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Belgrade Media Report 30 October

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LOCAL PRESS

Belgrade delegation in Brussels launched ZSO issue, diametrically opposed stands on property issues (RTV/Tanjug/FoNet)
Lajcak: Holding of new round is one more step toward agreement (Beta)
Li Keqiang congratulates Brnabic on new term in office (RTS/Tanjug)
Selakovic with Chinese Ambassador: Enrichment of comprehensive strategic partnership (RTS)
Botsan-Kharchenko delivers Matviyenko’s letter to Dacic (RTV/Tanjug)
Patriarch Irinej: Death of Bishop Amfilohije one of the saddest days in SPC history (Nova.rs/Tanjug)
Patriarch Irinej will hold funeral service for Metropolitan Amfilohije in Podgorica (B92)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dodik and Lavrov conclude in phone conversation that time of international rule in B&H represented by OHR is over (ATV)
Dodik: Inzko could have read DPA at least once in these years (ATV)
RS government adopts 24th report for UNSC (RTRS)
B&H CoM reaches decision on appointment of expert and legal team for monitoring of situation and activities regarding disposal of radioactive and nuclear waste at Trgovska Gora (BHT1)
EU will intensify engagement in Western Balkans and in B&H the EU will work on facilitating of political dialogue and continuation of reforms (Dnevni avaz)
Montenegro

Bishop Amfilohije dies in Montenegrin capital (N1)
Mandic can’t understand why Krivokapic is attacking him and DF (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia

Zaev denies Politico report of a new deal with Bulgaria (Republika)
Albania

Electoral changes, overturn of decree risks Albania’s EU future; DP (ADN)

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LOCAL PRESS 

Belgrade delegation in Brussels launched ZSO issue, diametrically opposed stands on property issues (RTV/Tanjug/FoNet

The Head of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic said on Thursday that in the new round of the dialogue in Brussels Belgrade launched the issue of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO). “Our bilateral and trilateral meeting started with the ZSO issue. Everybody needs to know that whatever issue is launched, there is no progress in the dialogue without the formation of the ZSO. This is now clear to everyone,” Petkovic told journalists in Brussels. We will see how the Pristina side will behave, because Pristina is saying that the ZSO can be formed how the so-called Constitutional court of so-called Kosovo states. “This is unacceptable because it was not agreed in Brussels. We need a serious institution, with executive powers. At issue is the essence, the collective rights of the Serbs,” said Petkovic. Asked when the high-level meeting can be expected, Petkovic said that this depended on Brussels. “When the following meeting and at what level will occur depends from the EU, which is conducting the dialogue and which, as the host, invites the two sides for resumption of talks,” said Petkovic.

Petkovic noted that the two sides had diametrically opposed stands regarding the issue of property and financial claims. He says that the implementation of the Brussels agreement is necessary for resumption of the dialogue and building trust in order to make a step forward in further talks in Brussels. Petkovic reiterated that Belgrade fulfilled everything that was agreed and now requires that everything be fulfilled that Pristina had not fulfilled for seven and a half years, the ZSO.

Lajcak: Holding of new round is one more step toward agreement (Beta)  

The EU special representative for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Miroslav Lajcak stated that finance and property were discussed during the new round of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at the level of experts in Brussels, and that one more step had been made toward reaching an agreement. “Today we made another step towards a comprehensive normalization agreement by holding a second round of talks on financial claims and property. And it was the first time the new Serbian chief negotiator Petar Petkovic joined our discussions. To be continued soon,” Lajcak tweeted.

 

Li Keqiang congratulates Brnabic on new term in office (RTS/Tanjug

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked on Thursday with Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Serbia Chen Bo, who wished success to the new government of Serbia.

