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Belgrade Media Report 13 May

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LOCAL PRESS

• Four countries derecognize Kosovo, two other states helping Pristina (Tanjug/RTS)
• Vucic: Serbia will not recognize so-called Kosovo (Tanjug)
• Vucic: Pristina has trampled Washington agreement (Beta/Politika/RTS)
• Brnabic: Move to join CoE is culmination of Pristina’s cynicism (Novosti/Tanjug)
• Vulin: If Pristina becomes member of CoE, Serbia should declare political neutrality (Tanjug)
• Selakovic: If Pristina becomes member, CoE violates its own postulates (Tanjug)
• CoE: Kosovo has submitted candidacy, committee will be considering it (Tanjug)
• EU urges against unilateral action after Pristina’s application for CoE membership (Beta/Politika)
• Cooperation of Serbia, Morocco to be placed on path of strategic partnership (Tanjug)
• Brnabic signs cooperation agreement in Dubai (FoNet)
• Botsan-Kharchenko: Sanctions hostile step, I have firm and well-founded hope that Belgrade will not impose them (RTV)
• Hill: Major changes in Balkan’s energy sector (Beta/Politika)

REGIONAL PRESS

Bosnia & Herzegovina
• Dodik: Even though he spoke at UN SC session, as far as the RS is concerned, Schmidt is still a former German diplomat; UN SC’s session was anti-Serb (RTRS)
• Alkalaj denies Dodik’s claim that UN Security Council session was anti-Serb (FTV)
• Tegeltija: Schmidt’s report will in no way bring anything good to B&H (Nova BH)
• Tegeltija meets Ambassadors Jun and Nebenzia: Jun and Nebenzia do not want centralization of B&H (RTRS)
• Novakovic Bursac on Dzaferovic’s address before UN SC: Bosniak politicians are destroying foundations of B&H (EuroBlic)
• HNS: HR’s report manipulated and debatable (Nova BH)
• Dzaferovic with UK, French Ambassadors to UN; Discuss crisis in B&H, blockade of B&H institutions and Russian influence in B&H and region (Dnevni avaz)
• Covic on arrival of European officials in B&H: European administration needs to motivate Bosniak parties (RTV HB/BHT1)
• Murphy meets Covic; HDZ insists there are no conditions for holding of elections (Oslobodjenje)
• 30th anniversary of formation of RS Army marked (BHT1)
• Court of B&H confirms indictment in ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case (O Kanal)
• Zvizdic condemns confirming of indictment in ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case (FTV)
Croatia
• Milanovic announces he will order Croatian Ambassador to NATO Nobilo to veto NATO enlargement until Election Law issue in B&H is resolved; Grlic Radman: We do not want to be state that causes incidents (HRT1)
• Foreign Minister clarifies support for NATO expansion (HRT1)
• Croatian Ambassador with UN Simonovic: Milanovic tries to emphasize that issue of Election Law of B&H is matter of peace and security (HRT1)
• Secretary of State of Holy See, Cardinal Parolin visits Croatia: Vatican supports equality of peoples in B&H (Jutarnji list)
Montenegro
• Abazovic after meeting with Porfirije: I want this government to put an end to the story of the Fundamental Agreement (CdM)
Republic of North Macedonia
• US pressure on Bulgaria over Macedonia seems to be having effect (Republika)
• Nikoloski calls for support to open EU accession talks with Macedonia (Republika)
• SDSM won’t support election reform because of pressure from DUI (Republika)
Albania
• Majority dismisses DP’s Resolution against Srebrenica massacre (ADN)
• Rama ‘attacks’ Berisha after Resolution for Srebrenica massacre (ADN)
• Berisha: Majority rejected resolution on Srebrenica by order of Vucic (ADN)
• President criticizes majority for voting against Srebrenica Resolution (ADN)
• MP uncovers reason why Rama rejected resolution for Srebrenica (ADN)
• Why majority dismissed DP resolution on Serbian genocide (ADN)
• Rama: We expect Open Balkans to work better and better; No time to lose (Radio Tirana)
• Ex-DP leader greets Kosovo’s application for CoE membership (ADN)
• Rama after the meetings in Brussels: Our image is completely different today, Albania is considered a model for the region (Radio Tirana)
• Kim meeting with the Ambassador of Ukraine and Xhacka / We will continue to impose serious consequences on Russia (Radio Tirana)

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LOCAL PRESS

 

Four countries derecognize Kosovo, two other states helping Pristina (Tanjug/RTS)

 

In a statement after Friday’s National Security Council session, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said he had presented to President Aleksandar Vucic notes from four states that had derecognized the so-called Kosovo. “The National Security Council authorized President Vucic to inform the wider public of what countries those are when he sees fit,” Selakovic said. With that gesture, Serbia wants to give an opportunity to Council of Europe member states not to begin in June a procedure of Kosovo’s admission to the organization, he said. “That way, we want to demonstrate our readiness to talk and reach solutions through dialogue, and by no means unilaterally,” Selakovic said. He also said Serbian intelligence services had learned that at least two large countries were working on providing serious logistical support in Pristina’s campaign for new recognitions of the so-called Kosovo and for thwarting a Serbian campaign aimed at further derecognitions. He stated that the US government, in its statement regarding the request of the so-called Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe, has made it clear that it still considers the Washington Agreement important. “Serbia is in a very difficult situation. Our state and state leadership are exposed to terrible pressures to accept the voluntary violation of the territorial integrity of our state,” he said. “By submitting this formal request for admission to the Council of Europe, Pristina has shown that it does not respect the agreement reached, as well as the position of the host country, which it participated in. In this way, Pristina has clearly shown no intention of reaching any kind of solution through dialogue, it has already decided on a unilateral approach, as was the case before,” Selakovic said. He also explained that this means that we will continue to fight fiercely, as well as that we will continue to work on the so-called derecognition, i.e. withdrawal of recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of the so-called Kosovo, and that in that fight we will be guided by our own state and national interests.

 

Vucic: Serbia will not recognize so-called Kosovo (Tanjug)

 

Serbia will not recognize the so-called Kosovo as independent, but our response must be prudent and wise and we must maintain peace and stability and be firm, strong and persevering in protecting our interest out of a desire for a compromise solution and respect of agreements, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday in a reaction to Pristina’s Council of Europe (CoE) membership bid. He said it would have an additional impact on relations in the region and cause problems. When asked if reports that Pristina had secured a two-third majority in the CoE were true, Vucic responded that he did not know whether that was the case or not, but that, if all countries that recognized the so-called Kosovo were to vote for Pristina’s membership, it would have the support of up to 70 pct of member states. He also said Pristina would soon join the Partnership for Peace program with US support. He explained that this was a form of additional pressure on the five EU member states that did not recognize the so-called Kosovo – Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, in particular the latter four, which are also NATO members. He said that, however, such efforts were not worth much without a green light from Belgrade, and noted that Serbia was under great pressure to recognize the so-called Kosovo.

