Djuric: ZSO prerequisite for dialogue (Tanjug/RTS)
The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric stated on Thursday that the Belgrade delegation at the talks in Brussels insisted that the issue of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) be the first topic of the talks, which was opposed by representatives of Pristina, who came unprepared for the talks about the ZSO and property. Djuric, who was heading the Belgrade delegation at the technical expert talks on normalization of relations with Pristina, told reporters in Brussels that the Serbian delegation included experts from the National Bank of Serbia and experts for private and public property, who had concrete proposals on the modalities for solving the issues at question. We had a not too rational, fierce and emotional discussion in which representatives of Pristina tried to go 13 centuries back into the past and present Serbia as a colonizer who occupied not only Kosovo and Metohija, but Toplica too and to divert the subject with irrational, historically false information, Djuric stated. The Belgrade delegation responded with a rational approach and it did not accept the ZSO to be either removed from the agenda, or renamed in an improper way which would not reflect a status neutral form of the talks. There is no way that we will turn the talks on the ZSO into talks on the position of national minorities, nor will we accept that the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija be treated as a national minority, Djuric underlined. He declared that there will be no progress in the talks with Pristina until the obligation to form the ZSO is fully implemented as agreed in 2013 and 2015.
Drecun: Pristina wants to play us out, Lajcak gives in under pressure (RTS)
The Chairperson of the Serbian parliamentary Committee for Kosovo and Metohija Milovan Drecun told Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS) morning broadcast that Pristina wants to play out Belgrade in the negotiations and to impose a position according to which only “mutual recognition” can be discussed. He believes that EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak is giving in under Pristina’s pressure and is trying to go some other way that will not lead to reaching an agreement. In the preparation of the Belgrade-Pristina talks, as he reminded, it was agreed to go on two tracks – to discuss what has not been realized, primarily about the ZSO, and to discuss on the other track economic cooperation, the issue of missing and displaced persons. Drecun says that Pristina wants to push the ZSO to the side, to reach a so-called agreement on these three issues, to say that a comprehensive agreement on normalization has been reached and then we only need to talk about mutual recognition. “The Serbian delegation made a good move whereby it prevented this political game and said – we need to reach here the agreement on the ZSO and to precisely agree when the ZSO will be formed, otherwise there is no progress,” said Drecun.
Pristina’s tactics goes in two directions
He explains that Pristina’s tactics goes in two directions. “One is that they say this is not in accordance with the constitution, even though they accepted the agreement. On the other side, Thaci is introducing into the story the parallel to the Republika Srpska. The ZSO has not been conceived to be another Republika Srpska, but as a missing mechanism for the survival of the Serbs and their development,” says Drecun. It is strange that the EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcakis accepting Pristina’s game, Drecun points out. He says that Lacjak is an exponent of German politics. “Pristina wants to play us out and to use this situation in order to create an image and to impose the stand according to which we can talk about mutual recognition,” said Drecun.
Lajcak: New round of expert talks complete, to be continued (Beta)
EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak announced on Thursday that expert-level talks between Belgrade and Pristina had finished, that they were about mutual financial claims and property, and that they had demonstrated the complexity and sensitivity of those issues.
“Just finished today’s talks with the chief negotiators Marko Djuric and Skender Hyseni on mutual financial claims and property. Our discussions confirmed the complexity and sensitivity of the issue. To be continued,” Lajcak tweeted.
Vulin: They want to break Serbia to pieces (Novosti)
Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin on Thursday commented on the session of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency and said that Bosniak member of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic and Croat member of the B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic, by voting for the proposal according to which B&H should recognize Kosovo independence, showed how little they care about what Serbs in B&H think but also that they want to break Serbia in pieces. “I am asking President Vucic until when he will be using his authority to preserve integral B&H which does not want to see integral Serbia. President, you forgave them for trying to kill you in Srebrenica, do not forgive them for trying to kill Serbia as well. If those in B&H are for independent ‘Kosovo’, then I am for independent Republika Srpska,” Vulin said.
Nabhan: Palestine won’t change policy towards Serbia – yet (N1 TV)
Palestinian Ambassador to Serbia Mohamed Nabhan told N1 TV on Thursday that he will not change his attitude towards Serbia yet, adding Palestine support Serbia in its intentions to preserve the territorial integrity of its country. “We respect Resolution 1244, as well as Resolution 478,” he said speaking in Serbian. Palestine will remain committed to international law, Nabhan says, adding we will do everything to ensure that no one violates that international law, especially when it comes to Jerusalem. He said it was painful for him to hear Serbia would move the embassy to Jerusalem. “We consider ourselves to be very close friends with Serbia and the Serbian people. I also appreciate President Vucic, I appreciate his intentions and policy, and I appreciate the friendship he is trying to promote with us…” However, the Ambassador said that Jerusalem is a red line for us, we cannot accept anyone is moving their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, adding he believed Serbia would not do that. “We are following (Serbia’s) steps. I hope that will not happen because it would cause enormous damage to the whole situation. I do not believe that it will happen. I am still firmly convinced of the friendship between the Palestinian and Serbian people,” Nabhan said.
