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Belgrade Media Report 29 July 2020

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United Nations Office in Belgrade

Daily Media Highlights

Wednesday 29 July 2020

LOCAL PRESS

Dacic: Serbian side not acquainted that there will be some document on the agenda in Brussels (RTS)
Djuric will be handed a draft comprehensive agreement implying de facto recognition of false state of Kosovo (Novosti/RTS/B92)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

SBB B&H’s Cavka answers Dodik: B&H’s sovereignty is unquestionable (Dnevni avaz)
Montenegro

DPS: Metropolitan Amfilohije and things that matter to him (CDM)
Republic of North Macedonia

Institutions should be formed as soon as possible, conclude Ahmeti and Holstein (MIA)
VMRO-DPMNE in effort to form parliamentary majority, Mickoski tells Holstein (MIA)
North Macedonia sending platoon to NATO’s Kosovo mission (MIA)
Albania

President urges SP to give up unilateral constitutional changes (ADN)

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LOCAL PRESS 

Dacic: Serbian side not acquainted that there will be some document on the agenda in Brussels (RTS

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic has told the morning news of Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) that, just like other citizens, he learned from the news that the draft agreement between Belgrade and Pristina will be delivered at the meeting on Thursday. He says this is a surprise, that Serbia doesn’t know about this. He says that presenting this document now, in this phase of the dialogue, would pose a surprise since this has not been even announced that it will happen. “It is strange why they are doing this now. Why are they doing this when Vucic is not there? They told him that the resumption of the dialogue will be in September. Even if there will be this document, what does it serve to be delivered to him through someone? Perhaps to gain in time to exert pressure on Serbia, both externally and internally. Externally, international factors that would use this as blackmail for Serbia to accept this document. On the internal political scene there are those who support these pressures with violence on the streets. These are two sides of the same medal,” says Dacic. He says Belgrade will be blackmailed by those factors who wish for the old state-of-affairs to be returned. “They will blackmail us with EU membership. They speak about the fact that the legally binding agreement must follow before our EU membership. The organization of demonstrations is an indicator to Vucic ‘if you are not listening, we can topple you on the street’,” says Dacic. If there will be a document, Dacic believes Vucic will acquaint the public with its content and that the response will be in line with out national interests. He says the Serbian side has not been informed about any document being on the agenda.

Several currents of influence on the dialogue   

Dacic says it is obvious there are several lines and currents of achieving influence on the course of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. “There is a UN resolution that is transferring this dialogue to Brussels, but when we draw the line, that agreement must receive verification in the Security Council, the powers must give their opinion,” notes Dacic. He thinks there is no coordination of the acting of the EU and the US regarding the issue of the dialogue. “I think there are great pressures from EU states, such as Germany and France, to marginalize the US in this dialogue. They mined the planned meeting in the White House. These two countries think that the past course of the dialogue is unproductive,” says Dacic. Speaking about the launching of cooperation between Europol and Pristina, Dacic says they cannot become an Europol member, just as Serbia can’t, because they are not an EU member. “The biggest problem for them is the fact that 18 countries withdrew recognition and they do not have the majority in the UN. At present, out of 193 UN member state, they can count on 92 votes. They are bothered with the fact that there is debating about political issues that they considered resolved. Their entire conception is based on lies and disrespect of agreements,” says Dacic. He points out that statements of officials from Pristina are extremely “rude and insolent”, adding that the international community didn’t say a word to this. “They are doing everything, the minister from Kosovo said they prevented two countries to withdraw recognition. That is a lie. They can’t do anything anymore. But it is true that some big countries insisted on the fact that we stop this (withdrawal of recognitions) in order to reach an agreement. We are restrained regarding this and we will wait for material evidence to see whether some country recognized Kosovo, whether Pristina prevented withdrawals of recognitions,” notes Dacic.