Those who have been talking about international law have demonstrated once again that they have no values whatsoever and that they have never respected any principle, and that international law has interested them only to the extent to which they can use it for their own needs, Vucic said.

 

Vucic: Pristina has trampled Washington agreement (Beta/Politika/RTS)

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on 12 May that Pristina’s request for membership in the Council of Europe nullified the Washington Agreement and asked why representatives of the international community invited Belgrade to talks when the Kosovo Albanians reneged on everything that they signed. “They have brutally trampled it without a care. After ten years of trampling the Brussels Agreement they have now trampled the Washington Agreement, and they never respected Resolution 1244,” Vucic said at the opening of the Car Show in Belgrade.

Vucic said that, while he did not know if Pristina had a majority for its request to be approved, simple arithmetic showed that it should be able to count on about two thirds of votes if it only gets the support of the countries that have recognized Kosovo as independent. “They have now received US support for entering Partnership for Peace. This is pressure on the five EU states that do not recognize independence and a call to Serbia that we do likewise. Still, none of it is any good without a green light from Belgrade and Serbia,” Vucic said and added that he did not expect any reaction from the West to Kosovo’s move.

 

Brnabic: Move to join CoE is culmination of Pristina’s cynicism (Novosti/Tanjug)

 

Serbian Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic said on Thursday that the request submitted by Pristina for so-called Kosovo to join the CoE is a violation of all agreements signed so far, primarily the Washington agreement, which she said was not strange after ten years of violating and not implementing the Brussels agreement. “This move of theirs for membership in the CoE is the culmination of cynicism,” Brnabic said in Dubai. Pristina has violated the Washington agreement, she stated and stressed that Serbia will continue with the campaign to get countries to withdraw their recognition of so-called Kosovo. “Everything else will be discussed at the session of the Council for National Security,” she said, when asked by the Serbian press about Serbia’s response to this move by Pristina.

 

Vulin: If Pristina becomes member of CoE, Serbia should declare political neutrality (Tanjug)

 

“What the EU member states really think about Serbia will be demonstrated by their vote on Pristina’s request for membership in the CoE,” Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs and leader of the Movement of Socialists Aleksandar Vulin said. “We don’t have to wait another 20 years to learn whether the EU wants Serbia in its ranks, it will be enough for them to vote in favor, or against the admission of a territory to an organization made up of states. So far, we’ve learned that the signature of the European Union is worth as much as the Brussels agreement, but now is the opportunity to see how much the word of the United States is worth,” Vulin added, commenting on Pristina’s request to become a member of the CoE. He added that the very announcement that Pristina will submit a request for membership in the Council of Europe is a violation of the Washington agreement. “Either Pristina will be punished and stopped, or it will come out that any kind of lie is allowed against Serbia and that there are no rights or justice for the Serbs. If Pristina becomes a member of the Council of Europe, Serbia should declare political neutrality, just as it has declared military neutrality. If we can’t choose our enemies, let’s at least be able to choose our friends,” said Vulin.

 

Selakovic: If Pristina becomes member, CoE violates its own postulates (Tanjug)

 

By applying for membership in the Co E, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Pristina have once again proved that irresponsibility and unilaterality are the principle of their functioning, said Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic, adding that possible admission of Pristina in the CoE bring this organization in collision with the main postulates on which it rests, because Pristina constantly violates the rights of Serbs. “To the cynical and absurd remark of Pristina Minister Donika Gervala Schwartz that Belgrade will support the membership of the so-called Kosovo in the CoE, I can only answer that we will consider such a possibility when it becomes possible for provinces and regions to join the CoE,” Selakovic told Tanjug. He pointed out that Serbia, as a sovereign country, will react responsibly, through diplomatic and political means, to Pristina’s decision to ruthlessly violate the Washington agreement, and thus, he said, we will defend not only our interests but also the basic principles of international law. “Admission of self-proclaimed Kosovo to the CoE would bring the organization into conflict with the postulates on which it is based, because the violation of human rights of Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija is a program and ideological constant in the work of this and all previous governments,” Selakovic said.

 

CoE: Kosovo has submitted candidacy, committee will be considering it (Tanjug)

 

The Council of Europe (CoE) has confirmed for Tanjug that they have received the membership request from the Pristina institutions, but they say that at this moment they cannot foresee the further procedure in this specific case. “We can confirm that the request for membership has been received and forwarded to the Committee of Ministers in accordance with the Statute of the CoE,” said a statement. The Statute of the CoE states that the Committee of Ministers may invite any European state which it deems to be “willing and able” to accept the principles of “the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons under its jurisdiction” and to “cooperate sincerely and effectively” in achieving the goals of the CoE regarding the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. The Statute of the Council of Europe stipulates that the decision on membership is made by a two-thirds majority in the Committee of Ministers. At the same time, the possibility of so-called “associate membership” is envisaged “in special cases” where the associate member is represented only at the level of the Consultative Assembly.

The CoE is an international organization founded in 1949 to support human rights and democracy. It is based in Strasbourg, France, and currently has 46 member states that have a combined population of about 675 million. Serbia has been a member since 2003. Unlike the institutions of the EU, which bring together only the 27 member states of the bloc, the CoE is a pan-European body, that cannot pass legislation, but can encourage implementation of international agreements signed by member states concerning various issues. The CoE is composed of the Committee of Ministers, made up of foreign ministers of the member states, and the Parliamentary Assembly composed of members of the national parliaments of each member state. Among the bodies of the CoE are the European Court of Human Rights and GRECO, the anti-corruption body, which obligate member states to act in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and democracy.

 

EU urges against unilateral action after Pristina’s application for CoE membership (Beta/Politika)

 

The EU, its members and institutions urge Pristina and Belgrade to act with restraint and not resort to unilateral moves and messages that only increase tension, the spokesman of the European Commission Peter Stano said in Brussels on 12 May, commenting on Pristina’s application for membership in the Council of Europe. Asked for his view of Serbia’s announcement of a strong response to this move by Pristina, Stano said that the EU was not a member of the CoE and that he was not able to comment. Stano added that the EU also expected the two sides to do everything in order to solve all issues through EU-mediated dialog and sign a comprehensive legally binding agreement on normalization of their relations.

 

Cooperation of Serbia, Morocco to be placed on path of strategic partnership (Tanjug)

 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic met Thursday night, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita. A joint statement from the meeting in Marrakech states that the two ministers welcomed the positive dynamics of political relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Serbia, on the occasion of this year’s 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. They also welcomed the mutual readiness to put cooperation between the two countries on the path of strategic partnership. Morocco and Serbia highlighted their positive and constructive role in maintaining stability, security and peace in their regions, and underlined their commitment to these principles, as well as the peaceful resolution of conflicts and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states. Regarding the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, Morocco supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia within its internationally recognized borders, as well as the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the EU. Selakovic pointed to the diplomatic and political efforts of the Kingdom of Morocco to achieve a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution to the Sahara issue, in full compliance with UN resolutions. In this context, Serbia reiterates that it considers the Moroccan initiative for autonomy, under Moroccan sovereignty, a serious and credible solution to resolving this issue.

