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Belgrade Media Report 12 October

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LOCAL PRESS

Brnabic: Exceptional cooperation of Serbia with UN (Tanjug/Novosti)
Selakovic: UN SC Resolution 1244 guarantee of peace, stability (RTS/Tanjug/Politika)
Selakovic thanked Zimbabwe for principled and consistent support for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)
Selakovic thanks Angola for firm stance on Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug)
Selakovic: No open issues in Serbia-South Africa relations (Tanjug)
Brnabic thanks India for respect of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)
Brnabic thanks Iraq on principled position concerning Kosovo and Metohija and respect for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)
Vucic: Gratitude to Angola for support to Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)
Vucic thanks Algeria for principled position of non-recognition of unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo (Tanjug)
Relations of Serbia, Kuwait progress towards strategic cooperation (Tanjug/RTV)
Vucic, Al Saud discuss strengthening of dialogue, economic ties (Tanjug)
Vucic, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister discuss bilateral cooperation (Tanjug)
Mbella Mbella: NAM a concrete force advocating peace (Tanjug)
Agreement on military technical cooperation signed with Azerbaijan (RTS/Tanjug)
Guterres: NAM plays important role in today’s world (Beta/Politika)
Dacic: Majority of NAM countries recognize Serbia’s integrity (RTV/Tanjug/FoNet)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dodik accuses US, some of EU countries of destabilization of B&H at NAM summit (BHT1)
Dodik holds several meetings on sidelines of NAM summit in Belgrade: There is room for engagement of companies from B&H in infrastructure (RTRS/ATV)
Dacic: Dayton agreement is the red line for Serbia (Glas Srpske)
Selakovic: I expect Zvizdic to at least support Serbia’s territorial integrity (Nezavisne)
Izetbegovic says there will be no talks without international friends; Dodik reminds that it is precisely because of work of foreigners that B&H is in situation it is in (FTV/RTRS)
If Dodik will be held accountable for blockade of B&H, who will be held accountable for blockade of FB&H? (Dnevni list)
HNS Presidency discusses political situation in B&H and Election Law issue (FTV)
Djonlagic: HDZ B&H has finally admitted it is against implementation of ECHR’s judgments (Dnevni list)
Croatia

Activists, intellectuals call for urgent return of US leadership in Balkans (N1)
Civic model in B&H is completely different from Western European model (Vecernji list)
Montenegro

Djeka: PM frivolously texts us to come to meeting (RTCG)
No date for publication of the EC report on Montenegro yet (RTCG)
Republic of North Macedonia

New poll shows VMRO-DPMNE with large lead over SDSM (Republika)
Albania

Balla receives the German Ambassador: A new phase of cooperation with the opposition (Radio Tirana)
New Media Agency, OSCE: Implementation remains a challenge, we will monitor it (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

Brnabic: Exceptional cooperation of Serbia with UN (Tanjug/Novosti)

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met on Monday with President of the 76th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Abdulla Shahid. At the beginning of the meeting, Shahid praised Serbia’s activities on the donation of coronavirus vaccines to the countries in the region and to African countries, which he sees as an extraordinary act of tolerance and solidarity. Brnabic underlined that the Republic of Serbia has exceptional cooperation with the UN, which is getting improved year in year out. The interlocutors noted that the General Debate in the UN Assembly, held in New York last month, at which the Serbian Prime Minister took part, was a great opportunity for the whole world to hear about the challenges which some countries around the world face. Both sides agreed that the most topical issues in the world at the moment are climate change and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with an emphasis on the even distribution of vaccines to all countries of the world. Shahid underlined that one of the UN priorities during the 76th session, which he presides, is the empowerment of girls and women, with the aim of reaching full equality with men in the whole world. Both sides agreed that Serbia is an excellent example given that ten ministries have women at their forefront and that almost 40 percent of Serbian MPs are women.

Selakovic: UN SC Resolution 1244 guarantee of peace, stability (RTS/Tanjug/Politika)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met on Monday with President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid. Selakovic congratulated Shahid on the speech at the commemorative gathering on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), noting that the values ​​and goals of NAM largely coincide with the priorities of the UN. According to Selakovic, Serbia agrees with the assessment that it is necessary to strengthen multilateralism and the role of the UN in the modern world, which is facing complex challenges. Selakovic informed his interlocutor about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and the position of the Serb people in the province, emphasizing that during this year there has been a dramatic increase in ethnically motivated attacks on Serbs. He highlighted that the rate of return of Serbs to Kosovo and Metohija, of approximately 2%, is the lowest in all post-conflict areas in the world. Underlining that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is a guarantee of peace and stability, the Serbian Foreign Minister said that the UN is a key place for defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, as well as international law, on which our country relies. Selakovic added that Serbia insists on the importance of continuing UNMIK’s engagement in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as continuous consideration of the situation in our southern province before the UN Security Council. Selakovic pointed out that our country is consistently committed to preserving peace and stability in the region, but also to protecting the Serb population in Kosovo and Metohija, and therefore we expect all actors that make up the international presence in Kosovo and Metohija to act objectively and status-neutral, contributing to the stabilization of circumstances. Selakovic added that Serbia proves its commitment to peace by participating in five UN peacekeeping missions, with a total of 263 members, which makes us the largest contributor in the region and one of the largest in Europe in terms of population. Selakovic also informed the President of the UN General Assembly about the activities and results of Serbia in the field of gender equality, reads the statement of the Serbian Foreign Ministry.

