BELGRADE, July 14, 2005
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
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SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
DRASKOVIC DECORATES BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - Serbia-Montenegro (SCG) Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic decorated Bulgarian Ambassador in Belgrade Yani Milchakov with the Yugoslav Star of the First Degree medal on Wednesday.
SCG President Svetozar Marovic awarded the emblem of honor to the outgoing Bulgarian ambassador for his personal contribution and efforts to promote the two countries' friendly relations, the SCG Foreign Ministry said.
DRASKOVIC CONFERRED WITH DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER
BELGRADE, July 14 (Tanjug) - Netherlands Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said in Belgrade on Thursday that the extradition of all the remaining war crimes indictees to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), based in The Hague, and primarily Ratko Mladic, is a condition for Serbia and Montenegro's (SCG) integration with Europe.
The Netherlands foreign minister, who is on an official visit to Belgrade within a tour of the Western Balkans, conferred this morning with SCG Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic. Bot is also scheduled to meet with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and other officials.
STATE UNION AT EU DOORSTEP, SAYS REHN
BRUSSELS, July 13 (Beta) - EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said on July 13, that "Serbia-Montenegro's future in Europe within the reach." Rehn also said that the EU Constitution crisis would not affect the country's European prospect, but stressed that cooperation with The Hague tribunal "remains the key factor in strengthening ties between the state union and the EU."
During an Internet chat with young people from the Western Balkans about the region's European prospect, Rehn said that cooperation between the state union and The Hague tribunal "has significantly improved," but added that "it needs rounding off." Rehn also said that the EU had not set "any magic deadline for the admission of Serbia-Montenegro to the EU," but, as he said, he wished to determine the date.
"The stabilization and association talks have not opened yet, but the EU is preparing so as to ensure the best conditions for the talks. The outcome will depend on progress and the reform process in Serbia-Montenegro," Rehn said.
"Bringing war criminals to justice is in the interest of the peoples of the Western Balkans," the EU commissioner for enlargement stressed.
KOSTUNICA CONGRATULATES MONTENEGRO'S STATEHOOD DAY
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica extended a greeting on Wednesday on the occasion of Montenegro's Statehood Day, the government said.
"On behalf of the Serbian government and in my own name, I congratulate the Thirteenth of July, the Montenegrin Uprising Day. It is common knowledge that Montenegro has always known how to observe the best traditions and ideals of freedom and human dignity," Kostunica said
. He extended wishes for an overall progress and successful development of Montenegro and the well being of its citizens." The European Union is the goal of Serbia and Montenegro and I am convinced that we will attain the goal together," the prime minister stressed.
MILOSAVLJEVIC SAYS THERE IS GREAT POTENTIAL FOR SERBIAN-MOROCCAN COOPERATION
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Slobodan Milosavljevic said on Wednesday that there was great potential for the improvement of economic cooperation between Serbia and Morocco, due to the two countries' similarities - from their geostrategic positions to commitment to the liberalisation of the market and free trade.
"Both in Morocco and in Serbia, privatisation and internationalisation of the economy are under way, with an orientation towards European integrations, major infrastructure deals are being realised, both sides have developed the basis for the B2B operation," Milosavljevic said at panel of Serbian businessmen and a Moroccan state and business delegation.
Moroccan Minister of Foreign Trade Mustapha Mechahour said that Morocco was a politically and economically stable country and a platform for investments, production and export for all countries with which it had free trade agreements. Stressing that there was a very clear and deep political will for forging closer ties between the two countries' economies, he said that a new pace in economic relations between Morocco and Serbia-Montenegro had started two years ago.
DINKIC SAYS SERBIA'S FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES TO REACH 5 BILLION DOLLARS SOON
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - Serbian Finance Minister Mladjan Dinkic said on Wednesday that the country's foreign currency reserves had reached 4.8 billion dollars and would exceed 5 billion dollars during the summer, reiterating that this year's inflation rate would not exceed last year's 13 percent.
He announced a general drop of interest rates as of the autumn and added that the lowest interest rate on the Serbian Treasury bonds of 14.83 percent had been registered on Tuesday. At the beginning of this year, this interest rate amounted to 22 percent." It is realistic to believe that the interest rates will generally drop as of autumn, especially those on housing loans," Dinkic told a news conference.