 

Brnabic signs cooperation agreement in Dubai (FoNet)

 

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic signed a memorandum of understanding on exchanges of knowledge and cooperation on projects with officials in Dubai on Thursday. A government press release said that Brnabic is meeting with UAE Finance Minister Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. She signed the memorandum with Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, it said and added that the memorandum is “an important step forward in close bilateral relations between Serbia and the UAE”. “The goal of the cooperation is the exchange of knowledge, but also the co-creation of projects. The umbrella Memorandum of Understanding covers nine areas, including digital economy, artificial intelligence, eGovernment, creative industries and science,” the press release said. The UAE has developed this type of cooperation with 11 countries.

 

Botsan-Kharchenko: Sanctions hostile step, I have firm and well-founded hope that Belgrade will not impose them (RTV)

 

Russian Ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko stated on Thursday that the introduction of sanctions against Russia is interpreted as a hostile step, but that he has a firm and well-founded hope that Belgrade will not impose them. As he said in the show Right Angle on Radio Television of Vojvodina (RTV), sanctions are not a friendly step, but he is not talking about Serbia, because for now Serbia persistently and with dignity, based on its national interest, does not join sanctions against Russia, and he hopes this attitude will remain, as evidenced by the statements from the highest level in Belgrade. Speaking about Serbia’s vote in the United Nations, Botsan-Kharchenko said that the EU and Washington are putting pressure and threatening Serbia, and that they interpret the steps that Serbia has taken as a consequence of that pressure. As he said, considering the fraternal and strategic relations with Serbia, Russia understands the pressure on Belgrade. Asked about gas, Botsan-Kharchenko said that it is one of the most important topics, that preparations for negotiations on gas supply and price are underway and that there is no doubt that Russia will take into account that Serbia is a friendly country with which it has strategic relations. “The friendly character that Serbia did not impose sanctions on Russia will be taken into account, but market conditions must also be taken into account,” Botsan-Kharchenko pointed out. He emphasized that Russia’s position on the issue of Kosovo will not be changed, that Moscow considers Kosovo a precedent and that Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk are different issues from Kosovo.

 

Hill: Major changes in Balkan’s energy sector (Beta/Politika)

 

US ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill stated in Belgrade on 12 May that major changes could be expected “these days, weeks, months”, in the energy sector in the world and in the Western Balkans. In a statement he made before the conference “Serbian-American Relations: Energy Diversification Strategy” in the House of Parliament, Hill said that the issue of energy diversification was extremely important and that the time was right to discuss the necessary steps. “We will talk especially about what the US can do to help Serbia in all this, and we will further discuss the issues that are in the interest of our countries,” Hill stated. The Ambassador of Israel Jahel Vilan stated that Serbia and Israel strengthened their energy cooperation over the past two or three years. “We will continue to work on strengthening the good relations of our two countries,” Vilan said.

 

REGIONAL PRESS

 

Dodik: Even though he spoke at UN SC session, as far as the RS is concerned, Schmidt is still a former German diplomat; UN SC’s session was anti-Serb (RTRS)

 

The latest session of the UN Security Council (UN SC) did not bring anything new but the “washed out repetition of phrases which say that Serbs and RS are to blame for everything,” assessed Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik. Dodik points out that it is not true that B&H Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic had “a higher rank” in comparison to Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (B&H CoM) Zoran Tegeltija for addressing the UN SC session. Dodik adds that Dzaferovic revealed his own stances, and not the stances of the B&H Presidency. Even though he spoke at the session, as far as the RS is concerned, Christian Schmidt is still a “former German diplomat,” Dodik noted. Dodik also said that the UN SC session was anti-Serb, as evidenced by the fact that someone who was hierarchically ranked higher than Dzaferovic was not allowed to speak. Dodik emphasized it was a session of the anti-Serb sentiment before the Security Council, at which what was seen in the previous decades was repeated, which is that there is only one party to blame, the Serb side. He pointed out that Dzaferovic abused the rostrum and those who allowed him to speak did the same, but did nothing to preserve any coordination within the B&H institutions. In any case, Dodik emphasized, the power and arrogance seen in the Security Council shows that “some are siding with Muslims”. “We must admit that today some of the important Western countries are exclusively siding with the Muslim concept of creating a unitary country. SDA is the only one having program with anti-Dayton features, to abolish entities and build a civil state.” Dodik stressed. Dodik assessed the UN SC’s session as the result of the lack of power in the west. He added that the UN SC violated procedures by allowing Schmidt to present his report. Dodik said that this represents the misuse of the UN SC by Dzaferovic and those who allowed this to happen. He said that no attention was paid to the consensus within B&H institutions before this. Dodik said that no one bothered to question whether Dzaferovic is legitimately at the session. Dodik was more cautious on Thursday when he commented on the withdrawal from state institutions and said: “This is going slowly. I have already said that this process cannot happen in one day, in one year. Future generations will have to complete some of those things.”

 

Alkalaj denies Dodik’s claim that UN Security Council session was anti-Serb (FTV)

 

B&H Ambassador to the UN Sven Alkalaj believes that the session of the UN Security Council (UN SC) on Wednesday confirmed the commitment of UN SC members to ensure B&H’s smooth movement on the path to European integration. He denied the Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik‘s statements that the session was anti-Serb. Alkalaj stated: “It was not anti-Serb in any way. It was against those things that are against Dayton and that lead to the disintegration of B&H, and that was condemned. Nobody mentioned the Serb people at all. Leaders, politicians – Dodik and others, were mentioned, that this was the case. Nobody mentioned the Serb people. I read that Mr. Tegeltija stated: ‘They did not allow me to speak because I am a Serb’. This is absurd.”

 

Tegeltija: Schmidt’s report will in no way bring anything good to B&H (Nova BH)

 

Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (CoM) Zoran Tegeltija, who did not get a chance to address the UN SC, sent a letter to UN SC ambassadors and informed them about, as he noted, a stance on the situation in B&H that is different from Christian Schmidt’s. “His report will in no way bring anything good to B&H,” Tegeltija said, adding that the report contains many inaccurate information. “A message was trying to be sent at the session, to both the domestic and international public, that only representatives of one side and only one people can speak about B&H and the situation in B&H, which is wrong. On the other hand, another reason for preventing my address is the attempt to prevent the members of the UN Security Council from hearing the other side, which will present the situation in B&H in a correct way,” Tegeltija stated. Tegeltija also said that it is important that they were able to present their stance on the events. He said that Sarajevo misused the diplomatic network to stop his address in front of the UN SC. Tegeltija said that the goal was to send the message that representatives of only one side could discuss the situation in B&H in front of the international community.

