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DAILY SURVEY 11.09.2018.
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SERBIA

JOHNSON: U.S. WISH TO SUPPORT SERBIAN EFFORTS TO NORMALIZE REGIONAL RELATIONS

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said at a Sept. 10 meeting in Belgrade with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic that his country wished to support Serbia's efforts to normalize the situation in the region, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. Dacic said he was pleased with the successful celebration of a date when the Serbian flag flew over the White House a hundred years ago to cherish an alliance with Serbia. The Serbian minister said that the many points connecting the two states and the two peoples should be used in the future, too. "Senator Johnson said that the U.S. wished to support our state in an effort to normalize the situation in the region, as it would contribute to the prosperity of the Western Balkans as a whole," the ministry quoted Dacic as saying. The Republican senator, chairing the U.S. Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, is visiting Belgrade as part of a regional tour. The Radio Voice of America reported earlier that Johnson was close to U.S. President Donald Trump, and that the expectation was that he would assist in a new phase of the Belgrade-Pristina talks.

DACIC MEETS WITH FRENCH SENATOR CADIC

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said at a Sept. 10 meeting with a member of the French Senate's foreign affairs committee, Olivier Cadic, that Serbia and France should develop stronger ties. Minister Dacic said he expected Serbian-French cooperation to be even better after the French president's visit to Serbia later this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Dacic as saying in a press release. The Serbian foreign minister said visible progress had been made in strengthening political dialogue and developing bilateral economic cooperation over the past 12 months, since Cadic's visit last November. Dacic said that Serbia and France were strategic partners and historical allies, saying he was pleased to see the two states celebrating 100 years of friendship this year, and the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations the next. Cadic said he was pleased that bilateral relations had been developed, cherishing historical friendship between the two nations, the ministry went on to say. He said that he hoped Serbia would join the EU very soon, praising Serbia's exceptional contribution to areas of global and regional importance, including migration management, participation in peacekeeping missions and the fight against organized crime.

VUCIC: IT'D BE IMPORTANT FOR SERBIA TO HAVE MORE SUPPORT FROM REGION, EUROPE ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - President Aleksandar Vucic said n Sept. 10 said he had told U.S. Senator Ron Johnson that it would be important for Serbia to enjoy more assistance and support from "the region, Europe and the world" on the KiM issue. "I informed Senator Johnson about my visit to Kosovo and Metohija. I can see that the U.S. Embassy, even Mr. Johnson are more familiar with my speech than those who should be informed and those who should have listened to what I said," Vucic told a joint news conference with Johnson in Belgrade. Vucic also said he wished there were more people who would like to really hear what other people say, rather than to extract from the context the words that suit them for backing their own policies "which have not demonstrated particular success."

VUCIC, JOHNSON: ROOM EXISTS FOR ENHANCING COOP IN ALL SOCIAL DOMAINS

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - President Aleksandar Vucic and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson on Sept. 10 said there was room to further improve bilateral cooperation in all social domains. Speaking at a joint news conference with Johnson in Belgrade, Vucic said that the meeting had discussed the further improvement of bilateral cooperation. "I believe that in the coming years, Serbia will manage to build even better relations with the U.S.," Vucic said and thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for the fact that after a long time someone in the U.S. wished to hear Serbia's stand. Vucic stressed that Belgrade and Washington not always share stands and opinions on certain matters, but that it was important that all this was being discussed today. "We try to find a common element in all important issues," Vucic said, adding that efforts had been invested in overcoming difficulties that represented barriers between the two countries. Vucic also said that Johnson had always advocated for the preservation of peace and stability in the Balkans, which, he said, was also Serbia's policy. "I am thankful to Ron Johnson for being a person who has been willing, since our first meeting, to hear the Serbian side. It is not always the case, not only in America, but also in many other parts of the world. He has always wanted to hear what Serbs have to say and what we think," Vucic said.