Presidency members disagree about Kosovo and relocation of B&H Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (N1)
B&H Presidency held one regular and two extraordinary sessions in Sarajevo on Thursday. At the first extraordinary session, B&H Presidency members discussed the proposal launched by Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik (SNSD) according to which B&H Embassy to Israel would be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Croat member of B&H Presidency Zeljko Komsic (DF) and B&H Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic (SDA) voted against the proposal, while Dodik voted in favor of it. At the second extraordinary session, they voted on Komsic’s proposal to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Dzaferovic and Komsic voted in favor of it, while Dodik voted against the proposal. The second round of voting on Kosovo will be held at the next session of B&H Presidency scheduled to take place at the end of the month. Addressing the press conference in Istocno Sarajevo after the sessions, Dodik said that in the case that B&H Presidency members again vote in the same way on Kosovo, he will launch a mechanism of protection of the vital national interest of Republika Srpska (RS) and request a special session of the RS parliament on this topic. He stressed that he is glad that this topic was finally included in the agenda, expressing his belief that the RS parliament’s decision will be against the recondition of Kosovo’s independence. Komsic told reporters after that the relocation of B&H Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem is out of question with the current vote ratio at B&H Presidency. When it comes to Kosovo, Komsic stressed that Kosovo as an independent state is reality and everyone knows that. Dzaferovic stated that B&H Presidency members have the right to launch their initiatives, to express their stances and to vote accordingly.
Dzaferovic’s and Komsic’s moves are leading B&H into self-imposed self-isolation (Dnevni avaz)
Dnevni avaz daily analyzes the decision of B&H Presidency to task B&H Council of Minsters with analyzing the regional cooperation and submit their stance on B&H’s accession to ‘Mini Schengen’ initiative. According to daily’s information, this is nothing but a softer way to reject the initiative, which according to the daily could have devastating political consequences for B&H and additionally prevent economic development and recovery from consequences of the pandemic. According to the daily, even before Thursday’s session of B&H Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic received a document which “allegedly analyzes the current regional cooperation and which, despite the absolute support of the European Union and USA, strengthening of economic, transport, education and other cooperation in the region, concludes that ‘Mini Schengen’ is not necessary to B&H and that it is detrimental for its interests and sovereignty”. Author argues that if the issue of sovereignty would be taken as eliminatory for integration, then one may conclude that progress towards the EU membership is also detrimental for B&H’s sovereignty, being that part of B&H’s competencies is to be transferred to the EU institutions and country agrees to joint regulations in numerous sectors. Also, daily comments that if it is true what the analysis reads, that B&H is not ready to participate in ‘Mini Schengen’ where B&H’s economic indicators are right after Serbia’s, how would a country be prepared to participate in a community of 27 member states. Author argues that the arguments presented in an analysis are groundless and frivolous, which means that negative state of Dzaferovic and Komsic is nothing but a calculated political move. Daily noted that it is only natural for B&H to look after its own interests, but the country also has to follow geopolitical movements, arguing that this initiative is supported by the White House, State Department, EU and most of “international friends” as useful mechanism to additionally open the borders and instigate regional cooperation. Article concludes that by failing to join in the initial period, B&H is losing the possibility to influence the nature and direction of the initiative, arguing that Dzaferovic’s and Komsic’s moves are leading B&H into “self-imposed self-isolation”.
FB&H President Cavara: Project of political elimination of Croats has not been given up on, there are open threats now (Vecernji list)
Federation of B&H President Marinko Cavara (HDZ B&H), asked to comment on the last meeting between leaders of HDZ B&H Dragan Covic and SDA Bakir Izetbegovic and the daily’s remark that the meeting showed who has what attitude towards the key priority, namely the Law on Elections of B&H. According to Cavara, SDA is pretending that it is negotiating, but in reality they do not want to have an agreement on changes to the Law on Elections, instead they “want to enter the year 2022 without changes to the electoral legislation, with the aim of creating, what Izetbegovic has already announced and who said that if Mister Covic does not give up in his behavior, he will choose Komsic”. “However, it seems that Izetbegovic has chosen Komsic long ago as a method of demolition of Dayton B&H and denial of rights of the Croat people to elect their legitimate representatives,” added Cavara and went on to say that their (SDA’s) aim is to create a mono-ethnic, not civ,ic state, with Islamic religion as set in the Islamic Declaration. Asked to comment on the method of appointment of new members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of B&H, Cavara replied by saying it is clear there are efforts aimed at illegally running the election process and that this year’s local elections and the 2022 general elections will be compromised by SDA and its satellites. According to the FB&H President, the Croats were deprived of the right to have its legitimate representatives in the FB&H executive authorities before and it is now clear that the aim has not been given up on, adding that “the novelty is that there are now open and public threats, admission of what the wishes in B&H are”. Asked to comment on the daily’s remark how is it possible that “the deniers of the agreement” are refusing to abide by the Mostar agreement, which was reached under watchful eye of the European Union, Cavara said that one also has to keep in mind the silence of the (EU) administration regarding the issue of appointment of CEC members “when the law of B&H was being violated”. In addition to this, President Cavara said: “One thing is clear, we cannot enter the year 2022 without a solution and possibility that each people elect their own representatives. The next general elections must not happen without changes to the Law on Elections”.