Selakovic thanked Zimbabwe for principled and consistent support for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met with Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Frederick Shava on Monday on the margins of the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM in Belgrade.

They said boosting political dialogue by exchanging high- and top-level visits was in mutual interest. Selakovic thanked Zimbabwe for its principled and consistent support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia and protection of Serbia’s state and national interests in multilateral organizations. The parties agreed that bilateral relations were traditionally friendly and that efforts must be made to take economic cooperation to a higher level, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Selakovic said there was very ample room for strengthening the cooperation in trade and agriculture. Selakovic said he was confident the planned opening of a Serbian diplomatic and consular representation office in Harare would accelerate the restoration of close ties between the two countries. Shava thanked Serbia for its solidarity and a donation of 30,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Zimbabwe.

Selakovic thanks Angola for firm stance on Kosovo and Metohija (Tanjug)

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met with his Angolan counterpart Tete Antonio on Tuesday, thanking Angola for its firm stance on the Kosovo and Metohija issue and unequivocal support to Serbia in international organizations, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said. Meeting with Antonio on the margins of the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM in Belgrade, Selakovic noted Serbia’s unequivocal support to Angola in international forums, as well as its commitment to help Angola and its people where possible and as needed. Selakovic said Angola had been a significant economic partner of the former Yugoslavia and added that Yugoslav companies had been in charge of major projects in the petrochemicals, construction, mining and agriculture industries and investments. He expressed the hope a trend of Serbian companies returning to the Angolan market would be continued. The ministers agreed that holding a bilateral business forum would be significant for boosting economic cooperation and tapping business potentials.

Selakovic: No open issues in Serbia-South Africa relations (Tanjug)

Meeting with South African Deputy Foreign Minister Alvin Botes on Monday, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said the two countries maintained good political relations without open issues. Selakovic said South Africa’s support to Serbia regarding the Kosovo and Metohija issue – bilaterally as well as in international forums – was of great significance, the Serbian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Selakovic said he expected South Africa to continue to respect the basic principles of international law and maintain that position. He said Serbia was committed to continued high- and top-level dialogue and more frequent exchanges of visits.

He said the level of bilateral economic cooperation was below realistic possibilities and that the potentials for cooperation were many – in particular in the fields of agriculture, trade and modern technologies – considering that South Africa was a growing market.

Brnabic thanks India for respect of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic spoke today with Special Envoy to the Prime Minister and Minister of State for External Affairs of India Meenakashi Lekhi. Brnabic expressed her satisfaction with the arrival of the delegation of India and its participation in the high-level meeting dedicated to the marking of the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement, especially bearing in mind the importance of India in this movement. The two officials confirmed that the relations between the two countries are traditionally good and friendly and Brnabic thanked India on its principled stance regarding the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and the respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia. Both sides concluded that there are various strategic fields in which the cooperation between the two countries can be improved, including agriculture, energy, trade and culture. Additionally, Serbia is interested in improving cooperation in the field of film industry. Speaking about the importance of cultural cooperation, Lekhi underlined that it is especially important that both countries work on better mutual acquaintance of societies and cultures, which will contribute to even better connections. Brnabic expressed gratitude to Lekhi on the support of India in the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.

Brnabic thanks Iraq on principled position concerning Kosovo and Metohija and respect for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic talked today with Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein, who leads that country’s delegation at the high-level meeting dedicated to marking the 60th anniversary of the NAM. During the talks it was emphasized that the relations between the two countries are good and friendly and that this high-level meeting is an opportunity to speak about further improvement of cooperation in various fields. Brnabic expressed gratitude on the principled position of Iraq concerning Kosovo and Metohija and the respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia. Brnabic and Hussein highlighted the importance of improving economic cooperation, and Brnabic pointed to the results Serbia achieved in the IT sector. Hussein stated that Serbian companies are welcome in Iraq, especially in the sector od civil engineering, health care and education, and noted that Serbia set an excellent example by building three new Covid hospitals in a very short time. Brnabic and Hussein also discussed the ongoing energy crisis, the statement said.

