Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 15.11.2018.
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NEW YORK, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Nov. 14 at the session of the U.N. Security Council that nothing fundamentally positive had happened in Kosovo and Metohija since the previous session of the Security Council six months ago, and criticized Great Britain for the fact that the session had not been held in August. Dacic said during the session that many believed the status of KiM was a finished issue, but also that many others believed it was not, adding that many countries were reconsidering their decision to recognize Kosovo as independent and that 10 had withdrawn their recognitions. The Serbian foreign minister also criticized Kosovo for attempting to become a member of INTERPOL and other international organizations, claiming that this did not help the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. "The Community of Serb Municipalities, which represents the pillar of the Brussels agreement, has not been formed in 2,000 days, conditions for the return of 200,000 internally displaced have not been created, the Special Court has not started working, while the killer of Oliver Ivanovic has not been discovered even a full year after that heinous crime. None of that has taken place," Dacic said in New York. He added that it was hard to say anything positive about what did happen - "the flagrant violations of the resolution of this esteemed body, new provocations and new incidents." He said the Assembly of Kosovo had adopted laws that would practically enable the transformation of the Kosovo Security Force into armed forces, that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was prevented from visiting the town of Banje in a Serb enclave during his stay in KiM, and that the special police forces of Kosovo had raided the Gazivode Lake, which he referred to as "the most drastic form of provocation." "These are only some of the incidents that jeopardize security in Kosovo and Metohija, and additionally complicate the already complex situation. I must admit that it is unclear how anyone could characterize this situation as stable. Or does 'stable situation' mean that attacks on the Serbs are allowed and a normal thing - that they happen, will continue to happen, and are something that does not deserve attention and a reaction," he stated. Dacic thanked China, which put the session on Kosovo and Metohija on the agenda, and criticized Great Britain for failing to do so in August, with the explanation that the situation there was calm and that nothing was going on in the field. "I wish to use this opportunity and warn about what we view as the wrong approach, and (explain) why we believe it necessary at this time for this topic to remain high on the agenda of the Security Council. We spent much more than three hours, which is how long a Security Council session would usually last, on debating whether it is necessary to hold the session or not. This created a bad atmosphere between Belgrade and Pristina, which was unnecessary, and division among the Security Council members," Dacic stated. The Serbian foreign minister also said the members had to reach an agreement about the frequency of Security Council sessions, and that that was not a technical issue. Dacic said that Pristina, instead of focusing on the dialogue, was trying to enter international organizations, "believing that this is how it will prove its statehood, failing to realize that this is not a path that leads to any kind of solution." He also said that "Pristina does not want to join INTERPOL in order to fight crime, but in order to present itself as an independent state." Dacic said 10 states had revoked decisions on recognizing Kosovo's independence "because they have realized that they were insufficiently informed about the situation and that dialogue had to be given a chance," and he added that this number could rise significantly. He stated that circumstances had made his address "seem gloomy and negative" and that he wished to end it on a positive note, explaining that Serbia was "most sincerely interested in reaching a compromise solution to the issue of Kosovo and Metohija."


NEW YORK, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - UNMIK Chief Zahir Tanin stated on Nov. 14 before the U.N. Security Council that, although one should not overlook the progress that has been made in the talks since 2013, the key to progress on the ground is the implementation of what had been agreed, with the founding of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) being one of the central points. Tanin cited the laws about forming the army of Kosovo and the newly imposed Kosovo's customs duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as moves that had additionally raised tension. Acts that are attempts to prejudge the outcome of the agreement do not contribute to reaching a political compromise. Whether there are minor or major issues in question, unilateral acts carry the constant potential for igniting the situation in the field, Tanin said. However, the UNMIK chief welcomed the desire for continuing the dialogue expressed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci. Still, he said, every political process requires the consent of the societies it is related to. Top level agreements that may be reached through political negotiations, regardless of the strength of international and regional support, will fail unless they are met with support and full understanding and trust in the communities and among individuals throughout the society. I am convinced the leaders of both sides, as well as the factors that mediate in the dialogue, will bear this firmly in mind, Tanin stated. He said the priority for UNMIK was the building of trust among the people and communities in Kosovo.



BELGRADE, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated on Nov. 14 that he was convinced the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Serbia would be the most fruitful in the sense of the number and contents of the agreement he was to sign. "I think the visit of President Putin will be the most fruitful in the sense of the number and contents of the agreements, in various spheres of social life, which we will jointly sign," Vucic tweeted after the meeting with Russian Ambassador Aleksandar Cepurin. During the meeting with the Russian ambassador, Vucic thanked Russia and his president for their support to the territorial integrity of Serbia and its efforts towards finding a compromise solution for Kosovo. The Russian president is to visit Serbia in January next year. Last week in Belgrade, Vucic met with Yuri Borisov, the Russian deputy prime minister and co-chairman of the inter-government committee for trade, economic, science and technical cooperation, and discussed relations between the two countries and the preparation of the Russian president's visit to Serbia.


