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DAILY SURVEY 11.05.2018.
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SERBIA-CYPRUS

VUCIC, ANASTASIADES: SERBIA CAN COUNT ON CYPRUS' SUPPORT FOR QUESTION OF KOSOVO

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - The presidents of Serbia and Cyprus, Aleksandar Vucic and Nicos Anastasiades, met in Belgrade on May 10 to discuss Kosovo, European integration and deepening bilateral cooperation. After the meeting with Vucic, Anastasiades said that his country strongly supported Serbia's territorial integrity and did not recognize Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. He said that the basis for resolving the question of Kosovo was U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, adding that Kosovo's unilateral independence was illegal as long as that resolution was valid. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that in relations between Serbia and Cyprus "there are not too many interests, but rather a genuine closeness," which, he said, was rare in international relations. Vucic told a joint news conference that Cyprus was one of the strongest protectors of international law and Serbia's territorial integrity in the EU. The Cypriot president said that he had discussed Serbia's European integration with Vucic, adding that Cyprus strongly supported Serbia's inclusion in the EU. "Given the achieved progress, I have no doubt that Serbia's future is in Europe," he said, adding that Cyprus was ready to assist Belgrade and share its experience in the process of European integration. Anastasiades thanked Serbia for its support for the territorial integrity of Cyprus and efforts toward finding a lasting solution to that problem.

BRNABIC: SERBIA-CYPRUS RELATIONS BASED ON FRIENDSHIP, CLOSENESS, SOLIDARITY

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on May 10 in talks with the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, that the two countries' relationship was based on solid friendship, historical closeness and solidarity between the two peoples. Brnabic said membership in the European Union represented a strategic priority for Serbia and that it appreciated Cyprus' indisputable support of Serbia's European integration, the Serbian government has stated. Anastasiades said Cyprus maintained a principled stand regarding the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, and that it would continue to support the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and the full implementation of the Brussels Agreement. Brnabic said relations between Serbia and Cyprus were based on full understanding and mutual support in the protection of important national interests. She added Serbia was hoping that a mutually acceptable solution would be found for the Cyprus problem, which would honor all relevant U.N. resolutions.

FOREIGN MINISTER OF CYPRUS: KOSOVO'S INDEPENDENCE IS ILLEGAL

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - The foreign minister of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, said in Belgrade on May 10 that his country would view the proclamation of Kosovo's independence as illegal for as long as a compromise solution was not found. At a news conference with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, Christodoulides congratulated Serbia on its "significant progress" in European integration, adding that Cyprus wished to support and help that process. Dacic said the position of Cyprus regarding the non-recognition of Kosovo's independence was very firm and that Serbia was grateful to the "brothers" from Cyprus for consistently voting against Kosovo's membership in international organizations. "The matter here is the principle that nobody must be allowed to jeopardize the territorial integrity of U.N. members with unilateral acts," he said.

SERBIA

VUCIC, VENICE COMMISSION DELEGATION DISCUSS CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

BELGRADE, 10 May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the members of a delegation of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe talked in Belgrade on May 10 about constitutional reforms in Serbia and the harmonization of the country's legal system with European legislation, which is necessary for fulfilling the criteria for admission to the EU. Representatives of the Venice Commission said they had come to Serbia in order to review the draft constitutional amendments and existing remarks, for the purpose of preparing the annual report that will be presented in June, reads a press release from Vucic's office. They further said that the constitutional reform was important and a step in the right direction, but that good communication of all relevant factors was necessary in that process. Vucic said that, with the constitutional amendments pertaining to the judiciary, Serbia wanted to secure an adequate balance between the judiciary's independence and responsibility, in order for the people to be provided with efficient and quality judicial services. The Serbian president added that Serbia's judiciary was slow and that Serbia was ready to accept the Venice Commission's recommendations, implement the good experiences and improve the rule of law.

SERBIAN PRESIDENT GREETS BOSNIAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION

BELGRADE, May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with a delegation from the People's House and House of Representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament on May 10. "This is the first time that all six members of a board from both houses are going to some country together and for us that is proof that the political situation is changing and that everyone is more concerned about the future than about the past," Mladen Bosic, a member of the House of Representatives, stressed. A statement from Vucic's office said that "the collucutors concluded that there was mutual support in the process of European integration and regional cooperation, as well as interest on both sides in strengthening mutual cooperation in these areas." Vucic said that "Serbia strongly supports developing relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it sees as one of the key partners in the region," and that it supported "active cooperation in numerous areas." The Serbian president informed representatives of both houses of the Bosnian parliament about his talks this week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on building a highway from Belgrade to Sarajevo.

VUCIC: SERBIA WILL STEP UP COOPERATION WITH PROSECUTION OF MICT

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on May 10 told the chief prosecutor of the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), Serge Brammertz, that Serbia, despite disagreements on certain issues, would continue and strengthen its cooperation with the prosecution of the Mechanism that has succeeded the Hague tribunal. Vucic and Brammertz described the cooperation between Serbia and the Mechanism's prosecution as satisfactory, but added that Serbia should speed up the fulfilling of assumed obligations and accelerate activities on locating war crimes suspects, stated the office of the Serbian president. It was agreed during the meeting that the number of employees in the Serbian war crimes prosecution should be increased. Vucic accepted Brammertz's proposal for Serbian institutions to participate in joint programs, through which the prosecution of the Mechanism would help the implementation of the strategy for war crimes in Serbia, in the form of training and other forms of support. Brammertz is paying a visit to Belgrade as part of preparations for the regular report to the U.N. Security Council at the start of June.

VENICE COMMISSION TO SERBIAN PRIME MINISTER: DIALOGUE NEEDED FOR AMENDING CONSTITUTION

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - During their May 10 meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, a delegation of experts of the Venice Commission who are paying a visit to Serbia pointed out that dialogue and communication of all relevant factors were necessary in amending the Constitution and reforming the judiciary, the government has stated. The representatives of the Venice Commission, whom Serbia sent the draft constitutional amendments in the field of judiciary in April, said the amending of the Constitution of Serbia with the aim of strengthening judicial independence was one of the most important reform steps that stemmed from the European Commission's recommendations. They said the Action Plan for Chapter 23 in Serbia's negotiations with the EU, about the rule of law, envisaged the implementation of the constitutional amendments in accordance with the best solutions from the European Union. Members of the Venice Commission declared their readiness to provide legal assistance to Serbia in reaching European legal and institutional standards in the fields of democracy and rule of law, through the necessary constitutional amendments and reform of the judiciary. Prime Minister Brnabic said during the meeting that, by amending the Constitution, Serbia wanted to secure an independent and efficient judiciary, while strengthening the responsibility of bearers of judicial functions, since the slow and inefficient judiciary was slowing reforms down. Experts of the Council of Europe are preparing the annual report which will be presented in June.

VULIN DECORATES RUSSIAN MILITARY ATTACHE FOR CONTRIBUTION TO SERBIAN DEFENSE SYSTEM

BELGRADE, 10. May 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin decorated on May 10 Russia's military attache in Belgrade Col. Andrey Kindyakov for his exceptional contribution to Serbia's defense system. After the ceremony Vulin said that the Ministry of Defense had wanted to express its gratitude to Kindyakov for contributing to the development of bilateral military relations. "Relations between our ministries and armies are at a historical high, and Col. Kindyakov's work has been a major contribution. This is our way of saying how much we appreciate his work and that of the Russian Embassy in Belgrade, and especially his personal contribution and effort and the friendship that we feel where Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu is concerned," Vulin was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Defense.

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