Vucic: Gratitude to Angola for support to Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Monday received Angolan Defense Minister Joao Ernesto dos Santos, with whom he recalled a 2013 visit to Angola and the traditional friendship that has been connecting the two countries since the era of the former Yugoslavia and membership in the NAM. Vucic asked dos Santos to convey to the Angolan leadership the gratitude for its understanding for Serbia’s positions regarding Kosovo and Metohija and for its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignly of Serbia as this is also a testimony to respect of international law, the presidential press office said in a statement. He also urged greater cooperation between the two countries in international organizations. Vucic and dos Santos reviewed possibilities for stronger ties in security and defense, identifying strategic objectives of cooperation in that area.

Vucic thanks Algeria for principled position of non-recognition of unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Monday with Algerian Prime Minister Aymen Benabderrahmane, thanking him for attending the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM in Belgrade. Vucic and Benabderrahmane discussed numerous topics of mutual interest, including further steps towards developing bilateral relations, the presidential press office said in a statement. Vucic noted that Benabderrahmane’s visit would spur further enhancement of Serbian-Algerian cooperation, which he said was below the level of the present possibilities. At the same time, they identified agriculture and tourism as the sectors the most prepared to contribute to stronger ties. Vucic particularly thanked Algeria for its principled position of non-recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of so-called Kosovo.

Relations of Serbia, Kuwait progress towards strategic cooperation (Tanjug/RTV)

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic met on Monday with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah. The bilateral meeting was held in the spirit of traditionally good and friendly relations and both sides agreed that political dialogue should be further dynamized. At the beginning of the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait cordially congratulated the Republic of Serbia on its idea to organize a NAM conference, and then on the way everything has been prepared and carried out. According to him, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, as an umbrella organization, work on the formation of economic plans for strategic cooperation with Serbia and this is an introduction to all other bilateral visit that will ensue. Brnabic voiced hope that this conference will be an impetus for further cooperation.

Vucic, Al Saud discuss strengthening of dialogue, economic ties (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Monday met with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud. Vucic thanked Al Saud for attending a commemorative meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the first conference of the NAM, whose principles they said were respected and followed by both Serbia and Saudi Arabia. The conversation addressed the strengthening of political dialogue and economic cooperation. Vucic and Al Saud said the next step towards comprehensive strengthening of the cooperation should be aimed at exchanging official visits.

The parties said there was room for enhancement of Serbia-Saudi Arabia economic ties since they were now significantly below the possibilities in terms of both scope and quality. For that reason, they also discussed specific proposals for cooperation and Vucic urged Saudi businesspeople and investors to invest in Serbia and develop joint projects with Serbian businesspeople. Al Saud said his country was particularly interested in strengthening the cooperation in the agriculture and tourism sectors.

Vucic, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister discuss bilateral cooperation (Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Monday met with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abdul Momen, who attended the 60th anniversary summit of the Non-Aligned Movement earlier in the day, to discuss bilateral cooperation. Vucic told Momen the achievements of the movement were a good foundation for further development of cooperation, which he said was now needed on a global scale more than ever before, the presidential press office said in a statement. The parties agreed that enhancing bilateral economic cooperation was a priority for the coming period considering the good economic results the two countries were achieving. Momen described Bangladesh as a land of opportunity with a large labor force that was contributing to the economic growth of various countries. Cooperation in the textile and pharmaceuticals industries and the IT sector was proposed at the meeting.

Mbella Mbella: NAM a concrete force advocating peace (Tanjug)

The NAM has been, and is, a concrete, real force advocating world peace, Cameroonian Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella said on Tuesday in Belgrade, opening a plenary session of the second day of the 60th anniversary summit of the NAM. Sixty years ago, thanks to the wisdom of the NAM’s founders, the way was paved for many countries to gain independence, he said.

In spite of everything that was going on in the world at the time, the 1961 founding summit in Belgrade empowered the movement in its beginnings, which reaffirmed its fundamental principles and goals, he said. Burkina Faso official Evelyn Ebodu said the 60th anniversary of the NAM was being commemorated in a time of a major health and financial crisis. The anniversary commemoration in Belgrade demonstrates our evident will to continue to strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation among NAM member states, she said. She added that, for six decades, the NAM had been a framework for exchanges and meetings, as well as for protecting and defending the interests of the member states.

Agreement on military technical cooperation signed with Azerbaijan (RTS/Tanjug)

Serbian Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic met on Monday with the Minister of Defense Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Colonel General Madat Guliyev, on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremony of opening the Armament and Defense Equipment Fair “Partner 2021”. The two officials signed the Agreement on military technical cooperation between the governments of Serbia and Azerbaijan. Stefanovic said that the participation of the Azerbaijani delegation at the tenth, jubilee Armament and Defense Equipment Fair “Partner 2021” is one of the impulses and an excellent opportunity to discuss concrete steps aimed at improving cooperation. With the entry into force of this Agreement, a legal framework for cooperation between the two ministries in the military economic and military technical sphere is created, through realization of projects of common interest, Stefanovic said. Guliyev said that he is honored for his country’s participation in the “Partner 2021” fair. Our presidents cherish close ties and support each other in everything and we, of course, support the integrity of the Serbian state. The agreement signed today will further improve relations between our countries, Guliyev stated.