VUCIC RECEIVES LETTERS OF CREDENCE FROM SEVERAL AMBASSADORS

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Sept. 10 received letters of credence from the ambassadors of Belgium, India, Iraq, Australia, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The Belgian ambassador, Koenraad Adam, said that his state strongly supported Serbia's EU accession and policy of regional peace and stability. He said the Belgian government regarded very highly President Vucic's commitment to reaching a compromise for Kosovo and Metohija through the Belgrade-Pristina talks, the presidential press office reported. Vucic said that Serbia wanted to see as many successful Belgian companies on the Serbian market as possible, including Delhaize, one of the major foreign investments.
India's ambassador, Subrata Bhattacharjee, said that the Serbian president had opened a new area in bilateral relations, explaining that his visit to India, last year, was the first visit to the country by a senior Serbian official after 30 years. Vucic said he was pleased to be able to host the vice-president of India, Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu, by the end of the week, describing the Serbian-Indian relationship as respectful and supportive in major areas. The president said he was impressed by the economic results India had achieved, adding that the arrival of India's TAFE, continuing production in Serbia's ITM tractor producer, was yet another boost to economic ties between Serbia and India. Vucic thanked India for its firm policy of respect for Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

CADIC: I WISH TO SEE SERBIA WITHIN EU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - A member of the French Senate's foreign affairs committee, Olivier Cadic, said at a Sept. 10 meeting in Belgrade with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic that he wished to see Serbia as a full member of the European Union (EU) as soon as possible, the Serbian government reported in a press release. The Serbian PM and the the French parliamentarian agreed that integrating the Western Balkans into the EU was a joint goal. As for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Prime Minister Brnabic said to Senator Cadic that a compromise was necessary. She underlined she was "proud to be part of a team willing to reach a durable solution to the problem, based exclusively on the principles of peace and stability." The Serbian prime minister thanked Cadic for France's support to Serbia's EU accession, underlining that it would be an honour for Serbia to host French President Emmanuel Macron, whom President Vucic had invited to visit Serbia.

SENATOR JOHNSON: U.S. NOT TO IMPOSE A SOLUTION

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said on Sept 10 that his country wasn't imposing any solutions for Kosovo, providing President Vucic with some room to find a flexible solution instead. The Republican senator said at a joint press conference with the Serbian president that the American people wished Serbia to be successful. Johnson congratulated the Serbian people on economic progress, saying he was glad this was his third visit to Serbia, now with the hope of development and deeper relations between the U.S. and Serbia, as well as a solution to the long-term problem and stabilization of Serbia and the Balkans. "We won't impose a solution in any way. We wish to support President Vucic, to give him space to find a flexible solution," he said. Answering a journalist's question, Johnson said there was a possibility of U.S. President Donald Trump visiting Serbia.

KOCIJANCIC: DIALOGUE HASN'T FAILED, AIMED AT AGREEMENT BASED ON INTERNATIONAL LAW

BRUSSELS, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - The talks between Belgrade and Pristina have to be continued, with the purpose of a "comprehensive normalization of relations, based on mutual agreement and the international law, which would be realistic and durable as well," a spokesperson at the European Commission, Maja Kocijancic, said in Brussels, on Sept. 10. EU High Representative Federica Mogherini's press officer added that a series of contacts had been made with the Serbian and Kosovo presidents, Aleksandar Vucic and Hashi Thaci, over all open issues. She was answering a journalist's question if the divisive issue of border change was still an option for the European Commission, given that the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina had failed. Kocijancic also said that the "EU made the principles of the talks perfectly clear," and that it was working on "an agreement based on international law, which is realistic and acceptable to both sides," adding that the ultimate goal was "a legally binding agreement to resolve all open issues." The EC spokesperson said she couldn't go into the details of the contacts. "It is very clear to us that the dialogue has to continue, and we expect both sides to continue the dialogue with the same commitment and engagement," she added. When asked if it was the Commission's objective to reach a comprehensive Belgrade-Pristina agreement the following year, given the expectation of President Vucic that a Serbian-Albanian agreement could be reached in ten or 20 years, Kocijancic said that the EU had stepped up its engagement in the Western Balkans at the highest political level, and that the dialogue had entered a second, more dynamic stage. She added, however, that she was unable to specify any deadlines, "as they obviously depend on the progress made during the negotiations."

ECONOMY

MIHAJLOVIC: SOME 10 CONTRACTS, AGREEMENTS TO BE SIGNED DURING VUCIC'S VISIT TO CHINA

BELGRADE, 10 September 2018 (Beta) - Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Zorana Mihajlovic on Sept. 10 said she expected that some ten agreements and contracts would be signed during the upcoming visit of President Aleksandar Vucic to China. "We expect the signing of a financial contract for the Belgrade bypass, for the Ostruznica-Bubanj Potok section, where works have already been launched, and for the construction of the Preljina-Pozega stretch of the Corridor 11 highway through Serbia, for which a commercial contract has been penned," Mihajlovic told reporters in Novi Sad. She added that the signing of these contracts and other documents during Vucic's visit "primarily speak of the excellent political and economic relations between Serbia and China, but also of the quality work in the execution of projects."

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