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DAILY SURVEY 10.04.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC SEEKS SUPPORT FROM NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT TO RESIST PRISTINA'S ASPIRATIONS

BELGRADE, 9 April 2018 (Beta) - Speaking at a ministerial conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku on April 5, Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic called on all countries to resist Pristina's attempts at joining international organizations. According to Dacic, among more than 80 countries that have not recognized Kosovo's independence, more than 60 are members of the Non-Aligned Movement. Dacic also said that he had about 20 bilateral meetings in Baku, noting that with Azerbaijani president and foreign minister, Ilham Aliyev and Elmar Mammadyarov, he had discussed a visit by President Aleksandar Vucic to Azerbaijan, planned for the second half of May. Later, the Belgrade daily Blic cited Dacic as saying that if Pristina conducted the dialogue without mentors, it "would proceed from its interests and would accept the division of Kosovo." Speaking about future activities concerning Kosovo, Dacic told the April 7 issue of the Blic that the Greek and French foreign ministers, Nikos Kotzias and Jean-Yves Le Drian, would arrive in Belgrade "next week" and that important talks lay ahead.

VUCIC, COVIC: DIFFERENT VIEW OF FUTURE POSSIBLE

BELGRADE, 9 April 2018 (Beta) - President Aleksandar Vucic said in Mostar on April 9 that Serbia would continue to respect Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H) and that better economic cooperation was the way to peace and stability in the region. After meeting Croatian member of the B-H Presidency Dragan Covic, Vucic told reporters that he expected "relations between the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks to be better, not worse in the future," noting that it was important to overcome differences between the peoples. Vucic also said that Serbia and B-H have been reporting the largest increase in bilateral trade in the region, adding that in 2017, bilateral trade was up 13.9 percent from the year before. Covic told reporters that the meeting with Vucic had dealt with cooperation between the Croats and the Serbs, noting that the open issues between the two countries could be solved. He also said that there was room to further improve cooperation between Serbia and B-H. "I think that bilateral trade could also grow and I am looking forward to the Mostar Fair, which will be opened by Vucic on April 10," Covic said. On April 9, Vucic, together with Bishop of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, Grigorije, and Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik, visited the reconstruction of the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Mostar, which was burned to the ground in June 1992. The initiative for its reconstruction was launched in 2008. Vucic and Dodik also met with representatives of the Coordinating Committee of Serb associations and organizations in Mostar to discuss infrastructure and other projects. Vucic said that Serbia would ensure financial support for the construction and furnishing of a Serb cultural center, and other projects and cultural events of the Serbs in Mostar. According to a statement from the Serbian Presidency on April 8, ahead of his trip to Mostar, Vucic had talked on the phone with Chairman of the B-H Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic to discuss bilateral relations and relations in the region.

VUCIC: SERBIA HAS PURSUED A POLICY OF PEACE

BELGRADE, 9 April 2018 (Beta) - Hashim Thaci said on April 9 that Kosovo would respond to Serbia's alleged threats "the way it did 19 years ago". In a ceremony marking the 19th anniversary of the battle between the Yugoslav Army and the Kosovo Liberation Army at the former location of the Kosare border observation post, Thaci said that where he was standing "a historic victory" was won, "bringing down the border pyramid that had separated the Albanian lands for centuries." The ceremony was also attended by Ramush Haradinaj. Serbian President Aleksadar Vucic reacted to Thaci's words, saying to reporters in Mostar that Serbia has pursued a policy of peace, and refuses to deal in guns and weapons. President Vucic said that Thachi's words needed to be read carefully, in which he had declared that "the border between the two countries of the Albanian people was eliminated forever 19 years ago," and he added that certain people in the international community should be asked what they might be thinking about it, and if that might have been the reason Serbia was attacked in 1999."

VUCIC, PALMER: NORMALIZATION OF BELGRADE-PRISTINA TIES IS CRUCIAL

BELGRADE, 5 April 2018 (Beta) - Normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations is crucial, not only for the EU accession process, but also for regional stability, President Aleksandar Vucic and senior State Department official Matthew Palmer said in Belgrade on April 5, despite their disagreements on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, according to a statement from the Presidency. Palmer, the acting deputy assistant of the U.S. secretary of state, pledged Washington's continued support to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, with EU mediation.
In a meeting with Palmer on April 5, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic voiced strong protest over the arrest of Marko Djuric, head of the Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija, and the Pristina police attack on Serbian officials, civilians and reporters, saying that Serbia expected the international community to condemn the violence demonstrated by the Pristina security forces. Palmer said that the U.S.' priority interest was the preservation of peace, stability and security of the Western Balkans, expressing dissatisfaction with the recent incidents in Kosovo, according to a release from the Serbian government.

VUCIC, BRNABIC CONGRATULATE HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON ELECTION VICTORY

BELGRADE, 9 April 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on April 9 congratulated Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, on the victory of his Fidesz party in the country's parliamentary vote. Among other things, President Vucic said that Serbia would remain committed to good bilateral relations, confident that the Hungarian minority in Serbia, and the Serbian minority in Hungary, would make their own contribution to that end. The Serbian president also said that economic ties, growing trade and investment would contribute to the bilateral relationship, the Serbian presidency said in a press release. Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, too, congratulated Orban on the election victory, describing the Serbian-Hungarian relationship as excellent. The Serbian PM also said that regular sessions between the two governments contributed to strengthening political, economic and cultural ties between the two states. "Hungarian support to Serbia's EU accession is highly appreciated as well," Brnabic said in her letter.

VUCIC, MONDOLONI ON VISIT OF MACRON, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER TO SERBIA

BELGRADE, 5 April 2018 (Beta) - In a meeting with French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni on April 5, President Aleksandar Vucic said that bilateral relations were constantly improving, which would also reflect in a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Serbia. It will be the first visit of a French president to Serbia in nearly two decades, according to a statement from the Presidency. Ambassador Mondoloni said that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian would visit Serbia next week, which will be his first visit to the region. Vucic and Mondoloni said they were happy to see France becoming more visible economically in Serbia, stressing the importance of the French company Vinci concession agreement for the management of Belgrade's international airport Nikola Tesla.

PRISTINA HAS PLAN HOW TO MAKE COMMUNITY OF SERB MUNICIPALITIES POINTLESS

BELGRADE, 7 April 2018 (Beta) - Head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said on April 7 that the Pristina authorities had devised a plan for the U.S. and the EU, with which they wanted to render the formation of a Community of Serb Municipalities pointless and evade the Brussels agreement. Speaking at a news conference, Djuric said that Belgrade had obtained the plan, that it was completely authentic and was evidence proving that the Pristina authorities were not sincere when claiming that they wished to form a Community of Serb Municipalities. He recalled that an agreement had been reached on the formation of a Community of Serb Municipalities, stressing that Belgrade would not permit subsequent political maneuvers to violate the collective rights of the Serb community in Kosovo. Speaking about Pristina's ill intentions, Djuric said that the plan envisaged the formation of a working mechanism for the formation of a Community of Serb Municipalities, which would be headed by Ramush Haradinaj, as well as the formation of a management team, which would comprise of 12 members, including four Serbs, which was contrary to the Brussels agreement. Djuric also said that if the international community had wanted, it could have set the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities as the precondition for visa liberalization, instead of the demarcation issue with Montenegro.

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