and infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, and the executive president of the Chinese company CCCC (China Communication Construction Company), Du Fei, on March 29 signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the Belgrade-Southern Adriatic project, for the Pozega-Boljare segment. Mihajlovic said at the news conference that the Memorandum envisaged the creation of design documents for the most difficult segment, 107 kilometers long, which will cost around EUR50 million. "In order for Corridor XI to connect with Montenegro, it is necessary to construct a motorway from Preljina to Pozega, for which a USD523 million commercial contract has been signed, and construction will start next year in March," Mihajlovic pointed out. In her words, works on that segment will last for two years. The executive president of CCCC said this Chinese company would provide the documents and the model for financing the project. He added that the construction of this motorway segment was exceptionally important for Serbia and, when Montenegro completed the Bar-Boljare segment, which this Chinese company was also constructing, it would be very easy to quickly reach Montenegro from Serbia. The Chinese ambassador to Serbia, Li Manchang, said that China had more projects in Serbia than in any other "16+1" country.

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