On this occasion, the Ambassador of China handed over a letter of congratulations of Premier of China Li Keqiang for the composition of the new government and the new mandate of Prime Minister Brnabic. The Prime Minister expressed her gratitude for the sincere friendship with Serbia and for the help that China provided to our health system during the difficult months of the coronavirus pandemic and underlined that the new government will strive with the same intensity to deepen relations with this friendly country. Brnabic gave her thanks for the congratulations of the Premier of China, saying that the new government will work dedicatedly on deepening relations with that country and on joint projects that contribute to the economic development and well-being of the citizens of both countries. The Chinese Ambassador emphasised that the two countries are linked by extremely important projects of strategic importance in the field of environment, transport infrastructure and railways, and that she sees the field of innovation as a sector with great potential for cooperation in the coming years.

Selakovic with Chinese Ambassador: Enrichment of comprehensive strategic partnership (RTS

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic received today Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Serbia Chen Bo, who congratulated him on taking up his new duty. Bo handed over a congratulatory message sent to Selakovic by State Counsellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi, on the occasion of taking office. The officials expressed mutual satisfaction with the extraordinary relations between the two countries and readiness for further enrichment of the comprehensive strategic partnership. Selakovic congratulated China on the successful fight against COVID-19, and reiterated his gratitude for the overall help of the government of that country, Chinese provinces and companies, and especially the huge help of the Chinese people to Serbia. Opinions were exchanged regarding improvement of overall cooperation, through intensifying the political dialogue and exchange of visits at the high and highest political level, while mutual support was reiterated on issues of national interest for the two sides. It was agreed at the meeting to further intensify cooperation within the Belt and Road initiative, as well as the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism (17 + 1), to which our side attaches great importance.

Botsan-Kharchenko delivers Matviyenko’s letter to Dacic (RTV/Tanjug

The Chairperson of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko congratulated Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic on taking up his new position and wished him success in this responsible new post. Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko delivered the letter to Dacic. Emphasizing Dacic’s stellar reputation in the Russian Federation, the letter goes on to state that in his position as a high dignitary in the Serbian executive he had greatly contributed to the strengthening of friendly relations and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia. The development of cooperation between the two parliaments had also taken great strides in the previous period, which would hopefully be continued in the future. Dacic said he was sorry to hear that the visit of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had to be postponed, hoping that it would be realized as soon as circumstances allow.

Patriarch Irinej: Death of Bishop Amfilohije one of the saddest days in SPC history (Nova.rs/Tanjug

Serbian Patriarch Irinej has stated that the death of Bishop Amfilohije represents one of the saddest days in the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC). “This is one of the saddest days for our church. Great loss and great sorrow. A good man and a great theologian left. We did not expect that, we hoped that everything would end well. May God give him eternal bliss. We are deprived of a great personality,” the Patriarch told Nova.rs.

Patriarch Irinej will hold funeral service for Metropolitan Amfilohije in Podgorica (B92

Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Amfilohije will be buried on 1 November in the crypt of the Cathedral in Podgorica, as Episcopal Council announced. As it was announced, Amfilohije will be transferred to Cetinje today, and tomorrow a liturgy will be served in the Cetinje Monastery, on the feast of St. Peter of Cetinje, at 9 o’clock. On the same day, at 1 pm, there will be a solemn farewell of Metropolitan Amfilohije from the Cetinje Monastery to Podgorica, and at 2 pm there will be a transfer to the Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection in Podgorica. His body will be in the Temple until Sunday, 1 November, when Patriarch Irinej will serve the liturgy with several archbishops of several churches. After the liturgy, a service will be held, followed by a funeral. Metropolitan Amfilohije, at his own request, will be buried in the crypt of the Cathedral in Podgorica in a grave prepared for his life – it is stated in the announcement.

REGIONAL PRESS 

 

Dodik and Lavrov conclude in phone conversation that time of international rule in B&H represented by OHR is over (ATV)

Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency Milorad Dodik and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Sergei Lavrov concluded in a phone conversation on Thursday that the time of the international rule in B&H represented by the Office of the High Representative (OHR) is over and that B&H must make decisions on its future autonomously and independently. Dodik wished Lavrov good health as Lavrov began with self-isolation on Tuesday because he was in contact with a person infected with the Coronavirus, which is why he had to postpone his visit to B&H and Republika Srpska (RS). He thanked Lavrov for the principled policy the Russian Federation has continuously conducted in B&H. Dodik told reporters later on Thursday that Lavrov confirmed that a meeting between Dodik and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is being prepared and that it should be held by the end of the year, in case the epidemiologic situation is improved by December. Dodik also announced that Lavrov believes a department of the Russian Embassy to B&H needs to be opened in Banja Luka. The two officials discussed the procurement of Russian vaccines against Covid-19 as well. ˝Lavrov confirmed that the day the Russian vaccine is made available to citizens of Russia; we will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as well. We already signed a pre-contract on this, we expect this will happen and we believe that we can procure 200,000 doses if everything goes well˝ said Dodik. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the conversation between Dodik and Lavrov, as well. The Ministry published details of the phone conversation on its official site.

Dodik: Inzko could have read DPA at least once in these years (ATV)

Commenting on the statement of High Representative Valentin Inzko who said that entities exist only on the basis of the Constitution of B&H, Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik stated that Inzko could have read the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA) at least once in these years, which, among other things, describes his role in B&H, instead of reading the Federation of B&H (FB&H) press and getting information in the offices of Bosniak politicians. “If he had done that, he would have seen that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are part of the constitutional structure of B&H as they are an integral part of the Constitution of B&H. If he had read the Constitution of B&H, he would have known that these documents guarantee people’s right to self-determination,” Dodik said.

RS government adopts 24th report for UNSC (RTRS)

The RS government adopted the 24th report of the government for the UN Security Council (UNSC). The report highlights the dedication of the RS to the Dayton Peace Accords (DPA). It was also stated that SDA clearly shows rejection of the DPA. The dedication of the RS to the EU path of B&H was stressed, as well as assessing that the presence of the High Representative in B&H remains an obstacle to the EU integration. According to the report, SDA as the biggest Bosniak party in B&H disputes the DPA and it does not accept the Dayton-based compromise. The report reminds that SDA often demonstrates its denial of the Dayton, which is also visible from the SDA’s Declaration passed in September 2019 in which the party openly calls for the abolition of the Dayton-based structure of B&H. “Calls for the so-called civic state of B&H actually represent calls for a state in which they have a rule for the most numerous constituent peoples in B&H” reads the RS government’s report sent by RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic. The report also stresses the RS’ commitment to the DPA and the need that other interested parties also show the same commitment. The fifth chapter of the report refers to influx of migrants to B&H, which “brings threat to B&H security along with humanitarian crisis.”

B&H CoM reaches decision on appointment of expert and legal team for monitoring of situation and activities regarding disposal of radioactive and nuclear waste at Trgovska Gora (BHT1)

The B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) reached a decision on Thursday on appointment of the expert and legal team for monitoring the situation and activities regarding disposal of radioactive and nuclear waste at the location of Trgovska Gora. The B&H Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations announced that if necessary, they will seek help in Brussels because health of B&H citizens is the most important. Representatives of state authorities, entity authorities, cantonal and local authorities as well as members of the scientific community will be part of the team. The team will be tasked to draft a comprehensive, expert analysis of the situation and influence of possible disposal at the location of Trgovska Gora. Members of the team are supposed to hold a meeting in the next 15 days. Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of B&H Stasa Kosarac announced that they will demand – via the B&H Ministry of Foreign Affairs – consent for B&H experts to enter the Croatian territory in order to draft fully transparent analysis in cooperation with Croatian experts. Kosarac underlined the importance that B&H and Croatian experts have the same work dynamic when it comes to analysis of the soil. The Zagreb-based Rudjer Boskovic Institute confirmed for BHT1 that they begin activities in the area of the Municipality of Dvor. They te told BHT1 that there are no reasons for concern that the waste will come to the environment due to sophisticated and strictly controlled technology applied in case of disposal of this type of waste. The Rudjer Boskovic Institute also added that no warehouse of this type registered any incident. Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik said that the teams were finally formed after they were blocked by B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Bisera Turkovic. He stressed that it is necessary to protect themselves from the nuclear waste which will be disposed of from the nuclear power plant ‘Krsko’.

