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DAILY SURVEY 12.04.2018.
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SERBIA

KOTZIAS: GREECE WON'T RECOGNIZE KOSOVO, TRADE OFFICE WON'T BE DIPLOMATIC

BELGRADE, 11 April 2018 (Beta) - Greek Minister of Foreign Affiars Nikolaos Kotzias said on April 11 in Belgrade that Greece would not recognize Kosovo independence and added that the Kosovo trade office in Athens would not be a diplomatic office. "Back in 2011 and 2014, at the time of the then government, an agreement was reached to open a Kosovo trade office. The trade office in Athens, once it is opened, will not be a diplomatic office of Kosovo. That was neither agreed nor envisioned," Kotzias told a joint press conference at the Serbian government headquarters, after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic. Dacic confirmed he had discussed this with Kotzias, stressing that "there is no talk of that signifying recognition or change of position" where Kosovo was concerned, and thanked his Greek counterpart for Greece's support to Serbia's territorial integrity. The ministers underscored that Greece and Serbia were friends, noting that cooperation needed to improve in order for them to be able to help one another. Kotzias said that Serbia belonged in the European family, adding that Greece felt responsible for regional stability and would cooperate with Serbia.
During his visit the Greek foreign minister also talked with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Vucic said on this occasion that the swiftest possible integration of all South East European countries into the EU was the only real guarantee for the lasting and sustainable stabilization of the entire region. "Concordantly, Serbia highly appreciates Greece's principles position and active engagement in accelerating the European integration process of Serbia, as well as of the other countries of the region," said Vucic. Vucic also said that Serbia considered relations with Greece very important, based on the firm friendship and historically confirmed closeness and solidarity of the two peoples and added that he highly appreciated Greece's continuous support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, the President's Office said in a statement. The Serbian president further said that Serbia and Greece had to work on strengthening economic cooperation and increasing trade.

OSCE'S DESIR WITH VUCIC ON IMPORTANCE OF MEDIA FREEDOM AND PROTECTION OF JOURNALISTS

BELGRADE, 11 April 2018 (Beta) - The OSCE's new representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir, said during a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on April 11 in Belgrade that the OSCE's priorities were the safety of journalists and solving of murders of journalists, and highlighted the importance of creating a climate in which the protection of journalists is supported, the Serbian Presidency reported in a press release. Vucic pointed out at the meeting that Serbia strongly supported the principles and standards of freedom of the media and expression, and underscored that the OSCE would be consulted regarding the draft strategy for the development of the public information system in Serbia. The OSCE representative said that it was extremely important that Serbia had formed a Commission for the Investigation of Murders of Journalists. Desir stressed the importance of creating a climate in which the protection of journalists was supported and threats prevented, and added that it was immensely important to establish transparent conditions for financing the media, reads the press release. The president expressed readiness for competent institutions to notify the OSCE media freedom representative of progress in solving cases pertaining to journalists' safety, and of measures for the prevention of potential attacks.
In a conversation with Desir, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic pointed out that the Serbian government, and she personally, advocated an open dialogue and the advancement of media freedom as an important prerequisite for the development of a democratic society, and reiterated that she condemned all attacks and any form of violence against media representatives or the limiting of their work. Brnabic said that Serbia's competent bodies were working on solving all reported cases of attacks on the media and voiced Serbia's readiness to cooperate with the OSCE media freedom representative in creating the most favorable and safest possible climate for media representatives. During his visit to Serbia, Desir laid a wreath at the site of the murder of Dnevni Telegraf daily editor and owner Slavko Curuvija, committed in Belgrade 19 years ago.

GRUSKO AND DJURIC: UNITY OF APPROACH TO SOLVING KOSOVO PROBLEM

MOSCOW, 11 April 2018 (Beta) - During their meeting in Moscow on April 11, the deputy foreign minister of Russia, Aleksandar Grusko, and the director of the Serbian government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija, Marko Djuric, confirmed the "unity of approach of Serbia and Russia" to solving the Kosovo issue, the basis of which lies in Resolution 1244 of the U.N. Security Council, the Russian Foreign Ministry has stated. "The Russian side has confirmed its readiness to help the Serbian partners in defending the legitimate rights and interests of Serbia in Kosovo," the statement reads. It was added that the violence of the Kosovo authorities against the Serbs and the non-Albanian population, and the unilateral moves by the Kosovo Albanians, were unacceptable. "It was pointed out that issues should be solved through the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, while relying on the unconditional fulfilling of the agreements reached, primarily for forming the Community of Serb Municipalities," the Russian Ministry has stated.

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