Guterres: NAM plays important role in today’s world (Beta/Politika)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the NAM had been playing an important role in today’s world, underlining its contribution to efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. “The NAM has a key role in the world. The UN held a special session on the pandemic at the initiative of the Movement,” Guterres said at the High-Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the First Conference of NAM. In his video address, the UN Secretary-General said that he had been pushing for a global vaccination plan for a long time, adding that the enormous number of deaths occurred due to uneven vaccine distribution. Guterres pointed to other global problems, too, above all climate change, pollution and unemployment. President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, attending Belgrade’s conference celebrating the anniversary, said that in the fight for better and more just international relations there’s no greater power than the NAM.

Dacic: Majority of NAM countries recognize Serbia’s integrity (RTV/Tanjug/FoNet)

Serbian parliament speaker Ivica Dacic assessed on Monday night that the organization of the Summit of the NAM in Belgrade is an extraordinary image that Serbia sends to the world and emphasized that most NAM countries recognize the territorial integrity of our country. On the eve of the gala dinner for the summit participants in the Serbian parliament, he said that this was a large gathering, perhaps the largest at the moment in the world, which was being held live. “Numerous heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers are here … The NAM was formed here in 1961, and for us this movement is of great importance, because the vast majority of members support the territorial integrity of Serbia, especially regarding Kosovo and Metohija. The NAM members have always had an understanding for our problems, our views. It is in our great interest to restore the memory and importance of cooperation with non-aligned countries,” Dacic told TV Tanjug. He said that the UN has 192 members, and that the NAM, as he pointed out, has 120 members, and that only Palestine is not a member of the UN. “Out of 120 members, 74 do not recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija. The movement still has a very important role, the President of the UN Assembly is also present here. Regardless of the fact that we have a European path, we do not mind. Those countries are our friends, and they are also interested in economic cooperation,” said Dacic.

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Dodik accuses US, some of EU countries of destabilization of B&H at NAM summit (BHT1

 

A two-day summit organized on the occasion of marking the 60th anniversary of the of the establishment of the NAM was opened in Belgrade on Monday. Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) as an observer state at the summit was represented by Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik. During his address, Dodik accused the US and some of the EU countries of applying double standards, stressing that great powers do not respect the UN due to which the High Representative (HR) was unlawfully imposed in B&H. “Double standards applied in the 1990s and today have led our country to the verge of breakdown,” Dodik said. Dodik’s address did not get the consent by B&H Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic and Bosniak member of B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, who previously cancelled their participation at the summit after former official of the Federation of B&H (FB&H) Police Administration Edin Vranj was arrested by the Serbian police on war crime charges. Addressing the summit, Dodik advocated peaceful resolution of internal and interstate issues, stressing that it is good that the voice of the Republika Srpska (RS) was heard at the summit. Dodik stressed that B&H is a country under the protectorate of the US, part of European countries, Japan and Canada, united in the intention to impose their solutions on B&H, and that, as Dodik said, has led B&H to the brink of disintegration. Dodik warned that this is how the High Representative was imposed in B&H as a synonym of that protectorate, who continues to bluff his importance without a decision of the Security Council. Dodik said it is important for the position of the RS to be heard and that the protectorate of the international community over B&H has led to its dissolution. “Persistent condemnation of only one people, Serb people, and persistently indulging the other people, Bosniaks, have created an environment of mistrust, complete absence of communication and cooperation, and the desire for self-determination, that is the only thing to bring back the stability and further progress and development in this part of Europe. Such statements may seem as blasphemy to some, but I stand before you as the representative of the people that has always been on the side of the righteous in all wars the region has faced, and now is suffering, due to bad, reckless and the unjust policy of the said centers of power,” said Dodik. Dodik also said in his address that the world is under a constant threat of poverty and terrorism, including B&H. Dodik also claimed he was not at the Summit as a representative of B&H but rather of the RS. Nevertheless, Dodik’s speech was delivered with the name tag that presented him in the capacity of the B&H Presidency member. Dodik said that he COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest crises of the modern times, during which some large and seemingly well-organized systems such as the EU and WHO collapsed, and at the same time completely forgot about small countries which are not part of the system. Dodik expressed concerns over the fact that the world is facing a constant escalation of political and military conflicts, as well as migrant crisis, terrorism, poverty and climate change. B&H Presidency Chairman Zeljko Komsic commented on Dodik’s participation in the summit in Belgrade. “I do not know who is more foolish here? Dodik who goes to that gathering and says that he is not going on behalf of B&H or the one who invited him like that! And we guess who invited him! I said earlier why I refused to go,” Komsic was quoted as saying.

