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DAILY SURVEY 02.08.2018.
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SERBIA

PRESIDENT: WE'RE STRUGGLING TO ENSURE PEACE FOR OUR CHILDREN

BELGRADE, AUgust 1 2018 (Beta) - President Aleksandar Vucic said on Aug. 1 that under difficult and almost impossible circumstances, the state had been struggling to extract the maximum possible for the people, while losing the minimum it had in Kosovo and Metohija. He told Pink TV that together with the government he had been trying to get something for the Serb people which would not be humiliating and which would save face and a good portion of the people in Kosovo and Metohija. "If this trend continues, we will not have our people in Kosovo and Metohija in 10 to 15 years. We have been trying to preserve our religious heritage in Kosovo and Metohija and to gain more than contained in the Martti Ahtisaari Plan and more than has been stated in all plans so far," Vucic said, adding that he wished to break the vicious circle of conflict. Vucic stressed that he and the government had been struggling to preserve peace. "We have been struggling to preserve peace for our children, which may sound like a mere phrase to some, but I know very well how much effort we have invested in preserving peace in the region for the past six years," he said. Vucic further said that he knew that "various elements" would not allow Belgrade and Pristina to reach a proper compromise and that he was aware of how many problems he would have with the international community regarding this issue. Vucic added that he would unveil a plan for Kosovo and Metohija, which would be put to the vote in a referendum.

STEFANOVIC, MONTENEGRIN MINISTER SIGN SEVEN COOPERATION AGREEMENTS.

BELGRADE, August 1 2018 (Beta) - The interior ministers of Serbia and Montenegro, Nebojsa Stefanovic and Mevludin Nuhodzic, respectively, on Aug. 1 signed seven agreements on cooperation and two protocols on cross-border traffic and border control, and announced better cooperation in the fight against organized crime and illegal migration. The signed agreements and protocols regulate the operation of six border crossings between Serbia and Montenegro, while the agreement on cross-border traffic deals with the manner of crossing the border for citizens living in the border area, read a statement released by the Serbian Ministry of the Interior. Nuhodzic said that the two police forces were working together on cutting off drug trafficking channels and solving felonies in the territories of the two states. Stefanovic and Nuhodzic said that the two countries' police forces would thwart organized criminal groups through more intensive cooperation. "In the fight against organized crime we have no other choice but to win and to show the citizens of both Serbia and Montenegro that by working together, cooperating and exchanging information we can break down organized crime," said Stefanovic. He explained that the agreements on cross-border traffic and border control would help deal with illegal migration, but added that Serbia and Montenegro could not be "a parking lot for migrants."

GUTERRES WELCOMES DIALOGUE RESUMPTION DESPITE MISSING PROGRESS

UNITED NATIONS, August 1 2018 (Beta) - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has hailed the resumption of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue even though the EU-brokered talks have not produced any significant progress. In a report on Kosovo and Metohija for the period from April 16 to July 15, Guterres expressed concern over the fact that six months after the assassination of Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic in broad daylight in Kosovska Mitrovica, the murder remains unsolved, and he called on the Kosovo authorities to intensify the investigation and make use of all available channels of assistance. Guterres said that viewed on the whole, the situation in the monitored period was stable unlike the period covered by the previous report, noting that incidents have still been registered that could renew tensions. He also said that differences between Belgrade and Pristina on the establishment of a community/association of Serb municipalities was still hindering progress in the dialogue and called on everyone to reach a solution through talks. In line with practice so far, the report should be considered in August, at a session of the U.N. Security Council."I welcome the resumption of the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at the high level. Although the meetings have not led to a breakthrough, the resumption of the dialogue process provides a renewed possibility for overcoming long standing differences, which is fundamental for any sustainable solution," Guterres said.

GREAT BRITAIN HAS NOT PUT KOSOVO AND METOHIJA ON U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL AGENDA

BELGRADE, August 1 2018 (Beta) - A regular debate on the work of the U.N. Mission in Kosovo and Metohija is not on the agenda of the U.N. Security Council in August, during the British presidency. After Security Council consultations behind closed doors, the work schedule unveiled on Aug. 1 does not include a session on Kosovo and Metohija. The Security Council has so far reviewed a report every three months on the work of UNMIK. The last such session was held on May 14. Great Britain and other western countries advocate a change to the format and dynamics of the sessions on Kosovo and Metohija, as well as a reduction of the UNMIK budget, claiming that the situation in Kosovo and Metohija does not pose a real threat to international peace and security. Belgrade believes that the Kosovo issue is not resolved and that the situation in the field points to the necessity of UNMIK's continued and unreduced presence and engagement in an unchanged mandate.

MANAGING TEAM: ASSOCIATION OF SERB MUNICIPALITIES DRAFT STATUTE TO BE IN PLACE BY AUG. 4

PRISTINA, August 1 2018 (Beta) - The Managing Team for establishing an Association of Serb Municipalities on Aug. 1 said that a draft statute for the Association would be completed by Aug. 4, the deadline set by the EU. In a meeting with the head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and Metohija Jan Braathu, the team members said that while drafting the status they had strictly adhered to the First Agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, the Agreement Implementation Plan, the scope of work of the Managing Team, General Principles for establishing an Association of Serb Municipalities, and the European Charter of Local Self-Government. "The Managing Team is ready at any time after Aug. 4, at a request from Brussels, to present the text to the committees for implementation and stakeholders in the high-level dialogue, as envisaged by previously reached agreements between Belgrade and Pristina," the release said.

ECONOMY

LJAJIC, NEDIMOVIC SEEK FROM TURKEY TO INCREASE QUOTAS FOR DUTY-FREE EXPORT OF BEEF

BELGRADE, August 1 2018 (Beta) - The trade and agriculture ministers, Rasim Ljajic and Branislav Nedimovic, in Ankara on Aug. 1 met with Turkish agriculture and trade ministers, Bekir Pakdemirli and Ruhsar Pekcan, to seek increasing quotas by an additional 5,000 tons for duty-free exports of beef. The Turkish side has accepted the request in general, while a final agreement will be known after consultations in the Ankara institutions, according to a release from the Serbian trade ministry. The ministers also discussed the possibility of quotas for exports of bone-in beef, which is not under the duty-free regime, the release said, adding that the talks would continue between the relevant ministries. The Turkish ministers said they would step up the ratification of a Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to be signed by the end of October so that other products could soon be exported duty-free, as well.

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