Croatian President Milanovic: Komsic feeds off Croatian electorate like a parasite (HRT1)
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic has responded to criticism from B&H Presidency member Zeljko Komsic, following Milanovic’s meeting with B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik in Zagreb. Komsic remarked that Milanovic and the Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko are the only state leaders who agreed to meet Dodik alone. Milanovic said that Komsic “should be aware of the consequences of his political actions and his political path. He is actually feeding like a parasite off the Croat electorate, and as long as this is the case, the situation will not be normal.” Reporter further quoted Milanovic as saying that he does not agree with Dodik’s rhetoric and attitude about war crimes but insisting that in politics people must sit and talk to each other. Milanovic argued that Croats are “not a minority in B&H, but are in minority,” meaning they can easily be abused by others, which has been the case for the past 15 years. “These days we even heard some threats that this will happen in the future,” he added. Milanovic compared B&H under Dayton to an old Yugoslav “Yugo” car, commenting that the old car can continue to run if undisturbed. Likewise, while Dayton is not an ideal solution, B&H can still function, reported quoted. Milanovic added: “At least now we have heard that people are thinking about, and intend, and are working to topple the Dayton Accords.”
FM: Croatia insists Croats in Bosnia elect their own government representatives (Hina)
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman said on Thursday Croatia insisted that Croats in B&H be able to elect their political representatives in government and be equal to the other two constituent peoples in the country. “Our interest is that the status of the Croat people in Bosnia be as guaranteed by the Dayton agreement. Bosnia is one state of two entities and three constituent peoples who should be equal, which means that each people elects its own representatives at all government levels,” he said on Plehan, a hill near Derventa in the B&H Serb entity. “As a co-signatory to the Dayton peace agreement, but also under its constitution, Croatia has the duty to provide for Croats in B&H.” The Minister addressed the press after attending the signing of an agreement on the continuation of the reconstruction of a Franciscan monastery on Plehan which was destroyed in the war by the B&H Serb army. The reconstruction is being financed by the Croatian government and representatives of local Croats and B&H Croat institutions. The reconstruction of this structure, symbolizing the return and the wish of Croats to live in pre-war homes, is important, said Grlic-Radman. “The monastery was destroyed during the 1991-95 war… but the will to live and return prevailed, which we as the Croatian government want, encouraging Croats to return to B&H financially and politically.” The minister said Croatia had set aside considerable funds for religious structures as well as for schools, culture and the transfer of knowledge. “Because it’s in our interests that Croats in Bosnia live in their homes, that those who fled come back.” “Once, there were 6,300 people on Plehan. Today, unfortunately, only 77. Now all the conditions have been created for people to live in peace, in a democratic state.”
Osmani: First intergovernmental conference is already agreed (MIA)
The intergovernmental conference that marks the start of the European Union accession negotiations is set for December. A consensus over this issue was reached back in March, with Bulgaria also providing its support, said Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani on Thursday. FM Osmani was quizzed about his expectations after Bulgaria released the explanatory memorandum to EU members in light of the decision for the start of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations, in which it denies the contemporary Macedonian language and identity. “The intergovernmental conference is not a separate decision from the one adopted in March, I interpret it more as operationalization of the Council decision. The decision was adopted by consensus, including Bulgaria, which has provided its unilateral remarks. We should not impose a negative dynamics and pressure. Now is the time to establish intensive communication at a political level but also within the joint commission on historical issues,” Osmani told a press conference alongside Albanian counterpart Gent Cakaj, who is paying an official visit to Skopje. He said the Friendship Treaty is based on good will and mutual respect, and the commission is established in order to find common aspects. Regarding revolutionary Goce Delchev, he said the best way to honor him was to build highway Skopje-Sofia that would be named after him. “I truly believe that politics and politicians can only interfere in the attempt of historians and academia to shed light on these issues that burden both countries,” said Osmani. Cakaj said closure of all open issues lead to enhancement of regional security, adding that Albania and North Macedonia have had excellent cooperation on the common EU integration path. “Albania supports the EU accession of all countries in the Western Balkans,” noted Cakaj.
Dimitrov: New methodology allows for more dynamic negotiating process, goal is to make full use of this (MIA)
Deputy PM for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov met Thursday with Albanian Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj, who is paying an official visit to North Macedonia. Talks focused on the upcoming finalization of the negotiating framework and the opportunities facing the two countries in the coming period, the Secretariat for European Affairs said in a press release. “The new methodology allows for a more dynamic and credible negotiating process. Our goal is to make full use of this,” Dimitrov pointed out. In addition, Dimitrov and Cakaj discussed cross-border cooperation as part of the European instruments and its effect on bringing together people and businesses from the border regions. Interlocutors agreed that the two countries will continue in the coming period to foster good neighborly relations, cooperation as part of regional initiatives, as one of the key preconditions for lasting stability and economic prosperity of the entire region.