I hope there will be no Serbs in Knin  

When it comes to the situation in Croatia and the anniversary of the marking of the “Storm” operation, Dacic says that the Serbs in this country are practically called to give legitimacy to this operation. “I hope Serb representatives will not attend the marking of the ‘Storm”. Croatia conducted ethnic cleansing, there were 560,000 Serbs, now there are 180,000. They need Serbs there to forgive them the ‘Storm’. That is my opinion, we will talk just to harmonize stands,” said Dacic. He thinks that the statement by the Croatian deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic from the SDSS on going to Knin as sacrifice, are not sacrifices for Serbian interests. “I think this is more the interests of Croatians,” concluded Dacic.

Djuric will be handed a draft comprehensive agreement implying de facto recognition of false state of Kosovo (Novosti/RTS/B92

According to Novosti, the Belgrade delegation traveling for talks with EU Special Envoy Miroslav Lajcak and representatives of Pristina institutions at the European Union headquarters will be handed a draft comprehensive agreement which implies de facto recognition of Kosovo by Serbia and which irrevocably demands that it essentially recognize the unilaterally declared independence of a false state. Interlocutors from diplomatic circles claim that Brussels, through Lajcak, plans to hand over a confidential draft to the Head of the Serbian team Marko Djuric with a request to forward it to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. “This draft was made by the EU without negotiations with any of the parties and abusing their presence in the technical dialogue. The text demands that Serbia accept Kosovo’s membership in the UN and other international organizations,” a well-informed source said.

REGIONAL PRESS 

 

SBB B&H’s Cavka answers Dodik: B&H’s sovereignty is unquestionable (Dnevni avaz)

SBB Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Vice President and representative in the Republika Srpska (RS) parliament Admir Cavka commented Tuesday’s statement of member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik who said that “B&H is an unsustainable country and the only thing that acts authentically today in B&H is the political structure of Serbs and Croats”. Cavka stated that those who do not respect B&H Constitution are against the state: “It is obvious that there are agreements at the level of parties led by Serbs and Croats- SNSD and HDZ B&H- and that is legitimate. However, Bosniak factor is also there and represents the state. As all subjects representing their people, we have both position and the opposition and when we look things from outside, they look differently, but it is legitimate for us to represent our people as we deem right… B&H is unquestionable, nobody can jeopardize B&H’s authority and those are the facts”.

 

DPS: Metropolitan Amfilohije and things that matter to him (CDM)

Metropolitan Amfilohije has long been known as a leading bishop tending to easily rewrite historical facts, assume and humiliate the Montenegrin history, the Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, stated. “For that reason, he’s now tackling the economy as well. Who could have expected him to mourn over communism and socialist enterprises, just to be able to compromise our state? As if the transition processes took place only in Montenegro” the DPS noted. But what’s interesting for them the most was Metropolitan Amfilohije’s speech in the monastery ‘Celija Piperska’ concerning the Podgorica Assembly. “He never misses the opportunity to mention the sacrifice of Metropolitan Joanikije, and to increase the number of priests who died with him at the end of World War II, not because they were priests, but because they were collaborators, who retreated together with other Chetniks, trying to find salvation on the territory of Hitler’s Third Reich”. According to them, the Podgorica Assembly, which has been very important to Metropolitan Amfilohije, never mentioned St Vasilije [St Basil] or St Petar Cetinjski. “The sacrilege he has been speaking of and the humiliation of these Montenegrin saints were committed by Serbian officers and supporters of unconditional unification, in Niksic on December 1918.  They buried three coffins. The names of St Petar and St Vasilije were written on the two of them, and there was a Montenegrin crown on the third. Instead of the Orthodox custom of pouring wine and oil over graves, Serbian officers urinated on them. And those are the consequences of his famous Podgorica Assembly.”

 

Institutions should be formed as soon as possible, conclude Ahmeti and Holstein (MIA)

The elections were democratic administered in line with international standards and parliament and the new government should be formed as soon as possible, concluded DUI leader Ali Ahmeti and German Ambassador Anke Holstein at a meeting Tuesday in Tetovo.