Dodik holds several meetings on sidelines of NAM summit in Belgrade: There is room for engagement of companies from B&H in infrastructure (RTRS/ATV

 

A number of bilateral meetings were held on the sidelines of the summit marking the 60th anniversary of the founding of the NAM in Belgrade. Milorad Dodik met on Monday with the delegations of Iraq and Azerbaijan. One of the topics of the meeting between Dodik and representatives of Iraq was improvement of economic cooperation and engagement of companies from the RS and the FB&H in infrastructure reconstruction in Iraq. Dodik stressed that the time of stabilization and reconstruction is coming and that he believes that there is room for the engagement of companies from B&H in Iraq. Dodik also met with President of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid. Dodik met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Sunday. ATV reports that Dodik informed Lavrov about the situation in the RS and B&H, and the main topic were decisions of the B&H Constitutional Court (CC), “damaging for the RS”, and the issue of the HR in B&H Christian Schmidt’s function. Addressing the media after the meeting, Dodik said: “We talked about the HR. The position of Russia is known, i.e. it does not accept arrival of a man who presents himself as the HR, and that without the decision of the UN Security Council he does not have legitimacy. Russians have earlier proposed for him to be appointed in a duration of several years and that the Resolution clearly determines he does not have the Bonn Powers. They will again try to work on that. We also discussed the Operation Althea that is present there.” Dodik added they also discussed economic cooperation between the RS and Russia and everything that needed to be done to improve the cooperation, and cultural projects.

Dacic: Dayton agreement is the red line for Serbia (Glas Srpske

 

Speaker of the Serbian parliament Ivica Dacic said that when it comes to the situation in the region, for Serbia Resolution 1244 of the UN Security Council and the Dayton Peace Accords are ‘the red line’. According to Dacic, it is extremely important that the state leadership and President Aleksandar Vucic said that recognition of independent Kosovo is out of question. Dacic went on to say that as for protection of the RS, in other words the issue of the RS’ survival is concerned, Serbia is not interfering into internal matters of B&H, in issues such as who will be in certain political positions, how the three peoples and the two entities will agree etc.

Selakovic: I expect Zvizdic to at least support Serbia’s territorial integrity (Nezavisne

 

Last Sunday, B&H House of Representatives speaker Denis Zvizdic sent a message to Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic, telling him that if he claims that Serbia respects territorial integrity of B&H and if it really wants good relations with B&H, then Serbia must respect territorial integrity, sovereignty, political independence and international status of B&H. Selakovic responded to Zvizdic responded by saying that he expects Zvizdic to support Serbia’s territorial integrity at least.  “I expect Denis Zvizdic to at least support Serbia’s territorial integrity in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 1244. And, I will wait for him to support its sovereignty too,” Selakovic posted on Twitter.

Izetbegovic says there will be no talks without international friends; Dodik reminds that it is precisely because of work of foreigners that B&H is in situation it is in (FTV/RTRS

 