 

Tegeltija meets Ambassadors Jun and Nebenzia: Jun and Nebenzia do not want centralization of B&H (RTRS)

 

Ambassadors of China and Russia to the UN, Zhang Jun and Vassily Nebenzia, pointed out during meetings with Chairman of the B&H Council of Ministers (B&H CoM) Zoran Tegeltija in New York that they support the concept of constitutional organization of B&H with two entities and three constituent peoples, they do not want centralization to take place in B&H in the interest of just one people. Tegeltija said that during separate meetings, he pointed to ambassadors Nebenzia and Jun the key problems that exist in B&H nowadays, and explained that he wanted to address the UN Security Council (UN SC) on Wednesday in order for the truth to be heard. “What is encouraging is that the ambassadors of China and Russia understand the relations in B&H very well. They attended the Security Council session and their presentation differed significantly from that of Christian Schmidt’s and some other ambassadors to the UN Security Council,” Tegeltija said. He emphasized that he would continue the communication with the embassies of Russia and China, with the desire to spread the truth about the situation in B&H to some other countries. “They reiterated their positions from the beginning of the UN Security Council session, which is that it would be polite if Schmidt asked for the support of that very same UN body, if he wants to report to the Security Council, which he has not done at the moment,” Tegeltija said. Tegeltija noted that Ambassadors Jun and Nebenzia reiterated that it was clear to them that the report submitted by Schmidt was not balanced, as it essentially represented a vision of one side.

 

Novakovic Bursac on Dzaferovic’s address before UN SC: Bosniak politicians are destroying foundations of B&H (EuroBlic)

 

Head of SNSD Caucus in B&H House of Representatives Snjezana Novakovic Bursac commented the address of B&H Presidency Chairman Sefik Dzaferovic before the UN Security Council. She noted that the address illustrates the dysfunctionality of B&H’s state institutions. She noted that Bosniak politicians care more about presenting their own political stances than about representing B&H and presenting the realistic situation in the country. According to her, B&H’s foreign policy is no longer agreed and harmonized by B&H Presidency, and one has to wonder what the purpose of this institution is. Novakovic Bursac also criticized Bosniak politicians for calling for foreign intervention, noting that the idea of someone from the outside imposing new laws in B&H is absurd, and it undermines the purpose of B&H institutions like the Parliament. She underlined that Bosniak politicians are destroying the very foundations of the state. Commenting the fact that B&H Council of Ministers Zoran Tegeltija was prevented from addressing the UN Security Council, Novakovic Bursac said that anyone who presents facts and arguments which are contrary to the stances of the political Sarajevo is automatically being declared an enemy of the state and prevented from speaking.

 

HNS: HR’s report manipulated and debatable (Nova BH)

 

The report that High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt presented before the UN Security Council (UN SC) in New York on Wednesday as well as the address of Chairman of the B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic before the same organization sparked numerous reactions on Thursday. Politicians in B&H have been debating on what has been stated before the most powerful global powers on the situation in B&H. According to Nova BH, many consider that Schmidt is the biggest winner in this whole situation, because he has finally obtained his first chance to present the report on the situation in B&H. Schmidt largely accused RS authorities for the crisis in B&H, particularly due to the RS parliament’s conclusions on withdrawal of consent from state agreements in several fields. The Croat People’s Assembly (HNS) reacted by calling the HR’s report “manipulated and debatable”, among other things due to the fact that Bosniaks are not held responsible for what the HNS referred to as “the deepest political crisis in post-Dayton period”. According to the HNS, the address of Dzaferovic was an example of a radical unitarian narrative that deepens interethnic divisions and calls for instability through deception and political platitudes. The HNS said that the Bosniak parties in B&H are being amnestied of their role in the political crisis in B&H. The HNS added that the radical unitarism of the Bosniak parties is destroying the multi-ethnic character of B&H. “The protagonist of radical Bosniak politics whose deceptions further deepen the crisis. Abuse of the institution of the Presidency; party, not state address”, reads a part of the comment that came from the HNS. The OHR is expected to be part of the solution in B&H in the transitional process of transformation and gaining full sovereignty, the HNS says. “With his party address, not his state address, Mister Dzaferovic once again struck at key elements of the Dayton Peace Agreement. Citing the Republic of Croatia as the de facto enemy of B&H is an example of disrupting regional relations with the state that saved and liberated B&H, unblocked Sarajevo and prevented the Srebrenica tragedy in Bihac,” reads HNS B&H’s statement.

 

Dzaferovic with UK, French Ambassadors to UN; Discuss crisis in B&H, blockade of B&H institutions and Russian influence in B&H and region (Dnevni avaz)

 

Chairman of B&H Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic met in New York with UK and Northern Ireland Ambassador to the UN Dame Barbara Woodward. The officials discussed the UN Security Council’s session dedicated to crisis in B&H, as well as Russian influence in B&H and strong consequences of Russian aggression on Ukraine on stability of B&H and Western Balkans. Dzaferovic also met with French Ambassador to UN Nicolas de Riviere. The officials discussed the crisis in B&H, condemnation of blockade of B&H institutions and secessionist moves with which RS authorities undermine Dayton Peace Agreement. Dzaferovic welcomed the decision of the UK Government to impose sanctions to RS officials.

 

Covic on arrival of European officials in B&H: European administration needs to motivate Bosniak parties (RTV HB/BHT1)

 

President of the Croat Peoples’ Assembly (HNS) and leader of the HDZ B&H Dragan Covic commented for RTV HB the planned visit of EU officials to B&H. Covic said a solution for reform of the Election Law needs to be found, but also that the EU administration needs to motivate Bosniak parties that want to maintain the status quo as a strategic commitment. “If we are lucky enough to agree on something, it will be much easier to implement the election result and we will get rid of some pressures, tensions that exist, because we simply have to alleviate the impact brought on by the election game. Tensions will appear even within one people or political options, and imagine what will happen between the Bosniak and Croat peoples if the issue of legitimate representation of Croats is not resolved”, Covic said.

 

Murphy meets Covic; HDZ insists there are no conditions for holding of elections (Oslobodjenje)

 

US Ambassador to B&H Michael Murphy met with HDZ B&H leader Dragan Covic in Sarajevo on Thursday. The US Embassy to B&H posted on their Twitter that the officials discussed the constitutional responsibility that all leaders in B&H have for timely and transparent elections: “He called on HDZ-B&H to support the conflict of interest legislation and other laws necessary to fight corruption and advance B&H’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Ambassador Murphy stressed that the people of B&H deserve functional, efficient and accountable government at all levels and in which all parties participate in good faith”. HDZ B&H also issued a statement about the meeting, stating that the “officials discussed the current situation in B&H, internal relations, general elections and process of reform of the Election Law of B&H, which remains to be open political issue, despite the efforts of Croat representatives to have all the negotiations end in an agreement”.  “In this moment there are no conditions for holding of elections in B&H or implementation of election process,” HDZ B&H stated.