EU will intensify engagement in Western Balkans and in B&H the EU will work on facilitating of political dialogue and continuation of reforms (Dnevni avaz)

Dnevni avaz daily got insight into the report that EU High Representative Josep Borrell prepared for Council of the EU, which reads that the EU will intensify engagement in the Western Balkans and in B&H the EU will work on facilitating of political dialogue and continuation of reforms. The report reads that during the past year, Borrell has been working on fulfilling of EU’s general priority in the Western Balkans, which is support to the region and political, economic and social transformation and strengthening of the resistance of the states, which contributes to security of the EU. He noted that unequivocal European perspective of the region was reaffirmed on 6 May this year and noted that during 2020 the EU focused on dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, accelerating adoption of negotiation framework for Albania and North Macedonia, as well as supporting reforms in Serbia and Montenegro in order to have the countries accelerate their progress towards the membership. As for B&H, Borrell announces more active role of the EU on facilitating the dialogue with a goal to continue implementation of reforms and maintain of EUFOR in B&H and he announced that role of ‘Althea’ mission will be reviewed next year in line with the security situation. “In order to solve the issues which concern the migrations, it is necessary to continue close coordination and cooperation, including the protection and support to those who in need, monitoring of border management, improving of admission capacities, strengthening of support in readmission, fight against smuggling networks and deployment of EUROPOL liaison officers,” added Borrell. He also noted that EU will continue to strengthen cooperation with partners from the Western Balkans regarding the foreign policy and defense issues, including progressive harmonization with EU foreign policies. “This will most notably be achieved through regular political dialogues between the EU and Western Balkans. The EU will continue to promote cooperation on hybrid threats, fight against terrorism, prevention of radicalization and violent extremism, fight against organized crime, border security, illicit owning of weapon and weapon reserves,” noted Borrell.

 

Bishop Amfilohije dies in Montenegrin capital (N1

Bishop Amfilohije died early on Friday from coronavirus-related ailments, the Montenegro-Littoral Bishopric said in a press release. The press release said the Bishop died in the Montenegro Clinical Hospital Center in Podgorica at 8:20 on 30 October after receiving communion and added that funeral details would be released later. “Archbishop of Cetinje, Metropolitan of Montenegro and Exarch of the Holy Throne of Pec, Amfilohije, after having received the Holy Sacrament of Communion, reposed in the Lord in the Clinical Hospital Center of Montenegro, on Friday, October 30, 2020, at 8.20 am, on the eve of the feast of St. Peter of Cetinje,” the press release said. Reports appeared in media in both Belgrade and Podgorica late on Thursday that the bishop had died but that was denied by the Bishopric in a late night press release which said that the bishop was sick but stable. Bishop Amfilohije was seen as a leading opponent of the Montenegrin authorities under President Milo Djukanovic, especially after the adopting of the fiercely disputed law on freedom of confession which critics said allows the authorities to seize church properties. The majority of Orthodox Christians in Montenegro belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church with a minority loyal to the canonically unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church which Djukanovic’s opponents claim is part of his plans to create a separate Montenegrin nation. Bishop Amfilohije is also thought to have been one of the reasons why the opposition alliance which won the recent elections managed to keep together. Bishop Amfilohije was born Risto Radovic on Orthodox Christmas day, 7 January 1938 in the Montenegrin village of Bare Radovica. He was educated in church schools from the start, graduating from the Church University in Belgrade and getting a degree in classic languages from Belgrade University and going on to post-graduate studies in Bern and Rome. He was a professor at the Church University in Belgrade and served as its dean. Amfilohije was a monk who spoke six languages. He was named Metropolitan (Bishop) of the Montenegro Littoral Bishopric in 1990.

