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DAILY SURVEY 05.11.2018.
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SERBIA

DACIC: DOMINICA SUSPENDS RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO PENDING OUTCOME OF DIALOG

BELGRADE, Novembar 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Nov. 2 that the Caribbean nation of Dominica had suspended its recognition of Kosovo as independent pending the outcome of the dialog between Belgrade and Pristina. After speaking with Dominica's top officials during a visit there, Dacic said he had received an official note from the Foreign Ministry that states "clearly and precisely" that the government had reviewed its earlier decision and suspended it, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a press release. "It says clearly and precisely that the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica prefers dialog, that it will respect whatever agreement the sides in the dialog reach, that it is suspending its position on recognizing Kosovo as an independent state in the meantime, while awaiting the conclusion of the dialog," Dacic said. He added that "the Commonwealth of Dominica is the eighth country that no longer recognizes Kosovo as an independent state," the statement reads. The statement noted that the prime minister and foreign minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit and Francine Baron, acquainted Dacic with the content of the note, which states that, "after detailed consideration and in light of the recommendations of the U.N. General Assembly and the International Court of Justice," the country had decided to "revise its earlier position to recognize Kosovo as an independent state." "The government of Dominica believes that its support for the resolution of the future status of Kosovo should be support to the EU-mediated dialog between Belgrade and Pristina, rather than defining its status prior to the conclusion of dialog. When the two sides reach agreement, the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica will consistently uphold the position agreed upon by the two sides," the note says. Dacic and Baron signed a memorandum of friendship and cooperation between the two foreign ministries, and also reached agreement on mutual support and aid, the press release noted further.

GRENADA WITHDRAWS RECOGNITION OF KOSOVO

BELGRADE, November 4 2018 (Beta) - Grenada is the ninth country to roll back its decision to recognize the independence of Kosovo Serbian and Grenadian foreign ministers Ivica Dacic and Peter David announced on Nov. 4. "I can now announce that Grenada is the ninth country to cancel all of its previous decision related to the status of Kosovo, including the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state," Dacic was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Serbian minister said that Serbia wished to develop relations with Grenada, and that he expected his Grenadian counterpart to visit Belgrade. "Minister David handed to me an official note by Grenada, making it very clear that Grenada had reconsidered its position on the status of Kosovo, and that given the ongoing dialog, the state of Grenada believes no decisions on Kosovo's status should be made before the dialog is finished. In that respect, Grenada is cancelling all earlier decisions and declarations related to the status of Kosovo," Dacic said. Dacic explained that Grenada had revoked the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state, which he described as an another important result, not only in challenging Kosovo's independence, but also in realizing that the problem could be only solved through negotiations. The note said that Grenada had decided to reconsider its position on Kosovo's status. "After extensive deliberation and research, the Grenadian government has decided that it is imperative to support the future status of Kosovo which will be reached in a dialog between Belgrade and Pristina, adding that the desired mechanism was to reach a just, durable and sustainable resolution," Grenada said in the note. Grenada's government will firmly support any position the two sides might reach, adding in the note that, until then, it would cancel all earlier decisions and declarations related to the status of Kosovo.

VUCIC: ENERGY, GAS SUPPLY, MAIN THEMES IN VARNA

VARNA/BELGRADE, November 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that energy and gas supplies after 2019 were the key topics of his meeting with the Bulgarian, Greek and Romanian prime ministers in Varna, on Nov. 2, and that he asked for access to cheaper Russian gas for Serbia. "We hope everything will be alright with Russian gas deliveries through Ukraine, as Serbia doesn't have a plan B...I begged for Serbia to be given access to the Balkan route, a former South Stream route, as it would bring us cheaper Russian gas, but we are also prepared to discuss every other way of ensuring gas supplies," Vucic told reporters after the meeting. Vucic said he met with prime ministers Bojko Borisov, Alexis Tsipras and Viorica Dancilo, to discuss Serbia's EU accession also, and that he briefed them on the status of Belgrade's talks with Pristina and asked for support to Serbia regarding Kosovo's move to join Interpol. The Serbian president said that Belgrade would host the next quadrilateral meeting in December, and that Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte would be invited to attend as well. Vucic confirmed that an agreement was reached at the meeting that the four states would compete with a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2030, which was Prime Minister Tsipras' idea, and run jointly for the organization of the European Championship in 2028 as well. He described himself as being pleased with the meeting in Varna where he discussed infrastructure and digital connections within the region and thanked the three prime ministers for their support for Serbia's accession to the European Union. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is visiting Bulgaria, joined the four Balkan leaders for a working lunch.

