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DAILY SURVEY 03.04.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC THANKS BURUNDI ON REVOKING KOSOVO INDEPENDENCE RECOGNITION

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on April 2 thanked Burundi on revoking its recognition of Kosovo independence. "Following a talk about the facts and our presentation of the arguments for revoking the recognition of Kosovo, I was satisfied and extremely happy to receive a note verbale on the revocation of recognizing Kosovo independence. Not so much because of the note itself, but rather because of its content. It is a serious political text," Dacic told a joint news conference with his Burundian counterpart Alain Aime Nyamitwe. Dacic said that this decision had rectified a historical injustice to Serbia. "Serbia is not against dialogue, but it opposes unilateral moves," Dacic added. Nyamitwe said that Burundi had revoked its recognition of Kosovo independence as this recognition was at odds with the principles of the country's foreign policy. "The essential reason was to make sure that this and other decisions are in line with our foreign policy. What was in our focus was not whether to recognize Kosovo independence or not, but the reasons why we should recognize it and if this was in line with our foreign policy principles. If the result of the analysis had been different, we would have acted differently," Nyamitwe stated. Dacic said that there were many other countries that had been reconsidering their recognition of Kosovo. "Many countries have recognized Kosovo while not knowing whether they have truly done so. The Pristina authorities have turned the recognition list into a bulletin board in a company, available for all to sign up," Dacic noted. Dacic expressed the need for mutual cooperation and support in international organizations, as Serbia and Burundi are friendly countries.

DACIC: INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH OF DIPLOMATS IN LIBYA MUST BE FINALIZED

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has said that an investigation into the death of two Serbian Embassy officials in Libya three years ago had to be completed. Asked why a report from the ministry's working group on the matter had not been published, Dacic that replied it "is probably" because the investigation is still in progress, noting that it was not conducted by his ministry. "Our inquires have not been answered by Libya till today," Dacic told a news conference, after meeting his Burundian counterpart Alain Aime Nyamitwe. The Serbian Embassy officials in Tripoli, Sladjana Stankovic and Jovica Stepic, were abducted in 2015, during an attack on a motorcade of the then Serbian Ambassador to Libya Oliver Potezica, and are believed to have been killed in February 2016, during the U.S. bombing of the town of Sabratha.

CHEPURIN HANDS DACIC LAVROV'S LETTER ON DJURIC ARREST

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - At an April 2 meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin handed the Minister a letter from his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in reply to Dacic's letter concerning the arrest of the director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, in Kosovska Mitrovica, on March 26. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs went on to say in an April 2 press release that Dacic and Chepurin also "discussed current bilateral issues and mutual support in international organizations." The details have not been disclosed.

BRNABIC: WE WANT PRISTINA TO IMPLEMENT BRUSSELS AGREEMENT

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian government will ask the authorities in Pristina to fully implement the Brussels agreement, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on April 2. "We shall insist that the Brussels agreement be implemented, and the Community of Serb Municipalities set up with a full array of powers. If they refuse to do so, we shall support the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija in the effort to set it up alone," Brnabic said to reporters at the Serbian Geodetic Bureau. When asked what her cabinet intended to do about the situation in KiM, she said that "the situation is complex, and changing daily." "I had a meeting behind closed doors with the Serbian president, to discuss the matter, and I cannot disclose all the details," the prime minister said. Brnabic underlined that what Serbia needed was national unity, and that a cabinet reshuffle would not be discussed at this point. "A cabinet reshuffle is absolutely not the theme right now," Brnabic said. For the difficult fiscal consolidation measures to produce effects, Serbia needs political stability more than any other state in the region, the prime minister explained.

KUBUROVIC: A STRONG STATE HINGES ON INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Justice Nela Kuburovic said during an April 2 visit to Morocco that Serbia's judiciary had reached "a peak in the reform process," and that an independent, unbiased, professional, liable and efficient judiciary was the condition for a strong and democratic state in which the citizens feel protected. This was part of Minister Kuburovic's opening speech at the first international conference on the independence of judiciary in Marrakesh. The justice minister said that the Serbian judiciary had placed special emphasis on the protection of human and civil rights, and efforts to harmonize the Serbian legal tradition with European values. "The demand for an independent and unbiased judiciary is the starting point and the pillar of legal security, bringing justice closer to citizens and restoring trust in the judicial system," the minister said. Kuburovic said that her ministry had opted for quality over speed in creating laws. The Serbian minister is also scheduled to have a few fringe meetings during the conference, including today's with her Indian counterpart, Shri Thakur Prasad, with whom she discussed the development of bilateral judicial cooperation. By the end of the day, Kuburovic will meet with Spain's justice minister, Rafael Catala. The Serbian Ministry of Justice reported that Kuburovic had had informal talks with the justice ministers of Canada, Portugal, the Netherlands and Egypt.

CHINESE AMBASSADOR, NIKOLIC: SINO-SERBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO OPEN SOON

BELGRADE, 2 April 2018 (Beta) - China's ambassador to Serbia, Li Manchang, said at an April 2 meeting with the president of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, Tomislav Nikolic, that preparations were almost completed for the launch of the Chinese-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and expect Nikolic to accept the title of honorary president. A press release says that the ambassador briefed Nikolic about the latest agreements China Shandong had reached concerning the construction of Corridor X sections, as well as growing interest in the sale of the PKB food complex and other investments China planned to carry out in Serbia. The Chinese diplomat and Nikolic also discussed Nikolic's upcoming visit to China, and the talks he is scheduled to have with the leaders of Zijing Mining, who are interested in taking over the RTB Bor mining complex. Ambassador Manchang thanked Nikolic for having established close cooperation between his country and the National Council, whose coordination efforts are increasingly valuable in boosting Chinese investors' interest in Serbia. Manchang and Nikolic also talked about an upcoming seminar organized by the Chinese government, to be attended by senior officials of Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Montenegro.

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