 

30th anniversary of formation of RS Army marked (BHT1)

 

The Central Ceremony in the Kozara barracks in Banja Luka on Thursday marked the Day of the Third Infantry Regiment of the Armed Forces of B&H, which inherited the tradition of the former RS Army. The event began with an honorary greeting for one of the three supreme commanders, followed by the intonation of the anthem of B&H and the RS. Commander of the 3rd Infantry RS Regiment of the Armed Forces of B&H Milorad Krajsumovic stated that the goal was to inherit the tradition of unity that adorned the Serb people and the RS army, and they wanted to pass the culture on to the younger ones. “I am sure that they are the ones who can, with a patriotic way and with an awareness of how important the RS is, always give their contribution to preserving its stability and peace,” emphasized RS President Zeljka Cvijanovic. “We must remember those who lost their personal comfort because they were part of the army, but we must also condemn those who decided to do certain things outside the law. That cannot overshadow the idea that the Serb people have decided to have their own army”, stated B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik in his speech. Dodik said that Althea’s military mission in B&H could stay and expand, but not with German troops and patrolling the streets, which he considered inappropriate. He also reiterated his opposition to B&H joining NATO. Dodik stressed on Thursday that the RS Army was created by the Serb people and that is why it is national and defense army. “One of the most important dates in our history is May 12, the day when the RS Army was formed. That is why we must not forget all those who embedded their lives into the creation of the RS,” said Dodik, noting that January 9, together with May 12 is the most important date in the history of RS. Dodik also said that he regrets that the RS Army was transformed into the B&H AF’s Third Infantry Regiment. There was no talk about the current army, the conditions in which they work, the washed uniforms they wear, the reputation they have. However, Dodik sent a message to the soldiers to stay in the barracks and exclusively serve peace. “The Third Infantry RS Regiment inherits the tradition of the RS Army and keeps the peace for us. I hope this will be its enduring role,” said B&H Deputy Minister of Defense Mirko Okolic. I am sure that they are the ones who can, with a patriotic way and with an awareness of how important the RS is, always give their contribution to preserving its stability and peace, emphasized Cvijanovic.

 

Court of B&H confirms indictment in ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case (O Kanal)

 

The Court of B&H has confirmed the indictment of the B&H Prosecutor’s Office against 10 people on suspicion of having committed a war crime in the former Dobrovoljacka Street in Sarajevo, in early May 1992. The indictment has been confirmed in its entirety, according to the B&H Prosecutor’s Office. The indictment includes Ejup Ganic, Zaim Backovic, Hamid Bahto, Hasan Efendic, Fikret Muslimovic, Jusuf Pusina, Bakir Alispahic, Enes Bezdrob, Ismet Dahic and Mahir Zisko. The indictment includes the examination of 277 witnesses, as well as several experts, and more than 500 pieces of material evidence supporting the allegations in the indictment. According to the procedures, the defense has the right to appeal, followed by a hearing. Hayat reminded that the ICTY prosecutor’s office investigated the case and established that the JNA convoy as a foreign military force in the Sarajevo city center had all the elements of a legitimate military target. Also, a London court concluded in the case of wartime member of the RB&H Presidency Ejup Ganic, who was arrested on the same charges in London in 2010 upon the order of the Serbian war crimes prosecution, that Serbia abused the UK judiciary. In 2011, Austrian prosecution refused to extradite RBiH Army General Jovan Divjak to Serbia after he was arrested at the Vienna airport so he was released. In 2012, the Prosecutor’s Office of B&H established that all persons that were brought in connection with the ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case, including some of the wartime military, police and political officials of the RBiH who are included in the Court of B&H’s indictment, are not responsible for war crimes.

 

Zvizdic condemns confirming of indictment in ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case (FTV)

 

The speaker of the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) Denis Zvizdic was a guest for FTV. Demic pointed out that the indictment in the ‘Dobrovoljacka’ case was confirmed on Thursday and after several decision of different courts. Zvizdic commented: “I think it is an absurdity. While all the public expects the indictments to be launched and those who savagely, criminally, frantically bombed Sarajevo and killed its citizens for over 1,400 days to be prosecuted and convicted. Today we are witnessing an absurd decision to launch an indictment for people who, at that time, actually defended the attempt to start the occupation of Sarajevo. I am quite sure that the people listed in that indictment will prove their innocence, but to launch an indictment at a time when The Hague courts have said that there is no basis for such a thing and that the convoy was a legitimate military target, it seems to me that it has signs of disrespect for standards, practices and rules of the profession rather than a kind of political influence in an attempt to equate victim and aggressor.”

 

Milanovic announces he will order Croatian Ambassador to NATO Nobilo to veto NATO enlargement until Election Law issue in B&H is resolved; Grlic Radman: We do not want to be state that causes incidents (HRT1)

 

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic continued insisting that Croatia should veto the Finland’s NATO accession until the Election Law of B&H is amended. Milanovic announced that he will order Croatian Permanent Representative to NATO Mario Nobilo to veto NATO enlargement until the issue of Election Law is resolved. On the other hand, Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gordan Grlic Radman clarified that the Croatian Government does not support Milanovic’s efforts to prevent NATO enlargement. Grlic Radman noted that Croatia will act in line with the values of EU and NATO, which it adopted with the accession to EU and NATO. “We do not want to become a state that causes incidents. We want to remain a state that shares the values of EU and NATO,” the FM concluded.

 

Foreign Minister clarifies support for NATO expansion (HRT1)

 

The Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Croatia’s ambassador to NATO would obey its instructions in deciding on the admission of Finland and Sweden. The ministry issued a statement after Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman earlier did not answer explicitly when asked by the press if the ambassador must obey the president or the ministry. President Zoran Milanovic wants Croatia to make the two countries’ NATO accession conditional on changing the electoral law in Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure the equality of Croats. Yesterday he said he would order Croatian Ambassador to NATO Mario Nobilo to veto enlargement if his condition was not met. The government, on the other hand, supports the accession of Finland and Sweden unconditionally. “This is the government’s prudent and reasonable position which is in line with our commitments to NATO membership, which is in line with our support for an open door policy, and which is in line with our own national interest. We do not want to a state that causes problems, but rather a state that shares the values and commitments that come with both EU and NATO membership,” said Grlic Radman. The permanent representative to NATO receives his instructions from the ministry, which is the usual procedure and will be so in this case also, the ministry said, adding that in the case of the NATO accession of Finland and Sweden, Nobilo will act in line with the ministry’s instructions. “He is in the service of protecting national interests, which are clear in this case. By enlarging NATO, we are strengthening our own security,” the statement said. Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said it was important that the ratification process in all 30 NATO member states goes smoothly. “Croatia is an important member of NATO and the European Union. I called the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs and asked him what he thought, and he said that the Croatian government and parliament support Finland’s membership in NATO. We would not like some issues that are not related to Europe’s security to be related to our accession to NATO,” said Haavisto.