BELGRADE, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - Berlin was against the exchange of territories between Serbia and Kosovo as a solution to the Kosovo issue and this position would remain unchanged, German Ambassador to Serbia Thomas Schieb said on Nov. 14, noting that the position was also shared by a number of EU states and countries in the region. "Chancellor Angela Merkel has on several occasions publicly presented her stand, and that stand is still valid. I know about some speculations about whether Germany will possibly change its stand, but it will not, it remains as it is," Ambassador Schieb told TV N1. He also said that Germany was not alone as several other EU states and also the countries in the region had been expressing reservations regarding demarcation or the exchange of territories. The ambassador explained that Germany was concerned that the possible change of borders could have implications in the region, that it could possibly help resolve the Kosovo issue, but could also provoke problems in other parts of the region, which could not be projected. "If we are to again draw new borders here in the region after those conflicts, we are concerned that it could lead to instability in the region," Schieb said. He dismissed as untrue the idea that a tiny change of territories could untie the Kosovo knot, adding that there was a series of other issues, such as the protection of minorities, the protection of the church heritage, and many other issues, and that demarcation was only diverting attention from all other issues. Commenting on statements according to which EU Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn and the U.S. would support any deal reached between Belgrade and Pristina, Schieb said that they had not said they supported the exchange of territories, but explained that they were giving more maneuvering space to both sides to see what they would do and what sort of deal they would reach and then decide whether they could agree with it.


KRAGUJEVAC, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi said on Nov. 14 that local communities would have to implement the EU acquis to the greatest possible extent and be able to help Serbia's EU accession. "It is important for local communities to implement the EU acquis to the greatest possible extent. Not only do we have to strengthen the economy across the entire country, but we also have to bring municipalities and local administrations to a level at which they can communicate with the EU," Fabrizi told reporters in Kragujevac. Recalling that the EU for years now had been supporting local communities in Serbia, Fabrizi said that strong local economies would empower Serbia. According to him, it is important to develop legislation in the fields of environmental protection, agriculture, economy, and everything has to be implemented at the local level. After touring the Legacy Hall of academician Nikola Jankovic, the construction of which had been co-financed by the European Investment Bank and the City of Kragujevac, Fabrizi said that a new three-year EU PRO project, worth EUR25 million, would be launched next March, which wold focus on the development of the economy and social infrastructure. Fabrizi also said that since March, two invitations of applications had been organized and that EUR6 million had been awarded for projects. "Eligible to apply are 99 municipalities south of Belgrade, and the best projects, based on competitiveness, will be awarded funds," Fabrizi said, adding that a total of 34 projects in Serbia had been approved, three of which to the City of Kragujevac. In Kragujevac, Fabrizi presented the decision on financing projects that would help improve business environment in 34 local communities. With the EU's financial support of more than EUR5 million, these local communities will implement projects relating to the development of technical and planning documentation, as well as business infrastructure projects. So far through EU PRO, Kragujevac has been approved the financing of three projects, with a combined value of nearly EUR1 million - Revitalisation and extension of brownfield locations and the old industrial zone, a project for the rehabilitation of a bridge on the Lepenica River, and the construction of outdoor sports grounds in the Great Park.


KRAGUJEVAC, 14 November 2018 (Beta) - In the past five, six years, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has invested a total of EUR75 million in local infrastructure in Serbia, and in the past few years, it has set aside EUR8 million for culture projects in local communities. "EIB as a financial institution, but also a non-profit organization of the EU, carefully chooses projects for investing, those that are justifiable from the economic and social aspects and social development," Head of EIB Regional Representation for the Western Balkans Dubravka Negre told reporters in Kragujevac. She added that the EIB was known for its financing of the construction of local infrastructure, roads, railways, hospitals, and was also very active in the field of culture, which was important for the development of every society. According to Negre, after financing the completion of the National Library of Serbia, the EIB was planning to disburse funds for the National Theater in Leskovac, a museum in Krusevac, and the cultural centers in Prokuplje and Pirot. Negre, together with Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi, toured the Legacy Hall of academician Nikola Koka Jankovic in Kragujevac, the construction of which has been co-financed by the EIB and the City of Kragujevac. "With the EIB's support, a new school and a kindergarten are being constructed in Kragujevac, the Excellency Center is being completed with the University, while apartments have been completed for young scientists," Negre said.


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