SERBIAN MINISTER, CHINESE DEPUTY MINISTER URGE HIGHER LEVEL OF BILATERAL CULTURAL COOPERATION
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - Serbian Culture Minister Dragan Kojadinovic and Chinese Deputy Culture Minister Zhao Weysui stressed in Belgrade on Wednesday the need for establishing a very active cultural exchange between the two countries and shared experiences in legal regulations and different segments of culture policy.
Recalling traditionally successful cooperation between the countries, they stressed the need for establishing a higher level of cultural cooperation in this period and agreed that laws in the field of culture represented priority and basic precondition of cultural development. At the same time, special attention was dedicated to the observation of the laws of market in the field of culture, especially in publishing and film industry, which were particularly discussed during the meeting, the Serbian Culture Ministry said in a statement.
PARLIAMENT FORMS ISRAELI-SERBIAN FRIENDSHIP GROUP
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - The Serbian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee decided on Wednesday to form the parliamentary group of Israeli-Serbian friendship, while all party groups will submit their lists of candidates for similar groups of friendship with Libya, Russia and the United States by Friday.
The committee's president Gordana Comic said that the forming of parliamentary groups of friendship aims at exploiting the mechanisms of parliamentary diplomacy. She explained that initiatives for establishing such groups have been welcomed by the diplomatic corps. So far, the committee has received responses from the Finnish, Danish, British, Argentinean, Indian, Greek, Swiss, Libyan, Russian, Japanese and US embassies in Belgrade.
SERBIA TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE FOR SME DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATIONS
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - The development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is very important for Serbia, since this is a growing sector with great potential, head of the Belgrade Office of the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) Christos Gofas said on Wednesday.
He said that Serbia would receive a donation of 2.05 million euros for the development of enterprises and introduction of innovations through the fund for the development of enterprises and innovations. The project will be presented at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday and in the next few weeks, promotions will be organised throughout Serbia, where potential users will receive information about the functioning of the fund.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
GERMANY IS CONSIDERING POSSIBILITY OF INDEPENDENT KOSOVO, SAYS KOSUMI
PRISTINA, July 13 (Beta) - Kosovo Premier Bajram Kosumi said in Pristina on July 13, after returning from a visit to Berlin, that Germany has taken several steps towards the formation of the state of Kosovo.
"I believe that Germany, together with other important countries in Europe, is considering the possibility of independence for Kosovo," the Kosovo premier said at the Pristina airport, after returning from a three-day visit to Germany.
In his words, German diplomacy is considering several models for the status of Kosovo.
Kosumi said he was satisfied with the visit to Germany, where he had met with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and other highranking officials.
DECENTRALIZATION KEY ELEMENT IN NEGOTIATIONS, SAYS EIDE.
PRISTINA, July 13 (Beta) - Kai Eide, the U.N. secretary general's special envoy for reviewing the standards in Kosovo, stated on July 13 that the decentralization of the authorities in Kosovo was "the key element" in negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade.
"An open dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina must be achieved. The Kosovo government refusing a dialogue will only worsen an already delicate situation," Eide said while talking with journalists during his visit to a refugee camp in Radinac.
Eide said he was visiting the refugee camp in order to see at first hand the conditions there and find out whether there were any displaced or expelled people who would return to their homeland.
"When traveling about collective centers, we continually stress that it is necessary to create the conditions for returning and to do it more thoroughly than till now," Eide said, underlining that "everyone has taken a share of the burden in enabling the return" of displaced persons.
EIDE VOWS NOT TO BOW TO PRESSURES
BELGRADE, July 13 (Tanjug) - UN envoy for Kosovo standards implementation review Kai Eide said in Belgrade on Wednesday, at the end of the first phase of his mission, that he will not allow any form of pressure to affect his report on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
However, his report will reflect what he saw and heard touring villages and talking to people in Kosovo, Eide told reporters at the State Union Palace following talks with Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija President Nebojsa Covic.
Focusing on the issue of Serb participation in Kosovo's provisional institutions, Covic said that the government in Belgrade is constantly monitoring the developments in the province, but that conditions have not been created yet to recommend Kosovo Serbs to join the province's institutions." Any individual participation in the work of Kosovo institutions will create a danger for those who do it of being pronounced guilty of possible problems that could later occur," Covic said.
