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DAILY SURVEY 22.09.2017.
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SERBIA

VUCIC: KOSOVO, ECONOMY AND EU ARE NATIONAL PRIORITIES

BELGRADE, 21 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sept. 21 in his address of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, that Serbia's national priorities were the political solution for Kosovo, economic development and integration with the European Union. Vucic said peace and stability were the basic preconditions for the future, and that Serbia would continue to invest a lot in stabilization, regional stability and cooperation. "Without the joint, broader picture, we will not be able to solve joint problems," Vucic said, adding that the preservation of peace and stability required "daily efforts, work and reforms." Vucic reiterated that Serbia would not recognize the independence of Kosovo, and yet that he would "not speak about the violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, but rather about efforts for solving the centuries-old problem" because Serbia "has to build a future with the Albanians." In his words, Serbia is prepared to make "difficult compromises" in seeking acceptable solutions, and that the Brussels Agreement was the result of a compromise between the two sides. Vucic added that the fact that there had been no ethnically motivated murders in Kosovo in the past four years, was "a step forward." According to Vucic, the EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has been instrumental in the political and economic stabilization of the region and the Union must remain dedicated to that policy, despite the difficulties it is facing. Vucic reiterated the stand on Serbia's military neutrality. "I am proud of Serbia which is protecting its territorial integrity and sovereignty. We will never abandon the neutral military position," the Serbian president said, adding that Serbia believed in the EU, but was also "proud and not ashamed" of its good relations with Russia and other countries. Vucic also cited the need for a reform of the U.N., but supported the world organization and declared support in the fight against the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorism, extremism, poverty and social inequality.

VUCIC, LAJCAK DISCUSS REFORM OF U.N., SITUATION IN REGION

BELGRADE, 21 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Sept. 21 with the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, and discussed the plans for the reform of the U.N., Serbia's role in this international organization and the situation in the region, the Presidency has said. Vucic pointed out that the United Nations maintained a responsible approach to the issue of the Western Balkans and stressed that this was the most important international organization from the aspect of protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia. On behalf of Serbia, he declared support to Miroslav Lajcak's responsible approach to the improvement of the work and activities of the U.N. Lajcak stressed that the main goal of the presidency was respect for the three pillars of the U.N.: human rights, peace and stability, and development. He pointed out the importance of accomplishing concrete results in the reform of the U.N. and of strengthening confidence between the U.N. and its members, stressing that the organization had an ambitious program regarding migrations, which would be the first large international framework, and that the role of the U.N. was to advocate peace and the prevention of conflicts. In New York on Sept. 21, Vucic also met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and informed him about the initiation of the internal dialogue on Kosovo.

VUCIC: WE HAVE YET TO SEE IF KOSOVO HAS SECURED THE VOTES FOR UNESCO

BELGRADE, 21 September 2017 (Beta) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in his Sept. 21 interview with O2 TV that it was yet to be seen whether Kosovo had secured the necessary votes for joining UNESCO, and that the government in Belgrade would continue to fight against its membership. "The vote on Kosovo's admission to UNESCO will not be easy for Serbia, but will certainly not be easy for them either," Vucic told O2 TV. The deputy premier and foreign minister of Kosovo, Behgjet Pacolli, said late on Sept. 20 that Kosovo had secured the necessary votes for admission to UNESCO. He told the Pristina-based KTV that, with a little work and many meetings in New York on the margins of the 72nd session of the U.N. General Assembly, he had managed to secure the votes for Kosovo's admission to UNESCO. Vucic said he was aware of the fact that the Kosovo delegation had lobbied in New York. "So far, we have managed to counter them, I never underestimate them, but I will not overestimate them, either," Vucic said.

GERMAN DIPLOMAT, BRNABIC DISCUSS SERBIA'S EUROPEAN PATH

BELGRADE, 21 September 2017 (Beta) - German diplomat Thomas Ossowski told Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic on Sept. 21 that the German government was devoted to the EU's further expansion and that it was ready to aid Serbia as the key country in the Balkans to join the European family of nations. Ossowski, who is a special envoy from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the EU's political issues, said that he hoped that the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina would come through a constructive dialogue, the Serbian government said in a statement. He hailed Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic's initiative for launching an internal dialogue on Kosovo, the statement said. The collocutors agreed that the swift implementation of reforms, especially in the area of the economy, human rights and judiciary was very important because that way the date of entry in the EU would be nearer.
Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic also met with Ossowski on Sept. 21 and said during the meeting that she expected Serbia to open at least three more negotiating chapters by the end of the year - Chapter 6 on company law, Chapter 30 on external relations and Chapter 33 on financial and budgetary provisions.

DELEGATIONS OF SERBIA AND BULGARIA DISCUSS COOPERATION IN DIMITROVGRAD

BELGRADE, 21 September 2017 (Beta) - Delegations of Serbia and Bulgaria met in Dimitrovgrad on Sept. 21, where they exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and possibilities for the further development of cooperation, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. During the meeting, they also discussed the improvement of cooperation in fields of mutual interest, primarily economy, tourism, infrastructure and energy, and issues of interest for the Bulgarian national minority in Serbia, the statement reads. The Serbian delegation was headed by the minister of trade, tourism and telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, and the Bulgarian by the deputy prime minister in charge of economic and demographic policy, Valeri Simeonov. The meeting was also attended by the state secretary of the Serbian Foreign Ministry, Nemanja Stevanovic. The two delegations laid wreaths at the Monument to Vasil Levski in Dimitrovgrad and at the Memorial Ossuary at Neskovo Brdo near Dimitrovgrad, the statement reads.

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