FTV carries that SDA, HDZ B&H and SNSD cannot seem to come to agreement on dealing with the important issues in B&H, including the amending of the Election Law of B&H and their relations are marked by political threats, new ultimatums, and playing political games. It remains uncertain when the trilateral meeting of these three ruling parties in B&H might take place, because they have different stances when it comes to this matter and the participation of the international community in their talks is disputable. SDA rejects the talks without the IC’s involvement, SNSD strongly refuses to discuss issues in B&H if the international community representatives are present, while HDZ B&H is somewhat neutral in this regard and accepts the reality that it can only hold bilateral meetings with SDA and SNSD for now. SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic stated that SDA will not work under pressures or while facing ultimatums. Izetbegovic reminded that Serb political representatives have been blocking the work of the state institutions of B&H, and he reiterated that he will not meet with SNSD leader Milorad Dodik under such circumstances. “He (Dodik) sent me a message that he is willing to hold a meeting but without what he called the tutors, which I declined,” the SDA leader noted. The SDA leader added that the trilateral meeting of SDA, HDZ B&H and SNSD can take place once the state institutions are unblocked and when the state budget is adopted. He also stressed that the meetings he has lately held with HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic and SNSD senior official Nikola Spiric were only informal. Dodik commented on Izetbegovic’s statement and reminded that he does not want to attend a meeting in presence of “international supervisors”. Dodik stressed that he does not avoid meeting to discuss issues, but he does not want such meetings to take place “in an atmosphere where foreigners are present”. Izetbegovic stated at a party meeting last week that he rejected Dodik’s idea to meet with him and Covic, but Dodik denied Izetbegovic’s claims two days later. “Within the framework of the Ambassador of the European Commission, he was asked to organize and mediate the meeting between me, Izetbegovic and Covic. I said that I agree to the meeting only under the condition that there are no foreigners. So, he (Izetbegovic) probably declined that meeting, but I did not schedule any meeting,” Dodik stressed. Izetbegovic confirmed on Monday that the representatives of the EU are the ones who requested the meeting. RTRS underlined that unlike Dodik, who does not want foreigners to mediate the meeting of the troika, Izetbegovic sees partners in them, and rejects any possibility for the troika to meet without foreigners. “I think that we need friends from the international community because, this problem that we have now, it is a problem between the OHR and the party led by Dodik and the authorities in the RS,” Izetbegovic emphasized. Dodik reminded that it is precisely because of the work of foreigners that B&H is in the situation it is in. Dodik stressed that the representatives of the international community were not well-intentioned towards the RS and that they refused to respect the position of its institutions on the harmful actions of the OHR and the CC of B&H. “They still think they should govern us. I reject that and that is why I did not want to meet with anyone in an arrangement created by foreigners. I am not inviting, but I will accept every invitation from Izetbegovic and Covic and any of the leaders to discuss the current situation,” Dodik underlined. On the other hand, after the session of the Presidency of the Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) on Monday, Covic confirmed that he had separate meetings with Dodik and Izetbegovic last week, and that a way is being sought for the authorities at the B&H joint level to function, but also to hold a meeting of the troika. “There is no big step forward in terms of an agreement, while stances when it comes to these two sides are such that some want to exclusively sit down with international representatives, while some want exclusively us to sit down,” Covic said. Covic will discuss everything again at the meeting with Izetbegovic on Wednesday. However, according to RTRS, judging by Monday’s statement of the SDA leader, there is no much reason for optimism. Izetbegovic also said that if there was had not been the policy of Dodik over last 15 years, B&H would have been significantly less unfortunate country. He added that it includes the RS, underlining that this entity has lowest pensions in Europe and highest Coronavirus death rate in the world. “This is the result of such irresponsible policy that continues and aims to bring us into conflict. This is a product of Dodik and those supporting him, voting for him,” said the leader of SDA. Izetbegovic stated: “I will not talk under blockades. I did the same when Mr. Covic produced a similar thing, he created a situation in which there is no appointment of the FB&H government and then he wanted to negotiate. We will not negotiate under ultimatums and pressures.”

If Dodik will be held accountable for blockade of B&H, who will be held accountable for blockade of FB&H? (Dnevni list

 

Dnevni list daily reads that whilst most of the talk in the media and the public is about the blockade of the state level institutions created by SNSD leader Milorad Dodik, one has almost forgotten the fact that the FB&H and cantonal institutions have been blocked for years by SDA and HDZ Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). Namely, daily reminds that a new FB&H Government has not been appointed ever since the 2018 general elections, that three ministries are without ministers and that, “to make the absurd even bigger” FB&H Prime Minister Fadil Novalic and his deputy, Finance Minister Jelka Milicevic are defendants in the ‘Respirators’ affair. Furthermore, daily reminds that election on new FB&H President and Vice Presidents is on hold, as well as appointments to the FB&H Constitutional Court, which leads the daily to say it would appear this worries nobody, just like in the case of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton where a new cantonal Government has not been formed. The daily notes that reasons behind this situation are different, stressing that it is clear that HDZ B&H does not want to appoint a new FB&H government until the issue of the Law on Elections of B&H is resolved. On the other hand, continues the daily, SDA is not initiating any procedures pertaining to appointment of the FB&H government and election of the FB&H President and Vice Presidents, which means they are fine with the situation. Concluding the article, daily poses a question if Dodik will be held accountable for blockade of the state institutions, who will be then held accountable for blockade of the FB&H and cantonal institutions.

HNS Presidency discusses political situation in B&H and Election Law issue (FTV

 

The HNS Presidency held a session in Mostar on Monday. On this occasion, the HNS Presidency discussed the political situation in B&H and the issue of amending the Election Law of B&H. The HNS Presidency concluded that the crisis in B&H has reached its peak and it is time to come out of it. Addressing a press conference after the HNS Presidency’s session, leader of HDZ B&H and HNS Dragan Covic said that “political Sarajevo” prefers the ‘status quo’ as it allows them to elect the Croat member of the B&H Presidency in the next general elections. Covic warned that the current political ambience hinders the amending of the Election Law. Speaking about HNS’ stance on the manner in which the Election Law should be amended, Covic reiterated that HNS insists on ensuring legitimate representation of constituent peoples in the authorities, primarily in the B&H Presidency and in the Caucuses of the Federation of B&H (FB&H) House of Peoples (HoP). Covic noted that HNS also advocates implementation of all relevant rulings of the B&H Constitutional Court (CC) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). When it comes to the model proposed by former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele, Covic noted that Fuele’s model actually does not exist.