 

Croatian Ambassador with UN Simonovic: Milanovic tries to emphasize that issue of Election Law of B&H is matter of peace and security (HRT1)

 

HRT1 carried an interview with Croatian Ambassador with the UN Ivan Simonovic, who discussed different global issues including the situation in Ukraine. Asked to provide a comment on Croatian President Zoran Milanovic’s statements on the potential veto on the entry of Finland and Sweden in NATO if the Election Law is not amended in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), Simonovic said that he does not think Croatia will block Finland and Sweden on this path. “I think it would not be good,” he added. Simonovic noted that he thought the president was trying to emphasize that the issue of Election Law in B&H is a matter of peace and security and that “if Croats do not have a legitimate representative in the Presidency it would really destabilizes B&H in these critical periods”.

 

Secretary of State of Holy See, Cardinal Parolin visits Croatia: Vatican supports equality of peoples in B&H (Jutarnji list)

 

The Secretary of State of Holy See Cardinal Pietro Parolin paid a visit to Croatia in period from 10 to 12 May on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Vatican’s international recognition of Croatia. The Cardinal addresses the Croatian Parliament, and he had a scheduled meeting with Croatian President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. Addressing the press conference after the meeting with Plenkovic, Cardinal Parolin stated that “the mission and dedication of Vatican” is to always advocate recognition of equality of the three peoples in B&H. Holy See joined several other authorities in insisting on adoption of a just Law on Elections of B&H, which should put an end to outvoting and belittling of Croats. Namely, daily reads that Archbishop Parolin stated that changed to the Law on Elections are of utmost importance and that Vatican advocated equality of the three peoples in B&H. Parolin added by saying that Vatican must continue to “stress to the international community the danger of the situation in B&H and consequences it may have on stability of the state and the region”. Plenkovic said that equality of the three constituent peoples can be achieved only by changing the Law on Elections. “We will continue with our efforts to fix the bad set-up, and we will appreciate the political support and the authority of the Holy See in the matter (…)”, said Plenkovic. According to the daily, the Croatian PM earlier confirmed that the highest level of the European Council will organize last round of electoral reform in B&H. In this context daily reads it was announced earlier that President of the European Council Charles Michel will visit B&H on 22 May.

 

Abazovic after meeting with Porfirije: I want this government to put an end to the story of the Fundamental Agreement (CdM)

 

My wish is for this government to put an end to the story of the Fundamental Agreement, and then we will move on, Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic told reporters after the meeting in the Ostrog Monastery with the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirije. He said that there is no dramatization regarding that issue. “It is the obligation of the state that needs to be completed, and I hope that it will end in a decent and beautiful way, as it was for other religious communities,” the Prime Minister pointed out. Asked whether it was appropriate for the prime minister of the secular state to meet with religious leaders in Ostrog, given that the place also has a political connotation because the previous government was formed there, Abazovic said he would try to be the prime minister of all citizens. Montenegro, regardless of whether they are believers or not. “As I visited the mountains and villages, I am very happy when I visit monasteries, churches, mosques, cathedrals. Everything in Montenegro is ours, common. Everything that serves the good should be promoted. The intention is for the Prime Minister to be on every inch of this country where it is needed,” said Abazovic. I had the pleasure of meeting again with the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Metropolitan. “I also thank the Metropolitan for the invitation. I congratulate everyone who celebrates the great glory of Saint Vasilije Ostroski, which is jubilee this year, and I am looking forward to Montenegro’s path of reconciliation, the path of justice,” he said, among other things. We remind you that the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral announced that the proposal on the meeting of Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic with Serbian Patriarch Porfirije came from the Prime Minister’s Office. The Metropolitan said that, since the arrival of the Serbian patriarch in Podgorica is not planned, the meeting with Abazovic will be organized in the Ostrog monastery. The Serbian Orthodox Church will have a correct interlocutor in the Government of Montenegro to resolve open issues, in order to complete the story fairly and in accordance with the law, for the mutual benefit of the state of Montenegro and the Serbian Orthodox Church, said Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic during the meeting in Ostrog Monastery, with His Holiness the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirje and His Eminence Metropolitan Joanikije of Montenegro and the Littoral, during the ceremony on the occasion of the day of St. Basil of Ostrog. Patriarch Porfirije thanked Prime Minister Abazovic for coming to the ceremony on the occasion of St. Basil of Ostrog Day and used the opportunity to congratulate the election for the presidency, emphasizing the belief that it will be to the personal satisfaction and benefit of all Montenegrin citizens. “I want God to give you the strength to bear the burden and responsibility, bearing in mind the effort that this brings, especially in our region,” said Patriarch Porfirije. The Patriarch emphasized that the Church respects the state in which its institutions are located, and the minimum that it expects and wants is to organize its life so as not to endanger anyone, but also to enjoy the rights and freedoms prescribed by law. Abazovic stated that the most important thing is to never forget the human level and that the whole point is to build a society in which different people will live freely with each other, with all the specifics and differences. “There will be no restrictions in that direction, and we will contribute with our example to the development of the enviable form of tolerance that exists in Montenegro and the region in an even more correct direction,” concluded Abazovic.

 

US pressure on Bulgaria over Macedonia seems to be having effect (Republika)

 

In several recent statements, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov became even more active in promoting the end of the veto against Macedonia’s EU accession talks. Petkov was moderate in his positions to Macedonia from the start, unlike hard-line President Rumen Radev, but is now very openly conciliatory. I have decided that the future of Macedonia and Albania should be in the EU. That is good for the region, Petkov said. He is now on a visit to the United States, and after meeting US officials, who are apparently pushing hard for the lifting of the veto, Petkov said that Bulgaria will lift its veto as soon as Macedonia meets the conditions. Petkov did not mention the declaration of the Bulgarian Parliament, which put very heavy demands before Macedonia, asking that we thoroughly change our national identity, which has made negotiations very difficult. Both Petkov and his Foreign Minister Teodora Gencovska, who is much more of a hard-liner, now talk mostly about the 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty, which lays claim to Macedonian history and identity, but far less intrusively than the Declaration.

 

Nikoloski calls for support to open EU accession talks with Macedonia (Republika)

 

VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski met with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Zagreb, where he’s attending the Friends of Europe 40 under 40 conference. Nikoloski also met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Croatian parliament. “During the meetings I welcomed the tremendous friendship that Macedonia and Croatia have and our excellent bilateral relations. I asked that Macedonia is given a date to open EU accession talks. I also informed about the political situation in Macedonia and the active blockade that VMRO-DPMNE maintains in Parliament, as a means to go to early elections. VMRO-DPMNE and HDZ are sister parties and we clearly explained our goals – that we hold quick early elections in which the voters will be able to have their say,” Nikoloski said. Nikoloski called on Croatia to support Macedonia on its path to the European Union. Nikoloski is in Zagreb for a conference of the Friends of Europe organization and is meeting Croatian officials. “I met with Geri Kapeli, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament. We discussed the process of European integration of Macedonia and the strong support that Croatia gives us. I call that Macedonia is allowed to open its EU accession talks. The citizens of Macedonia deserve that,” Nikoloski said.