DECENTRALIZATION WHEN KOSOVO GOVERNMENT IS READY, SAYS UNMIK
PRISTINA, July 13 (Beta) - UNMIK will bring a decision on the beginning of the process of decentralization and the realization of pilot projects for new municipalities when it becomes certain that the Kosovo government is ready for concrete steps in that direction, UNMIK spokesman Remi Dourlot said on July 13.
"If UNMIK chief Soren JessenPetersen assesses that he has the necessary guarantees of the Kosovo government that pilot projects will be realized immediately, the decision can be signed very quickly," Dourlot said at a news conference.
He explained the Kosovo government was responsible for the decentralization and implementation of pilot projects.
In his words, the plan is to conduct five pilot projects, with priority for the municipalities of Gracanica and Djeneral Jankovic.
Asked whether the pilot projects would be carried out in cooperation with Belgrade and a wide circle of the Serbs' political representatives, or talks would take place with only "loyal" Serbs taking part, who are already working in temporary institutions, Dourlot said the process of decentralization would be initiated by Pristina, not Belgrade.
U.S. HAS NOT TAKEN FINAL POSITION ON KOSOVO STATUS, SAYS U.S. DIPLOMAT
PRISTINA, July 13 (Beta) - Philip Goldberg, head of the U.S. Office in Pristina, stated on July 13 that the U.S. had not yet taken a final position on the future status of Kosovo.
"We have not nor shall we take any strong positions on resolving the future status of Kosovo. We want the process to continue, we will respect the people of this country and take all that into account," Goldberg said after talks with Prizren municipal assembly speaker Eqrem Kryeziu.
Goldberg said "the status of Kosovo will not be a U.S. decision, but," he added, the U.S. would "strive to move the process forward."
"Progress is visible, which is good for the region as a whole," the U.S. official in Kosovo underlined.
DJUKANOVIC EXPECTS BIG POWERS TO RECOGNIZE INDEPENDENCE AFTER REFERENDUM
PODGORICA, July 14 (Tanjug) - Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said on Wednesday evening that he expected the big powers to recognize the Montenegrin state after the referendum next year, like they did at the Berlin Congress on July 13, 1878.
"Just as the Berlin Congress confirmed the actual independence of Montenegro on this day in 1878, so we expect today that the world states will verify our independence following a democratically organized vote of the citizens on the state status," Djukanovic said.
Speaking at a ceremony organized at the Montenegrin National Theater to mark Statehood Day - July 13, Djukanovic said he was confident the Montenegrin state flag would be fluttering outside the United Nations (UN) building in New York on July 13, 2006.Djukanovic said he believed in the strength of the statebuilding awareness and aspirations of Montenegrin citizens to place themselves among the ranks of the modern nations of Europe.
"Just like antifascism was the massive human determination of Montenegrin citizens, so is today's determination in favor of independence a natural way to connect with the contemporary developments in Europe," Djukanovic said. "The need for our speedy economic development dictates joining wider European spaces. We do not want an independent Montenegro only because of the natural and historic right of our people, but mostly because of the need to assume responsibility for our future and thus to prove that we are truly a part of Europe," the Montenegrin prime minister said.
"All Montenegrin citizens who have linked their destinies and those of their families with this country, will very soon freely declare themselves about their future," Djukanovic announced.
DJUKANOVIC SAYS MONTENEGRO ECONOMICALLY SUSTAINABLE
PODGORICA, July 13 (Beta) - The "Sozina" tunnel, linking inland Montenegro with the southern seaboard, was opened at a ceremony on July 13, in the presence of officials in the Montenegrin government and many citizens.
Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic opened the tunnel, pointing out that investments in infrastructure are a powerful impetus to economic development, strengthen competitiveness and pave the way for new jobs.
We can say, with full confidence, that the ultimate renewal of the statehood of Montenegro will be a natural epilogue to matured awareness and responsibility for the rebirth of our Montenegro, Djukanovic declared.
"There is no dilemma whether Montenegro is economically sustainable. The only question is at what pace we will valorize our huge potential and through which means at our disposal and at what rate we will become one of the most developed countries in this part of Europe," Djukanovic said.
The "Sozina" tunnel is 4,200 meters long. The value of the investment is about Eur74 million, it was built mostly out of Montenegrin budget funds, and partly through a loan from the European Investment Bank.