During the session Covic briefed the HNS on negotiations in recent weeks with the US and European envoys, as well as domestic politicians, whom international officials are asking to reach an agreement on their own. Covic stated: “Today, we need the election of three members of the Presidency of legitimate representatives, and to include all the judgments of the court in Strasbourg and the B&H Constitutional Court. We need an equally legitimate election of all caucuses in the FB&H House of Peoples, and 17 Croat and Bosniak, Serb and the Others. There are many solutions for this, which we have offered.” Covic again called on the international community, which he considers the guarantor of the Mostar agreement, to be more actively engaged in negotiations on the electoral legislation, stressing that abolishment of ethnic prefixes cannot be a model. Covic stated on Monday that current situation is suitable for political Sarajevo. He also stated that proposal to remove ethnic prefix in regards to election of members of B&H Presidency and delegates in B&H HoP is unacceptable. According to Hayat, the model of election changes advocated by Covic would create situation in which one Croat vote would be equal to three Bosniak votes. Covic underlined that he has been saying for some time that it will be difficult to change single comma in the Constitution. Leader of HDZ B&H emphasized that Mostar Agreement obliged its signatories to make limited changes of the Constitution that are necessary to enable changes of electoral legislation. “Among five or six models with similar principles that are now available, we must find a model simply through two constituencies when it comes to the election of B&H Presidency members for instance, in order to ensure a classical civic concept,” Covic emphasized. According to Covic, there are no steps forward in terms of talks on changes to the Law on Elections, arguing that the Constitution of B&H cannot undergo essential changes but only minor corrections. Covic informed members of the HNS Presidency about his participation in the summit of the European People’s Party held in Ljubljana and talks during the summit dedicated to the EU enlargement. He also informed members of the HNS Presidency about details of the talks with US envoy for electoral reform Matthew Palmer. The HNS Presidency adopted several conclusions, one of them reading that limited constitutional changes cannot lead to derogation of the Constitution and preventing constituent peoples from electing legitimate political representatives.

Djonlagic: HDZ B&H has finally admitted it is against implementation of ECHR’s judgments (Dnevni list

 

Head of the DF Caucus in the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) Dzenan Djonlagic who said that views presented by HDZ B&H represent final admission that HDZ B&H is formally against implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). According to Djonlagic, HDZ B&H has admitted that citizens, who are not from line of the constituent peoples, are second class citizens, and that HDZ B&H wants to have a model according to which one Croat vote will be worth vote of three Bosniaks, which is not a civilizational norm nor system of value in EU and NATO member countries. Djonlagic added by saying solution for B&H is a civic state where everyone is equal before the law and where value of vote is equal.

 

Activists, intellectuals call for urgent return of US leadership in Balkans (N1

Bosnian-American, Albanian-American and Montenegrin-American organizations addressed senior US officials with an open letter, warning about “Belgrade’s threats to the security of the Western Balkans” and urging for the return of the US leadership in the region. The letter was sent to the members of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the members of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, State Secretary Antony Blinken, and Assistant President for National Security Affairs Jake Sullivan. “Over the course of September 2021, we have seen an alarming and escalating sequence of threats to regional security and stability by the Belgrade-based government of Aleksandar Vucic” the organizations warned, expressing a “grave concern and alarm” regarding the “growing militancy of the government of Serbia towards Kosovo but also “increasingly, B&H and Montenegro.” “We believe that this is a matter of utmost concern to the US because it directly imperils the peace and stability of the Western Balkans region and with that peace in Europe as a whole” the note added. They stressed that the most alarming scenes were seen in Kosovo, where Serbian armored vehicles were deployed in close proximity of Kosovo border. The letter also mentioned a “major security crisis in Montenegro” prompted by the enthronement of the new Montenegrin Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the part concerning B&H, the letter warned about the activities of the Serb member of B&H’s Presidency. “During this same time, Vucic’s closest regional collaborator, the Serb member of the B&H state presidency Milorad Dodik, has maintained a months-long boycott and obstruction campaign of B&H’s state institutions following the imposition of a genocide denial law by the international community’s High Representative in B&H in response to more than a decade of explicit and vulgar denial of the Srebrenica Genocide and the broader B&H Genocide by Dodik and his associates. Dodik has also repeatedly and overtly threatened to initiate the secession of the RS in B&H, even threatening to reform the so-called “Army of RS” to accomplish this goal, whose leadership orchestrated the Srebrenica Genocide,” the organizations stressed. They warned that each of these instances are only manifestations of what has become the “now stated policy of the government in Belgrade to undermine the regional security order.” “The Serbian government calls its new policy “the Serbian World” (Srpski svet), which aspires, according to the country’s Minister of the Interior, towards the formal political and institutional “unification” of all ethnic Serbs in the Western Balkans, with Aleksandar Vucic as their leader. This is no more than a reboot of the Milosevic-era “Greater Serbia” project which led to the worst violence and the worst atrocities in Europe since the Second World War,” the letter added. Finally, the organizations said that the US was “instrumental” in securing the sovereignty of Kosovo and bringing peace through the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement in Bosnia, and has for decades been primary guarantor of regional security and stability. “As the prospect for EU enlargement have all but disappeared, a return to US leadership in the Western Balkans is urgently needed” the note added. It also called for the reinvigorating the NATO enlargement as apriority for the region, particularly concerning B&H and Kosovo.

