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DAILY SURVEY 13.09.02018.
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SERBIA

DACIC AND PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR DISCUSS RELATIONS

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and the Palestinian ambassador to Serbia, Mohammed Nabhan, declared readiness for developing relations between the two states. Dacic and Nabhan concurred that the most urgent matters were the holding of a session of the Mixed Committee, improving the visa regime and increasing the number of scholarships for Palestinian students within the program "World in Serbia", the Serbian Foreign Ministry has stated. They stated that they were pleased with the current level of bilateral relations and that they should be developed further, in keeping with mutual interests, the statement reads.

BRNABIC: NEW BORDER CROSSING WITH HUNGARY TO OPEN NEXT YEAR

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - During her meeting with the Hungarian ambassador to Serbia on Sept. 12, Attila Pinter, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced the opening of a new border crossing between the two countries in 2019, and the continuing of talks about the construction of a joint railway border crossing, with the aim of improving the efficiency and competitiveness of railway transportation. According to the statement of the Serbian government, the prime minister said during the meeting in Belgrade that this issue was particularly important in the context of the realization of the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed railway, which is the first cross-border project within the "16+1" cooperation mechanism. Another topic was cooperation on the project Fruska Gora Corridor, i.e. the construction of a motorway between Novi Sad and Ruma. The prime minister pointed out the importance of the four joint sessions of the two governments, held in Serbia and Hungary, which have resulted in the signing of several memoranda and agreements and the realization of important projects. Ambassador Pinter thanked the Serbian government for the funds it has designated for the Nova Toplana heating plant in Senta, which has cost almost RSD123 million, with the accompanying infrastructure and a steel gas pipeline. He said the investment of 164 million dinars in the reconstruction of the school center and 33 million in the Medical Center in Senta, a municipality with a Hungarian majority, was a clear indicator of the Serbian government's care for Serbia's ethnic minorities.

GOJKOVIC VISITS VELIKO TARNOVO, LAYS FLOWERS ON FIRST GRAVE OF ST. SAVA

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic said on Sept. 12 in Veliko Tarnovo that the connecting and strengthening of ties between cities and municipalities in tourism and culture needed to intensify, because it would help to better connect Serbia and Bulgaria. During her visit to Bulgaria, Gojkovic talked with Veliko Tarnovo Mayor Daniel Panov and said that cooperation at the local and regional levels was important because it was the right way to transform cooperation on the political plane into concrete forms of cooperation. Panov said that Veliko Tarnovo had good cooperation with Nis and that he was ready to develop cooperation with other local self-government units in Serbia. He added that he would develop cooperation between the city he was managing with Kraljevo, which would be rounded off with an agreement on cooperation and the twinning of the two cities. Gojkovic, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Yavor Notev and Mayor Panov laid flowers on the grave Saint Sava was initially buried in, at the Holy Forty Martyrs Church. The Serbian parliamentary delegation also included MPs and members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and European Integration Maja Puzic and Zarko Micin.

JOKSIMOVIC MEETS EBRD REGIONAL DIRECTOR

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian minister for European integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, on Sept. 12 stated that the European Commission would designate more funding for Serbia than before, and that an efficient model was needed for combining access to EU funds (IPA 2018) and loans of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). According to the statement of the government's media office, Joksimovic said during the meeting with the regional EBRD director for the Western Balkans, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, that coordinated access to IPA and EBRD funds should enable greater accessibility to favorable loans of the Bank for the development of small and medium enterprises. Zsuzsanna Hargitai said that a significant portion of the EBRD's assets designated for regional initiatives was being given to Serbia, which, in her words, proved the capacity of our state's institutions compared to others in the region.

DJORDJEVIC AND SWISS AMBASSADOR DISCUSS COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian minister for labor, employment, veterans' and welfare issues, Zoran Djordjevic, met on Sept. 12 with the Swiss ambassador to Serbia, Philippe Guex, and discussed the development of further cooperation and once again thanked Switzerland for its great support in solving the migrant crisis. Djordjevic said that Serbia had shown itself as a socially responsible country during the migrant crisis, and served as an example to all other states which are struggling with that problem. "We are grateful to Switzerland for the great understanding and support to Serbia, especially regarding the position of the Roma and the migrant crisis. Switzerland is one of the countries which provide the biggest financial support to Serbia," Djordjevic said, adding that Serbia also wanted to improve cooperation with Switzerland in the field of employment, which would secure new jobs for Serbian citizens. Ambassador Guex said cooperation with Serbia was strategically important and that Serbia had a good position because of the excellent education in engineering and the IT sector. "The Serbian market is very close to the Swiss market, which is an important advantage and the reason why many Swiss investors and private companies are interested in investing in Serbia," Guex said.

