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DAILY SURVEY 08.05.2018.
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SERBIA-TURKEY

ERDOGAN, VUCIC FOR STRONGER COOPERATION

ANKARA, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - The presidents of Turkey and Serbia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Aleksandar Vucic, took a stand in Ankara, on May 7, to further build cooperation between the two countries, as well as trade. Erdogan told a news conference that Turkey would contribute to anything that would bring lasting peace and stability in the Balkans, noting that the project of building the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway was one of peace and development, while Vucic said it was thanks to Erdogan that there were Turkish investors in Serbia, who have invested in small towns that now, consequently, have a future. "The credit for the surge in cooperation between our two states belongs to Erdogan," Vucic said. The Turkish president stated that the volume of trade exceeded a billion dollars last year for the first time, which he termed satisfactory. We will raise that to two billion and later to three billion, Erdogan said. Vucic said trade between the two countries would rise dramatically this year, as first quarter growth was 31.4 percent, so that USD1.3 million is expected at the end of the year. Erdogan said he was honored by the possibilities of Turkish investments in Serbia, adding that jointly investing in third countries had been considered. We want to encourage foreign investment, for them to invest in Serbia as much as possible. We have seen the desire of our businessmen to invest. We want joint investment in third countries, Erdogan said. Erdogan said the May 7 meetings were a part of the effort to establish peace in the region. We all have a need for peace today. We want enduring peace to be established in the Balkans, and we are working on that in order to advance development and bolster peace in the Balkans. Perhaps one of the main points is opening new jobs and building infrastructure, Erdogan said. He stated that Turkish investments in Serbia were a great opporunity for creating new jobs and reviving the region, which he said was of great importance for the prosperity and economic stability of the region. The Belgrade-Sarajevo highway, to be built with assistance from Turkey, will strengthen ties in the region, Erdogan said, adding that Turkey wanted the project implemented as soon as possible. He said the highway had been discussed at today's meetings and underlined that Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish Tasyapi construction outfit in Istanbul on May 6. Vucic said Serbia was ready for the project and urged Erdogan to push the process in Bosnia and Herzegovina forward. The president of Serbia said Turkey was the greatest force in the Balkans, and that it was therefore important what Turkey thought, because Belgrade must hear and understand the positions of both Turkey and Russia, and the EU and U.S.

VUCIC: SERBIA CAN NEVER SUPPORT PUTSCHISTS

ANKARA, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said during a May 7 visit to Ankara that Serbia had never tried to deny that it could not support putschists, or anyone trying to topple a democratically elected government. At a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vucic recalled "that difficult night, when democracy was attacked in Turkey," Serbia issued a public statement to protect international law and the constitutional order of any state. "Even today we can witness the consequences of that fierce, brutal attack," Vucic said, adding that Serbia's delegation laid a wreath to commemorate the victims of the 2016 attack. President Vucic said that Serbia was welcomed with "notable respect," thanking Erdogan for spending two days with the Serbian delegation at the height of an election campaign. "Erdogan deserves the most credit for the speedy development of bilateral cooperation," Vucic said. The Serbian president said that he expected "a dramatic increase" in bilateral trade worth a billion dollars. Following the first-quarter growth of 31.4 percent, trade is expected to grow to $1.3 billion by the end of the year. Turkish investors have invested in Serbia's small towns, which thanks to them have a future, Vucic said.

VUCIC MEETS WITH TURKISH SPEAKER

ANKARA, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - During his visit to Ankara on May 7, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, deserved the most credit for bringing Serbia and Turkey together, committed to building bridges, instead of destroying what the two states had been building for centuries. Aside from discussions on bilateral relations, this was what Vucic said at a meeting with Turkish Speaker Ismail Kahraman, the Press Office of the Serbian President reported. The Serbian president said the bilateral relationship was improving, and that he hoped the new trend of cooperation would spread to all spheres of social life. "We need to be quick and strong in developing economic and political relations, but also in strengthening social and cultural ties," Vucic said. The Serbian president and the Turkish speaker agreed that the protection of stability in South East Europe and the strengthening of regional cooperation, in which Serbia and Turkey played an important role, were in the best interest of the two states and the region, the presidential press office released. President Vucic visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first president of the Republic of Turkey, and is scheduled to meet the Turkish president again in the afternoon.

