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DAILY SURVEY 10.10.2018.
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SERBIA - KAZAKHSTAN

VUCIC THANKS KAZAKHSTAN FOR SUPPORT TO SERBIA'S SOVEREIGNTY, ADVOCATES STRONGER ECONOMIC TIES

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - During an official visit to Kazakhstan, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Oct. 9 thanked his Kazakhstani counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, for support to the territorial sovereignty of Serbia, suggesting that the two countries should strengthen their economic ties. Vucic also thanked Nazarbayev for his firm position on Serbia's vital interests related to Kosovo and Metohija. "I'm grateful for your support to the territorial sovereignty of Serbia, but economic relations matter, too. I hope we'll strengthen economic ties, together with trade, where there is untapped potential," Vucic said to reporters after the meeting with Kazkhstan's president. President Vucic said that Serbia would be grateful if Kazakhstan opened a trade representative office in Novi Beograd. President Nazarbayev said that the Serbian and Kazakhstani economies complemented each other, and that there were many fields the two states could work together in. "We have 20 companies operating in Kazakhstan that involve Serbian capital," Nazarbayev said, adding there's a chance for the two states to cooperate in the construction of infrastructure between Asia and Europe. On the second day of his visit, Vucic will attend the Sixth Congress of secular and religious leaders and take part in a plenary session titled Religious Leaders for a Safe World. The Serbian delegation includes Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic, Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Branislav Nedimovic, Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic, Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin and the mayors of Belgrade and Novi Sad, Zoran Radojicic and Milos Vucevic.

VUCIC DISCUSSES PARTNER FOR PETROHEMIJA IN KAZAKHSTAN

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Oct. 9 that he believed that his visit to Kazakhstan would boost trade with the country, adding that he had also discussed opportunities to find a strategic partner for Petrohemija in Kazakhstan, suggesting that Serbia's agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union should be amended so as to allow for more customs-free exports. "I believe that this visit will change a lot, and I've already noticed changes in military-technical cooperation, while important initiatives have been launched in agriculture, as our seed and veterinary institutes can do a lot of work here," Vucic said to reporters in Astana. During his visit to Kazakhstan on Oct. 9, Vucic met with his Kazakhstani counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev. President Vucic said he had placed a heavy emphasis on Petrohemija during his talks, asking for a strategic partner for the company, promising to repeat his request to the Kazakhstani president during a meeting with him later in the day. "Today we can have great monetary reserves, but if oil prices continue to jump, it will be a mission impossible for us," Vucic said. The Serbian president said he would try to make big steps in cooperation with Kazakhstan, expecting President Nazarbayev to visit Serbia next year. Vucic also said that during his talks with Kazakhstani officials, he had suggested that minor adjustment should be made to Serbia's agreement with the EAU to allow for more exports to the country, which would be very important for Serbia, as it would open access to a 185 million-strong market including Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

SERBIAN, KAZAKHSTANI DEFENSE MINISTERS DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT OF MILITARY COOPERATION

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian and Kazakhstani defense ministers, Aleksandar Vulin and Nurlan Yermekbayev, met in Astana, on Oct. 9, to discuss the status of military and military-technical cooperation and its prospects. The Serbian Ministry of Defense said that Yermekbayev showed interest in the experiences of Serbian peacekeepers in a multinational operation in Lebanon, as Kazakhstan was sending a platoon to the mission. Vulin suggested that the Serbian army's training instructors be sent to Kazakhstan, and that Kazaksthan's non-commissioned officers be trained in Serbia. Vulin invited his Kazakhstani counterpart to visit Serbia, and Yermekbayev noted that Kazakhstan's armed forces would take part in the next REGEX exercise and a cyber security exercise in Belgrade.

SERBIA

DACIC: SERBIA WANTS TO JOIN EU, WEST UNFAIR TO SERBIA

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in Timisoara, on Oct. 9, that the European Union was Serbia's strategic goal, but also accused the EU and the West of being unfair to Serbia. At a conference called Security Challenges in the Balkans, which he opened with Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu, Dacic said that Serbia would "not recognize Kosovo at any cost, because it is not a question of the EU or Kosovo." "Our strategic goal is entering the EU, but we cannot join until we reach a legally binding agreement with Kosovo. Does anyone in the EU know what that agreement should say? Does that mean that Serbia is supposed to recognize Kosovo?" he remarked. Dacic said that Serbia desired a peaceful solution, but not humiliation, and that "it seems cynical that the countries that recognized Kosovo are saying that there can be no change of borders." "They're saying in the EU that borders will not change, but what about Serbia's borders? First they destroyed them, and after that [they say that] there can be no border changes. We do not accept that even if it comes from Brussels, Washington, Moscow. When Catalonia wants to secede, it can't, when Kosovo wants to, it can. That is not fair," Dacic said. He said most of the blame for the "uncontrolled breakup" of Yugoslavia belonged to the international community. "It led to us being 30 years behind you, East European countries, which have all become EU members," he added. "Instead of modeling the collapse of Yugoslavia in a controlled way it allowed unilateral acts by certain actors and acknowledged them," the Serbian foreign minister said.