REPRESENTATIVES OF FRANCE, SERBIA LAY WREATHS ON MONUMENT TO FRANCHET D'ESPEREY

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - The granddaughter of French marshal and Serbian duke Franchet D'Esperey, Claude de Saint-Pierre said on Sept. 12 that her grandfather had had great respect, trust and loyalty for Serbs. He had great respect, trust and loyalty to you, Serbs, like brothers in arms who have gone through both the best and the worst together do, Saint-Pierre told reporters after the laying of a wreath on the Monument to Marshal Franchet D'Esperey in Belgrade. She added that her grandfather had been focused on developing good relations between Serbia and France and that she and her family would contribute to the development of good relations between citizens of the two countries, and that she wanted to show that this "friendship is alive and well" and say: "We are here for you." French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni said that it was an honor to attend a dignified commemoration of D'Esperey who, as Mondoloni put it, had been a great man who had worked on French-Serbian friendship, on which the two countries continued to work on today. Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy Zoran Djordjevic said that D'Esperey had been a great and sincere friend to Serbia and added that he (Djordjevic) had promised D'Esperey's family, currently staying in Belgrade, that Serbia would continue to nurture its friendship with France. Belgrade Deputy Mayor Goran Vesic said that the great victory of the army commanded by Franchet D'Esperey at the Salonika Front and the subsequent liberation of Belgrade had contributed to victory in World War I.

JUNCKER: WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF WESTERN BALKANS

STRASBOURG, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - The European Union must be united regarding the accession of the Western Balkans, otherwise others will take it upon themselves to shape its nearest surroundings, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sept. 12. We must not lose sight of the Western Balkans, we must not neglect that region, otherwise others will increase their influence further, Juncker said in his State of the Union speech before the European Parliament. We must find unity where the Western Balkans are concerned - once and for all. If we do not, our closest surroundings will be shaped by others, he said. Juncker went on to say that the EU must not lessen its efforts to build a more united Europe. Europe can export stability, like we have done with our enlargements, he said. In the speech, Juncker stressed several times the importance of a united European Union, which should act in a unified manner. The European Union is a guarantor of peace on a continent of peace. A continent that enjoys peace thanks to the European Union. So let us show more respect for the European Union. Let us save its image. Let us defend our way of life, our way of existence, said Juncker. The European Union is a force to be reckoned with, said Juncker, adding that some were surprised by his agreement with U.S. President Donald Trump, but that no one should be surprised because Europe succeeds when it speaks with one voice.

PALMER: SERBIA AND KOSOVO SHOULD BE GIVEN ROOM TO REACH AGREEMENT

BELGRADE, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Matthew Palmer has said that Belgrade and Pristina should be given room to negotiate the best possible agreement on their own, an agreement that will be honest, lasting and for which the leaders will be able to get the support of their citizens. In an interview with the European Western Balkans website, Palmer said that this was not a blank check, recalling that the U.S. was not involved in the negotiating process, but rather encouraged the two sides to reach an agreement. Once we know what the agreement is like, we will clearly say whether something concerns us, so that we can remove any potential reservation in cooperation with the two sides. But we believe that it is important that the process be conducted by the local leaders and for that to be their own process, Palmer said in the interview at this week's Bled Strategic Forum. Regarding fears that an agreement on exchanging territories might destabilize Bosnia and Herzegovina first and foremost, Palmer said that the U.S. was a firm guarantor of the unity and stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Absolutely, there is nothing that calls into question the U.S. commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, he added.

AMBASSADOR: MORE THAN 70 ITALIAN COMPANIES EMPLOY AROUND 11,000 IN VOJVODINA

ZRENJANIN, 12 September 2018 (Beta) - There are more than 70 Italian companies operating in Vojvodina and they employ around 11,000 people, the Italian ambassador to Serbia, Carlo Lo Cascio, stated in Zrenjanin on Sept. 12. The Italian company GLM-RS, which works in the production and processing of metal components for the vehicle industry, opened a plant in Zrenjanin on the grounds of the former Minel company, as the sixth Italian investment in Zrenjanin. Ambassador Carlo Lo Cascio said the start up of GLM-RS was not the success of just one company, but also a reflection and proof of the excellent cooperation between Italian and Serbian companies and the institutions of the City of Zrenjanin and of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. "In Vojvodina, there are more than 70 Italian companies, which employ around 11,000 people; we are among the biggest investors in the province and we intend to remain that for a long time," the Italian ambassador stated. He explained that economic relations represented the decisive aspect of partnership between Italy and Serbia, with last year's trade worth 3.9 billion euros and statistics showing that this year's value of trade would exceed four billion. He said that was a record-breaking value, amounting to 11 percent of Serbia's total international trade, and that Italian companies were present in Serbia in various sectors - textile, automobile, banking and insurance, metallurgy, etc.

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