MIHAJLOVIC: POSSIBILITIES FOR EVEN BETTER SERBIA-TURKEY ECONOMIC COOPERATION

ANKARA, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic said in Ankara, on May 7, that Serbia and Turkey had the opportunity for even better economic cooperation, especially in infrastructure, thanks to the excellent relations between their presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Aleksandar Vucic. "Thanks to the good political relations the president of Serbia is building with Turkey and all other nations, Serbia is today the central and most stable state in the region, ready to lead in all regional infrastructure projects," Mihajlovic's office quoted her as saying. The minister, who is in an official visit to Turkey with a state delegation headed by Vucic, said the topics of talks with Turkish officials were the construction of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway and the participation of Turkish companies in infrastructure projects in Serbia. She underlined that she had signed a memorandum of understanding with a Turkish company on the first day of her visit, a document pertaining to technical and financial proposals on overhauling the regional roads from Novi Pazar to Tutin and from Aljinovici to Novi Pazar via Sjenica, and to the building of both sections of the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway on Serbian territory. She announced that she would sign a memorandum of cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Transport on May 7. "It's important to us because we can learn a lot from Turkey, which has created a favorable environment for investors. Together we will work on building the Belgrade-Sarajevo highway. That is an important regional matter, because it defines our relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina," Mihajlovic said. She added that she expected a tripartite memorandum to be signed soon and the launch of construction within a year at the latest, as the agreement was for the documentation and financing model to be completed by next year. The minister stressed that Serbia was ready for both possible routes for the highway, both via Sremska Mitrovica and via Pozega, Uzice and Kotroman on the Bosnian border, noting that Turkey would chart the route with Bosnian partners.

SERBIA

DACIC DISCUSSES BILATERAL TIES WITH NEPALESE PRESIDENT

KATHMANDU, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met in Kathmandu with Nepal's President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to discus bilateral relations and international relations," the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on May 7. "Dacic expressed his gratitude for Nepal's firm refusal to recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, briefing the Nepalese president about the situation in the territory," the Ministry released. The two officials were confident that the bilateral relationship would be advanced in the future, economic ties in particular. Dacic is ending his tour of Asia on May 8, having visited India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

DACIC MEETS WITH SRI LANKA'S SPEAKER

COLOMBO, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya met in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on May 7 to discuss opportunities to develop bilateral relations, parliamentary ties in particular. Dacic and Jayasuriya agreed that the two states had developed a traditionally friendly relationship, dating back to the Non-Aligned Movement. The minister and the speaker expressed readiness to take specific steps to improve overall bilateral relations, as well as cooperation between the two parliaments. The Sri Lankan speaker said that his country attached great importance to parliamentary diplomacy, adding that he was prepared to visit Serbia, and inviting his Serbian counterpart, Maja Gojkovic, to visit Sri Lanka, says a press release. Minister thanked Jayasuriya for his country's refusal to support an independent Kosovo, hoping it would maintain the view in the future. The Serbian foreign minister had previously met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

VUCIC: CRYSTAL CLEAR ALBANIANS HAVE NO INTENTION OF COMPROMISING ON KOSOVO

BELGRADE, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on May 7 that it was very clear that Kosovo Albanians had no intention of making any compromise when it came to the status of Kosovo and Metohija. In Turkey, where he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vucic said the ethnic Albanians believed that the fact the U.S. and some other countries had bombed Serbia in 1999 was a big win for them, "out of which they are to extract everything that has never belonged to them." "I always said it was important to arrive at a solution, but if someone thinks that the solution is for them to get everything and to humiliate those across the table in every possible way... I guess, when you have so much support from what they say is the world's biggest power, then you can say what you want," the president's press service quoted Vucic as saying. Asked whether anyone could say "that's enough" to the Kosovo Albanians, the president said it could be said by "those who won't say it to them, those who participated in the creation of the so-called independence of Kosovo." "Those who want to say "that's enough" say it every day. That is why the Albanians are forced to negotiate with us, otherwise they would never do so. They think it's a necessary evil that they have to put with those Serbs and Serbia. Such entitlement and arrogance never produced a victorious result. I beg them to continue," Vucic concluded.

SERB TICKET DELEGATION AT U.N.-KOSOVO FORUM IN LJUBLJANA 

LJUBLJANA, 7. May 2018 (Beta) - A delegation of the Serb Ticket, spearheaded by its president, Goran Rakic, is taking part in the U.N.-Kosovo, Building Trust forum, taking place in Ljubljana until May 8, the Ticket announced on May 7. According to the press release, the forum began on May 6, and Rakic had meetings, among others, with UNMIK chief Zahir Tanin. According to the statement, Rakic told Tanin that it was the Serb Ticket's stance that the presence of UNMIK was exceptionally important to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and that it should be increased and bolstered in the coming period, in line with the U.N. Security Council's Resolution 1244.

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