GOJKOVIC THANKS IRAN FOR PRINCIPLED STANCE ON KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic, who is attending the third meeting of parliamentary speakers of Eurasian countries in Turkey, thanked Iranian Speaker Ali Larijani in a talk for Iran's principled stance on the question of recognizing Kosovo and Metohija's unilateral declaration of independence, and pointed out that Serbia was devoted to dialog. Larijani recalled Iran's support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, and added that Iran supported dialog between Belgrade and Pristina. Gojkovic and Larijani stressed that bilateral relations were good and friendly, and voiced their hope for the continuation of fruitful cooperation and expansion of bilateral relations. The Serbian speaker emphasized that there was interest in developing cooperation with Iran in all areas and that Serbia was committed to that, especially with respect to economic cooperation.

JOKSIMOVIC, FABRIZI ON IPA FUNDS FOR SERBIA

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - The Serbian minister in charge of the country's EU integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, met on Oct. 9 with the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, to discuss different experiences in the Instruments for Pre-Accession Assistance programming. Within the 2014-2020 IPA II financial perspective, Serbia can use EUR1.5 billion in grants. The focus is on the areas covered by most of the projects so far, namely, the rule of law, infrastructure, energy, the environment, local economic development, small and medium enterprises, and the "social component." The European Commission and the EU Delegation to Serbia have praised the IPA programming so far. Joksimovic and Fabrizi also discussed the "challenges in implementing programmed funds," underlining "the necessity of strengthening the capacity and units of all ministries, as well as the capacity of local government units," says a press release.

POLICE OFFICIALS DISCUSS IMPROVING COOPERATION BETWEEN GERMAN, SERBIAN POLICE

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met in Belgrade, on Oct. 9, with the vice president of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) Peter Henzler to discuss the continuation of cooperation between the police forces of both countries in the fight against organization crime, especially drugs and weapons trafficking. A statement read that Stefanovic and Henzler agreed that current cooperation was very good, especially within a project called the Battle Against Organized Crime, from the IPA 2013 program. They agreed that Serbian police had been a reliable partner in curbing all forms of crime. Henzler stressed that cooperation between police in both countries was equally good at the strategic and operative levels, and that Serbian police were the best in the region, while Stefanovic underlined that the Serbian Interior Ministry would continue to develop the volume of existing cooperation.

DJORDJEVIC ATTENDS ROUND TABLE ON SOCIAL DIALOG IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE

BELGRADE, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Issues Zoran Djordjevic on Oct. 9 attended the seventh round table on social dialog in South East Europe, held in Budva, where he said that, for the purpose of protecting employees and securing standards, the Serbian cabinet had the obligation of monitoring all aspects of the effects of digitization and adopting regulations adjusted to new forms of labor. The round table was called Non-Standard Forms of Employment in Conditions of Globalization and Digitization. "Social dialog is very important for securing better conditions at work, material grants and aid to all citizens. We want to adopt the EU's examples that gave the best performances in practice," Djordjevic was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry. State secretary Bojana Stanic stressed that now a growing number of employees could work from home far away from the offices of their employer, through the use of new technologies. The round table was organized by the Ministry of Labor and Welfare of Montenegro and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, in association with the Alliance of Trade Unions, the Society of Free Unions and the Employers' Union of Montenegro. In addition to the relevant ministers Zoran Djordjevic and Kemal Purisic, the speakers included the director of a regional project on work relationships and social dialog in Central and South East Europe, and the representatives of the relevant ministries and social partners from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Slovenia, Romania and Macedonia.

MCALLISTER: SERBIA, REGION DOING WELL ON ROAD TO EU, RULE OF LAW KEY

BRUSSELS, 9 October 2018 (Beta) - Serbia and the region are making good progress toward the EU and it is especially important that they conduct reforms of the rule of law and practice neighborly relations, rapporteur for Serbia in the European Parliament David McAllister said in Brussels on Oct. 9. He said this after the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Policy adopted draft resolutions on the progress of partners from the West Balkans in European reforms, which the entire EP has yet to adopt at a plenary session. Two amendments were added to a draft resolution on Serbia stating that "any agreement on changing borders between Serbia and Kosovo can be accepted only if both sides agree and if the agreement takes into account the general stability of the region and is in accordance with international law." The report also states that the dialog launched through EU mediation "is a fundamental framework for an agreement" between Belgrade and Pristina and supports "only an agreement that enables the normalization of relations" between the two sides, so that it does not raise tensions due to border problems and does not threaten the stability of the region. McAllister underlined that the countries of the West Balkans were geographically, historically and economically close partners to the EU, that they all had an European outlook and that "the European house will not be complete without them." The possible date of entry in the EU depends exclusively on when each of these countries adopts and carries out all of the laws of the Union, he said. McAllister also noted that the draft resolution states that Serbia "has achieved certain progress in fighting corruption and organized crime," while as for Montenegro, among other things, he said that "it has achieved moderate progress in strengthening independence, transparency, insight, professionalism and the effectiveness of the judiciary."

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