 

Mandic can’t understand why Krivokapic is attacking him and DF (CdM)

After Zdravko Krivokapic said that Andrija Mandic “did not appoint him holder of the list and that he was not responsible for any politician,” Mandic reacted and pointed out that he couldn’t understand attacks on DF and himself. “Krivokapic was suggested by the present higher church hierarchy. It was condition for their support. They told me then: If you want our support, they you should accept this believing and healing man as the first man of your coalition list. Although there were some speculations, we refused to believe and I accepted their suggestion and from being the first man on the list I went last,” Mandic says. He stresses that many members of the New Serbian Democracy were not satisfied with his decision. “I am wondering if Krivokapic accepts that easily anyone who might be useful for him? Some people assured us that Krivokapic was DPS voter, but we chose to believe our clergy. By the way, I didn’t know this man, and I have never heard him criticize DPS or its president. And even though I directed election campaign, he doesn’t even know us now. Like, he has heard of us and that’s all. I don’t know if he knows that almost 5.000 our activists and thousands of people from our parties took part in the campaign, that media agencies, printing houses, various other companies and professionals were employed,” Mandic states. Those who wanted him to be the holder of the list didn’t give a single cent for the campaign, Mandic stresses. “By distancing from us, he is getting closer to those who control the other list. I don’t understand why, if he had that privilege to be the first on the list,” Mandic says. Krivokapic said in the interview for Nedjeljnik that he hadn’t known DF leaders personally.

 

Zaev denies Politico report of a new deal with Bulgaria (Republika)

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev pleaded ignorance of the latest Politico report, according to which he has agreed to accept the Bulgarian positions on the key Macedonian national identity positions, in order to open the EU accession talks. Zaev evoked the Prespa treaty he signed with Greece, insisting that it recognized the existence of the Macedonian nation and language, as precedent that Bulgaria can’t now re-open these issues. Greece recognized out right to self-determination. There will be no negotiations over our identity and our Macedonian language, and nobody is asking for such. Bulgaria is a friendly country and Bulgaria publicly states that it recognizes the Macedonian language and the Macedonian people. It recognizes the reality. I believe that our working groups who are holding talks will find solutions and I expect from the Bulgarian people and the Bulgarian leadership to make specific steps on the Macedonian nation and the Macedonian language. I emphasize again, there will be no new treaty or a new annex to the treaty. We are ready to clarify or specify some issues, Zaev said. In its update on developments from Brussels, Politico reported that there is a “MACEDONIAN COMPROMISE” on the table, although the wording of whether it has been accepted is neither here nor there: “MACEDONIAN COMPROMISE: During Wednesday’s meeting of EU ambassadors, the laborious issue of historical truth — or truths — in the Western Balkans came up again … this time in the form of a Bulgarian compromise that would allow the launch of formal talks with (North) Macedonia, a senior diplomat told our own Jacopo Barigazzi. What’s in the deal: Bulgaria would recognize Macedonian as one of the official languages of the country and acknowledge a Macedonian identity. In return, (North) Macedonia would need to acknowledge the “historical truth,” as defined by Sofia, and admit there are Bulgarian foundations upon which any Macedonian identity, and the official language, have been created”, Politico reported. Under this deal, Macedonia would get the right to nominally use the terms “Macedonian” but they would be devoid of much of their essence, as Bulgaria wants Macedonia to accept that the Macedonian nation and language are recent derivatives from the Bulgarian nation and language.

 

Electoral changes, overturn of decree risks Albania’s EU future; DP (ADN)

The Democratic Party stated that with the overturn of President Meta’s decree, Prime Minister Edi Rama is risking Albania’s European integration. In a statement to the media, the general secretary of the Democratic Party, Gazment Bardhi stated that the Electoral Code is a guarantee for the conduct of free and fair elections and not a referendum for the SP. “With the overturn of the president’s decree, rejecting the call of the European Union to wait for the opinion of the Venice Commission on the unilateral Electoral Code, Albania is less democratic and less European. By rejecting repeated calls from the European Union, Edi Rama is no different from Lukashenko. For his personal power, he is ready to set fire to Albania, isolate the Albanians and punish them by deliberately obstructing the opening of talks for the country’s membership in the European Union.” Bardhi added that Rama is afraid of free elections and to avoid them he violated the Agreement of 14 January and 5 June and refused the real opening of the lists and the voting of the deputies directly by the citizens. In conclusion, he declared that after 25 April, Rama will be held legally responsible for all violations.

 

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