Civic model in B&H is completely different from Western European model (Vecernji list

 

The daily reads that almost 30 years after the war, B&H cannot start functioning to the liking of the three constituent peoples and other citizens, stressing that terms ‘citizen’ and ‘civic state’ are debatable when it comes to relations among constituent peoples in B&H. According to the daily, the civic state is a product of liberal political philosophy that is being applied in full capacity in the Western European countries and the US, adding that unfortunately that model in B&H is aimed at sidelining of minority peoples. The daily goes on to say it is “illegitimate and illegal” member of the Presidency of B&H Zeljko Komsic who advocates these issues the most, which leads the daily to say that Komsic’s main motive is to stay in the current position. The daily’s author argues that Komsic’s views are not supported by two other constituent peoples, who will not accept political domination of political Sarajevo. Concluding the article, daily reads the whole story about survival of B&H and its future is down to legitimate election of the Federation of B&H House of Peoples and the Presidency of B&H.

 

Djeka: PM frivolously texts us to come to meeting (RTCG

“A minority or technical government that would prepare the next elections is the best solution to the current political crisis, and early elections are an option to get out of this situation,” says the Democratic Party leader Fatmir Djeka. Speaking about the Prime Minister’s invitation for a conversation, Djeka has said that the invitation was texted, which he finds frivolous. “The invitation was texted. It is frivolous to text us at 11am to come to the meeting at 2pm,” Djeka has stated for RTCG. He has pointed out that his party’s position is clear – a minority or technical government would be desirable to prepare the next elections, “because this is not how it works and it is just a continuation of the agony”.

No date for publication of the EC report on Montenegro yet (RTCG

 

The date of publication of the European Commission’s report on Montenegro within the “Enlargement Package” has not yet been determined. This was confirmed for the RTCG Portal by Ana Pisonero, spokesperson for the European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi. “We expect, however, that it will be in October” Pisonero said. The European Commission’s report will provide a detailed overview of political, economic and security developments in Montenegro. Last year, on 6 October, the European Commission published a report for Montenegro within the “Enlargement Package”. The Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans was published on that occasion.

 

New poll shows VMRO-DPMNE with large lead over SDSM (Republika

A new poll, conducted by the Pro Research agency for the Plusinfo news site, shows that VMRO-DPMNE maintains a solid lead ahead of SDSM with less than a week to go until the local elections. The poll was conducted between in the first week of October, and it shows VMRO ranking at 26 percent, while SDSM is at 19.7 percent. Among party leaders, Hristijan Mickoski leads Zoran Zaev with the support of 15.5 percent against 10.6 percent. Dimitar Apasiev from Levica ranks third with 5.9 percent ahead of Ali Ahmeti of DUI with 5.1 percent and Ziadin Sela from the Alliance of Albanians with 2.7 percent. Among the Albanian parties, DUI leads with 8.2 percent of the vote, against the opposition Alliance of Albanians party with 6.1 percent.

 

Balla receives the German Ambassador: A new phase of cooperation with the opposition (Radio Tirana

The chairman of the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party Taulant Balla held a meeting with the Ambassador of Germany in Albania Peter Zingraf. “At the beginning of the legislature, I informed the German ambassador about our main objectives in this third term, where the process of membership in the European Union is of course the main objective,” said Balla. During the meeting, Balla expressed to the ambassador the determination of the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party to create a new phase of cooperation with the opposition in function of the country’s integration agenda and the expectations of the Albanian citizens. On this occasion, on behalf of the parliamentary group, I thanked Ambassador Zingraf for the importance that Germany attaches to the very close multilateral relations with Albania and the unstinting support for rapprochement with the European family, which was evidenced by the first visit of the German Chancellor a few weeks ago in Tirana, but also from the engagement of the main German political parties,” said Balla.

New Media Agency, OSCE: Implementation remains a challenge, we will monitor it (Radio Tirana

The Media Agency, which will be directly subordinated to Prime Minister Edi Rama, according to the OSCE should not close the sources of information for journalists. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Teresa Ribeiro, in her first reaction to the new government structure, said that the problem is not the agency, but the way it will be implemented. “What remains to be seen and which may in some way undermine the creation of this institution is the fact whether you will be allowed to ask for information, to ask questions. The establishment of the institution is not so much a problem as its functioning in practice. That is the real challenge. ” Due to this problem that may arise, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media confirmed the monitoring of the functioning of the agency in relation to journalists. “We will continue to monitor it, of course. It’s important that journalists have independent access to all sources of information, so that they too are allowed to do their job,” said Ribiero.

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Belgrade Media Report 07 December 2021

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