 

SDSM won’t support election reform because of pressure from DUI (Republika)

 

VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski said that he is prepared to put the proposal for a single electoral district to a vote, which is an important request of the smaller partners in the SDSM – DUI coalition. “It’s a strange situation. SDSM is in coalition with DOM, LDP, VMRO-NP, DS. They all want to have a single electoral district. But SDSM is also in coalition with DUI, which rejects this idea. Let’s put this to vote tomorrow, and we will advance the request from Justice Minister Nikola Tupancevski to prepare workgroups,” Mickoski said. DUI and other Albanian parties which win seats in the 6th district, where the voter registry is greatly inflated, oppose this proposal because it would lose them seats.

 

Majority dismisses DP’s Resolution against Srebrenica massacre (ADN)

 

Ruling majority has rejected Thursday the resolution initiated by former prime minister Sali Berisha and a group of MPs of the Democratic Party (DP) Re-establishment Commission, to condemn the Srebrenica genocide committed by Serbia in Bosnia. With 51 votes against, the Assembly decided to continue with the agenda approved at the Conference of Presidents and to reject the proposal of former Prime Minister Berisha to condemn the Srebrenica massacre. “It is not approved, there are 51 votes against and 15 votes in favor,” said the speaker of parliament Lindita Nikolla. Earlier, the head of the Socialist Party’s (SP) Parliamentary Group Taulant Balla made it clear that the majority will never support the initiatives coming from the Re-establishment Commission represented by Sali Berisha. “Yes, we can agree to make a resolution on this whole issue but never a resolution to come with your signature of the afterlife. “You can never get any support or proposal here for four years, as long as you are here you will not be. Never mind, we will talk,” said Balla. Berisha has urged on Thursday Albanian lawmakers in Parliament to condemn the Serbrenica massacre so that it does not happen again. During his speech, Berisha attacked Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, whom he described as a “little Putin” responsible for the Bosnian genocide, which he could repeat at any time in the Balkans. “People gathered in Serbrenica in a camp assembled by the UN, but due to the weaknesses of their defenders, the biggest bloodshed took place. Those who could get out of the camp and flee to the forests were captured and no one escaped. Recognition of genocide is a necessary act for civilized nations and societies. Recognition of genocide is intended to never be repeated. Aleksandar Vucic is the architect of this genocide. It is recorded with voice and image that says that for every Serb, 100 Muslims should be killed, the main principle of genocide based on religious hatred. We have a major obligation to condemn this genocide that has been sanctioned by The Hague Tribunal and the War Crimes Tribunal in the former Yugoslavia. It is a genocide that has been proven and accepted by civilized countries. If the Balkans are in this situation today and do not move towards the EU, one of the reasons is the attitude of the international community towards Aleksandar Vucic, the perpetrator of the genocide. This man is a little Putin ready to repeat it at any time,” said Berisha.

 

Rama ‘attacks’ Berisha after Resolution for Srebrenica massacre (ADN)

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama has called the proposal for a resolution condemning the Srebrenica massacre by former prime minister Sali Berisha a low game. Through a post on Twitter, Rama raises the question of why Berisha proposed a resolution today and on what occasion. Further, the head of government declares that this resolution is a low game of a person declared non-grata and known as the embargo breaker against Slobodan Milosevic and that is caught behind the bones of the victims of the Belgrade butcher. “Those who jump for the alleged failure of a resolution on Srebrenica in the Albanian parliament, should first ask what is in this resolution today, why, in what case? Then they should be informed about the text in question and finally they should learn it that it was not a resolution but a low game! The low game of a person designated non-grata for corruption and undermining democracy, also known worldwide as the breaker of the embargo on Slobodan Milosevic, who is caught even behind the bones of the victims of the Belgrade butcher, to be resurrected from his political grave! Pity for those who, without having the idea of ??this low game at all, feel wrongly hurt,” said Rama.

 

Berisha: Majority rejected resolution on Srebrenica by order of Vucic (ADN)

 

Former prime minister Sali Berisha has responded to the head of government Edi Rama, who this Thursday afternoon said that the resolution on Srebrenica that was not voted in Parliament was a low game of the historical leader of the Democrats. Berisha rejects Rama’s claims that the presentation of the resolution was unexpected. According to him, the resolution condemning the genocide in Bosnia was submitted in accordance with all deadlines set by parliamentary regulations. The former prime minister says the majority vote against the resolution was an anti-national act ordered by Aleksandar Vucic. “Regarding Edi Rama’s statement on his rejection and his pseudo-majority of the resolution condemning the Serbian genocide in Bosnia, I clarify the following: Edi Rama’s claim that the submission of the resolution was unexpected is a lie worthy of it alone. The resolution condemning the genocide in Bosnia was submitted in accordance with all the deadlines set by the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament, was reviewed by the Presidency of the Parliament and it was decided to present it today in the plenary session. Representatives of the SP, a majority in the presidency of Parliament have rejected and voted with a dark conscience against the resolution. Thus, Edi Rama and his parliamentary group have had all the sufficient time provided by the rules of procedure of the parliament for the review of this resolution but have decided in an inhuman and anti-national act to vote against it by order of Aleksandar Vucic. This resolution was approved by the European Parliament, the US Congress. We add here that Edi Rama and his parliamentary group have previously voted with full awareness against the debate with a motion for the Open Balkans and the resolution of the PD parliamentary group condemning the Russian genocide in Ukraine,” noted Berisha. In his reaction earlier on Thursday, Edi Rama asked why this resolution is being discussed right now. According to the head of government, this is a low game by Mr. Berisha, whom he described as a person declared non-grata by US.

 

President criticizes majority for voting against Srebrenica Resolution (ADN)

 

President of the Republic Ilir Meta has criticized the ruling majority for voting against the resolution that condemns the genocide in Srebrenica. Meta stressed that he is extremely sorry that members of the Albanian parliament distort undeservedly and do not represent the will of Albanian citizens, who have shown by their actions that they are against ethnic cleansing, and in defense of freedom and human dignity. “Extremely disappointing is the vote of the majority against the draft resolution submitted to the Albanian Parliament for the recognition and condemnation of the genocide of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Srebrenica in July 1995. In the conditions of unprovoked and unjustifiable Russian aggression against Ukraine, and when in our region there are increased efforts to deny the Serbian genocide in Srebrenica and to glorify the war criminals, today’s session of the Albanian Parliament should express solemnity and full determination the inalienable will of the Albanian people against the barbaric genocide, which took the lives of 8372 people in Srebrenica. I am extremely sorry that members of the Albanian Parliament distort in an undeserved way and do not represent the will of the Albanian citizens, who have shown by their actions that they are against ethnic cleansing, and in defense of freedom and human dignity,” said President Meta.

