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DAILY SURVEY 31.08.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC AND RUZIC DISCUSS COOPERATION WITH LIBERIAN INTERIOR MINISTER

BELGRADE, 30 August 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and the interior minister of Liberia, Varney Sirleaf, confirmed the friendly relations between the two countries during their meeting in Belgrade on Aug. 30, the Serbian Foreign Ministry has said in a statement. The two ministers agreed that cooperation needed to be developed in the fields of economy, agriculture, education, telecommunications, infrastructure, military and police.
During his meeting with Sirleaf, the Serbian minister of public administration and local self-government, Branko Ruzic, discussed changes in governance aimed at creating a more efficient, professional and modern service for the citizens. Ruzic and the Liberian interior minister also discussed possibilities for the two countries' cooperation in the areas of specialist training of personnel, agriculture and collective farming, stated the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government. According to the statement, Ruzic thanked Sirleaf for his country's withdrawal of recognition of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo and its taking a neutral stand on that issue until the finding of a final solution.

U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE MEETS WITH VUCIC AND THACI

BELGRADE, 30 August 2018 (Beta) -The U.S. assistant secretary of state, Wess Mitchell, on Aug. 30 talked with representatives of Serbia and Kosovo about the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. The Office of the Serbian President has stated that Vucic and Mitchell concluded the U.S. was providing full support to the EU-mediated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, and that it hoped it would result in a comprehensive and lasting solution. Vucic told Mitchell that he believed an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina would be difficult to reach, but that he would continue to invest maximum effort in reaching lasting stability in the Western Balkans. Hashim Thaci tweeted that he had had an excellent meeting with the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, and that he was grateful for his support to the reaching of a peaceful legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. He said they had agreed to "coordinate further steps."

BRNABIC AND FABRIZI DISCUSS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, MEDIA STRATEGY, TALKS WITH PRISTINA

BELGRADE, 30 August 2018 (Beta) - Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Aug. 30 that the Justice Ministry and the Serbian government were working with dedication on drafting the new text of constitutional amendments and harmonizing it with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. During a conversation with the chief of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, Brnabic said she was convinced the text would be completed in the shortest possible time and sent to the parliament for adoption, the Serbian government has stated. Fabrizi said that progress in the field of judicial reform and rule of law was crucial for Serbia, as well as the fulfilment of all obligations from Chapters 23 and 24 of the negotiation process. Brnabic said Serbia was ready for a compromise solution in negotiations with Kosovo, but that it was not pleased with the fact that Pristina was not working on implementing the agreements, primarily regarding the Community of Serb Municipalities. The prime minister said the government and representatives of media associations were working on the media strategy, which was to guarantee safety for media representatives and their right to unobstructed work.

BRNABIC: MISSING PERSONS AND THEIR FAMILIES MUST NOT BE HOSTAGES OF POLITICS

BELGRADE, 30 August 2018 (Beta) - A central gathering on Aug. 30, the International Day of the Disappeared was held at the Belgrade Assembly, where Prime Minister Ana Brnabic pledged greater support and help to the families and institutions working on shedding light on the fate of the missing. "Solving the question of missing persons is not just an obligation to the victims and their families, but an obligation of supreme importance to achieve the moral right to count successes in the future, and not victims and evils," Brnabic said. She said that the missing and their families must not be the hostages of state policy and that all states needed to work together and be active participants in solving the problem. According to official information, 27 years after the outbreak of fighting in the former Yugoslavia, 10,281 people are still being sought. Commission for Missing Persons president Veljko Odalovic said that this was "too big a figure" considering the passage of time and that the situation would be a lot better if all countries and international organizations and opened their archives, like Serbia.

MOGHERINI: EU AND WESTERN BALKANS BECOMING PARTNERS IN SECURITY

VIENNA, 30 August 2018 (Beta) - The EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, said on Aug. 30 that the Western Balkans had so far been considered an unstable region, but that it was now entering a phase in which countries of the region were partners in security and defense. Speaking at a news conference after the meeting of EU defense ministers, Mogherini said that all members had sent a strong message that they wanted the EU to strengthen cooperation in security and defense with all of the Western Balkan countries. We talked with the ministers, together with NATO and the U.N., our key partners in the region, about how to increase security and defense cooperation in the region, which is an integral part of our cooperation with the Balkans, Mogherini stated. She said Austria's presidency was working on putting the Western Balkans high on the EU agenda, like it was during Bulgaria's presidency, adding that she expected that to continue to be so during Romania's presidency. Only 20 years ago, we were faced with a different security and defense scenario in the region. Countries like Austria and other countries in the region remember that only too well. Nowadays we have a common group of security and defense challenges with countries of the Western Balkans, said Mogherini.

ECONOMY

JTI LAUNCHES NEW PRODUCTION LINE IN SENTA

SENTA, 30 August 2018 (Beta) - Japan Tobacco International (JTI) on Aug. 30 launched a new production line in its factory in Senta, within a USD7 million investment cycle. The cigarette packing line was launched by the Serbian minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, the speaker of the Assembly of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Istvan Pastor, and the Chairman of the Board of JT Group, Yasutake Tango. With the new production line, JTI continues to expand its operations, which is proof of its long-term determination toward further growth in Serbia, and will also contribute to the overall development of the domestic economy, Tango stated. He said JTI was dedicated to partner relations with the Serbian government, stressing that the factory in Senta was the most successful of JTI's 27 factories in the world, and that it was the biggest Japanese investor in Serbia. Ljajic said the privatization of the Duvanska Industrija Senta tobacco company was one of the examples of successful privatization in Serbia, because it contributed to a reduction of Serbia's trade deficit with its significant exports.

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