VUCIC TALKS BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH NETANYAHU IN VARNA

BELGRADE, November 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Nov. 2 with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Varna and discussed bilateral relations, EU integration, economic cooperation and global security challenges, according to a press release issued by Vucic's office. Vucic stressed that relations between the two countries were traditionally good, but that there was room to develop trade and raise the number of Israeli investments in Serbia. From January to September 2018, total trade was worth USD55.5 million, the press release said. "We are happy with cooperation in all areas," Vucic said and happily noted a rise in the number of Israeli tourists in Serbia. Netanyahu thanked the president of Serbia for the reconstruction of a synagogue in Subotica and opening a Theodor Herzl Street during a visit by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to Belgrade. Netanyahu accepted Vucic's invitation to visit Serbia.

SERBIAN PRESIDENT ADVOCATES SEIZING OPPORTUNITY FOR COMPROMISE TO U.S. CONGRESSMAN

BELGRADE, November 3 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in a Nov. 3 meeting with congressman Ted Poe, co-chair of the Serbia Caucus in the U.S. Congress, that he was "happy that the sitting American administration remains open and willing to consider all proposals to seize the existing opportunity to reach a compromise" on the Kosovo issue through dialog between Belgrade and Pristina. The president's press service announced that the congressman "supported the position that Belgrade and Pristina should be given space and time to reach a mutual agreement." Vucic thanked Poe for his years of involvement in the Serbia Caucus, which has contributed to the improvement of bilateral ties between Serbia and the U.S. and to the better understanding of Serbia's positions and policy on the part of the U.S. administration. Vucic highlighted "a letter sent by congressman Poe and seven of his colleagues from the U.S. Congress to Secretary of State Pompeo four days ago... as an example of the serious approach to the situation in the Western Balkans which benefits everyone in the region." The press release notes that Vucic thanked the congressman "for the U.S.'s support to Serbia's European path."

ECONOMY

MIHAJLOVIC: BELGRADE-BUDAPEST HIGH-SPEED RAIL MOST IMPORTANT SERBIAN-CHINESE PROJECT

BELGRADE, November 2 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic met on Nov. 2 with Chinese Ambassador Li Manchang and Yang Zhongmin, deputy chief engineer and president director of China Railway International Corporation, and discussed the implementation of a project to modernize the Belgrade-Budapest railway. She stressed that this was the most important project that Serbia and China were working on and had been the subject of recent talks between the two countries' presidents, Xi Jinping and Aleksandar Vucic. "A friendship of steel and excellent bilateral relations between Serbia and China are the soundest foundation for our cooperation on this project. There is no more important infrastructure project for the Serbian railway system and together we will overcome every possible obstacle and do everything to speed up the works even more. I expect dedication and commitment both from Serbian Railways and from the consortium of Chinese companies working on this project," Mihajlovic said. She recalled that the Belgrade-Budapest railway, designed to enable speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, was part of the Global Chinese Belt and Road initiative, and stressed that her ministry was at the contractors' disposal around the clock for any kind of cooperation or assistance. Ambassador Li said the construction of the road was a pioneer project for Serbia and China. Yang Zhongmin said that efforts were being made to expedite work on the Belgrade-Stara Pazova railway stretch which is 34.5 kilometers long and worth USD350.1 million.

NIKOLIC MEETS WITH RTB BOR'S STRATEGIC PARTNER IN CHINA

BELGRADE, November 3 2018 (Beta) - President of the National Council for Coordinating Serbia's Cooperation with Russia and China Tomislav Nikolic met during his visit to China with Chen Jinghe, the founder and chairman of Zijin, the company that was selected as a strategic partner of the Serbian RTB Bor smelter and mine complex. Nikolic travelled to China to see the first China International Import Expo - CIIE. The national council announced in Belgrade that Nikolic visited Zijin, and that the company's CEO and president of the Board of Directors, Chen Jinghe, said that "all promises will be met," and that the baseline investment plan would be exceeded, while not a single worker would be laid off. Nikolic also met with the Mayor of Xiamen, Zhuang Jiahan, to discuss the development of cooperation in tourism and agriculture. He is also scheduled to meet with the officials of the Chinese provinces of Fujian and Shandong.

DAILY SURVEY

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