 

MP uncovers reason why Rama rejected resolution for Srebrenica (ADN)

 

The Socialist majority in the Assembly rejected the proposal of the “Re-establishment Commission” for the resolution of Srebrenica. While the Prime Minister Edi Rama said that they do not accept any proposal from Sali Berisha, MP Tritan Shehu responded by saying that the main reason Rama rejects is the links with Serbia and the Open Balkans. According to him, Rama does not want Aleksandar Vucic to be upset. The Democrat MP also stressed that war crimes should not be forgotten and that this was the purpose of the resolution proposed by them, but that found no support. “War crimes should not be forgotten. Serbia has not apologized. The problems have become clear in Europe. Serbia has not accepted sanctions against Russia. It is also an obligation of the Albanian parliament to have such a document. It had to pass. They are useless reasons. They also overturned our resolution condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine. The reason is another, the ties with Serbia. So that Vuçiç does not get upset. The cause is the Open Balkans. These are political deductions, but based on events,” said Shehu.

 

Why majority dismissed DP resolution on Serbian genocide (ADN)

 

The leader of the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party Taulant Balla has revealed the reason why they voted against the resolution condemning the Serbian genocide in Srebrenica. Balla said in a statement to reporters that the position of the Socialists has to do with the fact that one of the MPs who proposed this resolution is the former Prime Minister Sali Berisha. He said that Berisha is an independent member of the Albanian Parliament, declared non grata by the US and for this reason the Socialists will reject any proposal that bears his signature. “Regarding a decision-making of the Albanian parliament today that was related to a request of some MPs and was not related to our clear position, condemning the Srebrenica massacre. I want to clarify that our position today had and has to do with the fact that the decision that one of the proposing MPs in the submitted request is called Sali Berisha, independent MP. He is inadmissible for any kind of proposal. We have made the decision to reject any proposal that bears his signature. Independent MP Berisha is declared non grata and every time he submits requests and proposals, they will be rejected. The parliament has rejected a request from a non-grata MP. I believe what I said above is the correct answer. It is not about the resolution, but about the person proposing it. It is a shame in the region that such a resolution bears the signature of this person, which aggravates the accusations of breaking the embargo. No proposal coming from Sali Berisha is approved by the parliament,” said Balla.

 

Rama: We expect Open Balkans to work better and better; No time to lose (Radio Tirana)

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama from Brussels stated that the Open Balkans initiative will continue, and as he said, he expects Montenegro to join soon. Rama stated that the Open Balkans initiative will continue, and as he said, he expects Montenegro to join soon. According to him, it is a matter of time before everyone joins. He called on all Balkan’s countries to unite so that no more time is wasted, as cooperation is needed. “The Open Balkans works and will work better and better. Now we are waiting for Montenegro to join, that is, it is a matter of time, I have always said, it is a matter of time for everyone to unite, in fact, there is no other place for this work but cooperation, cooperation , so of course it is definitely a waste of time for those who hesitate or refuse to join, but we do not have time to lose,” said Rama. Asked about Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic‘s statements that he would reconsider his position if Kosovo seeks European membership, Rama said: “This will not be discussed at all. We are very clear. We have no equivocation. We are in absolute support of Kosovo at every step and for everything that connects Albania, Kosovo and the international community. While we have a completely different approach when it comes to the normalization of relations step by step in economic terms, in terms of freedom of movement and so on, with Serbia in parallel with the battle at the table, the diplomatic battle for dialogue and so on, because we believe that this is the way and on the other hand we fully respect the choice made by the legitimate, voted, mandated, responsible authorities of Kosovo to have a completely different approach in this regard. But when it comes to Kosovo demarches in the international arena, we are 100% with Kosovo. Serbia is certainly in its own right to think completely differently, we feel sorry for Serbia in this case, but we will support Kosovo!,” Rama said.

 

Ex-DP leader greets Kosovo’s application for CoE membership (ADN)

 

The former chairman of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha addressed the Assembly and welcomed Kosovo’s application for membership as a full member of the Council of Europe. This official application, said Basha, is a key moment of developments for the Balkans and the Albanian nation. “14 years after the declaration of independent Kosovo, our region has experienced liberation from the nightmares of destabilization and war. Investing in an independent Kosovo, in Kosovo side by side with the sons and daughters of NATO member countries, the most successful global investment, especially in Western democracies. Today we have the opportunity to unanimously welcome a key moment of developments for the Balkans and the Albanian nation, Kosovo’s application for membership as a full member of the Council of Europe. Personally, I am doubly pleased to see a deliberate step planned for years in cooperation between the governments of Tirana and Pristina now come to life with the full and concerted support of CoE members. In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the citizens of Kosovo and the political forces in Kosovo, assure you of my personal support, and congratulate and ask for a fruitful cooperation that begins today with the application to the Council of Europe. Despite the skepticism, we should move forward, for a Kosovo member of the Council of Europe,” Basha said.

 

Rama after the meetings in Brussels: Our image is completely different today, Albania is considered a model for the region (Radio Tirana)

 

Prime Minister Edi Rama gave an interview after the meetings he had in Brussels, underlining that for Albania the opinion is very positive, and another positive progress report is expected to be released. “We are convinced that it will be even more positive because many things have happened. Albania’s image is completely different today in every aspect. Albania is considered a model for the region, not only here, but also in The Hague. This is very clear. However, yesterday the conversation focused on the socio-economic situation, as a result of the consequences of the war and for the sake of truth, if we could share that conversation with the public in Albania, we would have heard a much more problematic situation than ours, in terms of financial sustainability, in terms of further financing of the economy, in terms of inflation and so on. As for the rest, we are in the position that is known, we will wait for the French presidency. Here the issue is with Bulgaria, which has taken Macedonia hostage and which, as a result, has made us hostage to a major stalemate that we have no connection with at all. Meanwhile, I believe that everyone is clear that this situation cannot continue any longer. However, we will immediately change course, as we have said and as we have received from the National Council, in case our country does not move to the next stage to formally sit at the negotiating table,” Rama said.

 

Kim meeting with the Ambassador of Ukraine and Xhacka / We will continue to impose serious consequences on Russia (Radio Tirana)

 

Ambassador Yuri Kim welcomed the Ambassador of Ukraine Volodymyr Shkurov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Olta Xhacka to the Ryerson House for a meeting between friends and allies in solidarity of Ukraine. The ambassador and representatives of NATO countries, as well as other Ukrainian supporters, joined with Ambassador Kim to jointly reconfirm their unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. Ambassador Kim thanked Albania for its strong role as co-host with the United States in the United Nations Security Council. Over the past two months, the United States has provided nearly $ 14 billion in security, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine. The international community must hold Russia accountable for this terrible war, and we will continue to have serious consequences for Russia and its potential. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (as of May 8), there were 7,061 civilian casualties in Ukraine, with 3,381 men, women and children killed and 3,680 injured. The UN has also estimated that some 6 million Ukrainians have fled their country since the Russian invasion in February.

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