“Great challenges are ahead, negotiations with the EU, economic recovery and handling of the pandemic and also implementation of election programs, which is why the formation of the institutions should not be delayed,” DUI said in a press release. Ahmeti, stated the press release, said he would stay committed to resuming the close ties and cooperation with Germany and thanked for Berlin’s contribution to the country and the region. At the meeting, Ahmeti reiterated the red lines of DUI and of the Albanians, including the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the Prespa Agreement and the Friendship Agreement as well as reforms needed to be implemented to fulfill European standards, stated the press release.

VMRO-DPMNE in effort to form parliamentary majority, Mickoski tells Holstein (MIA)

VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski met Tuesday with German Ambassador Anke Holstein, discussing political developments, elections and future strategic priorities. Mickoski told Holstein that his party is making efforts to form a new parliamentary majority, based on the trust provided by the citizens and the principles and values elaborated by coalition ‘Renewal for Macedonia’, VMRO-DPMNE said in a press release. According to him, all institutions must seriously engage in the European agenda and progress on the EU integration path. “The SDSM government is not capable of delivering results that would be recognized by the strategic partners in the Union,” said Mickoski. He added that elections could not be assessed as fair and democratic, because the ruling authorities carried out series of violations, bribes and irregularities during the vote, with serious remarks noted by the OSCE mission. Earlier, SDSM reiterated they would form the new government that was set to continue on the road of progress, democracy and justice, producing even better policies and results. “The new SDSM-led government will not only continue to implement the successful policies, but is committed to deliver even more and even better policies and measures in the interest of the state and its citizens,” said SDSM in a press release.

North Macedonia sending platoon to NATO’s Kosovo mission (MIA)

The government at a session Tuesday adopted an information on North Macedonia’s participation in the NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR). “The government tasked the Defense Ministry with taking measures and regulate all issues with the competent institutions of NATO and KFOR to send a platoon and staff, 45 people in total, to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) by late 2020,” the government said. The Defence Ministry, said the press release, is also tasked with informing the government about the measures taken involving North Macedonia’s involvement in the NATO-led mission in Kosovo by 15 December 2020 at the latest.

 

President urges SP to give up unilateral constitutional changes (ADN

President of the Republic, Ilir Meta called Tuesday on the Socialist Party (SP) to stop unilateral and uncomprehensive amendments of the Constitution and to put Albania’s interest first. “Comprehensive and open political dialogue between political parties on all issues affecting the elections is the only path that brings Albania closer to the European Union and brings Electoral Reform in line with OSCE / ODIHR standards, as required by the European Council in 15 conditions set for the opening of negotiations. Maintaining the spirit and results of the 5 June agreement is very important for the opening of negotiations. The insistence to stick stubbornly to the date of 30 July, which has been set without having any concrete objective, damages the stability and the European path of Albania. Albania should not miss the historic moment for the starting of EU membership negotiations due to the stubbornness to change the election rules unilaterally. Stubbornness offers no solution and is not in Albania’s interest. I call on the Socialist Party, as a political force with contributions to the integration process, to abandon the unilateral and non-inclusive change of the Constitution. It is time to show the prudence that has characterized it in the past and to put the interests of Albania first. The date 30 July is not related to any interest of Albania. July 30 should be canceled, to pave the way for a comprehensive and consensual process of electoral reform.  I call on the Democratic Party and the United Opposition, in the name of European integration, to continue with persistence and without retreat, the efforts to achieve a consensual product. The step taken on Friday, through a consensus proposal, should be the way forward, in order to find the points that unite the parties. History has shown that unilateral and hasty acts, stubbornness, short-term political interest, lack of culture of consensus and dialogue between the parties, have harmed Albania and Albanians for a long time. This mistake should not be repeated. For this reason, I reiterate the call to all parties to continue to work in good faith in the Political Council, without delay, with the sole objective of finding consensus between them. It is entirely possible to achieve a common product and agreed upon by all. The constitution cannot be changed without consensus among all major political parties in the country. The time to work for Albania in Europe is now! No one should harm this important moment for Albania!,” said Meta.

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