Vucic with Bilcik: Serbia on the EU path, but as an independent country (RTS)
President Aleksandar Vucic met with the rapporteur of the European Parliament for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, and a member of the Delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee for Stabilization and Accession to the European Union, Matjaz Nemec. “I had an open and honest conversation with Vladimir Bilcik and Matjaz Nemec about all important and difficult issues, on which we do not always agree, and the members of the European Parliament informed me about the mood in Brussels when it comes to the politics of our country,” Vucic wrote on Instagram. He stated that he repeated the well-known positions of Serbia regarding the numerous challenges facing not only our country, but also the entire region and the EU, as well as in the global political arena. “Serbia remains on the EU path, but as an independent and sovereign country that makes its own decisions concerning its state and national interests,” said Vucic.
Bilcik with parliamentary groups in the Serbian Parliament
The special rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, met in the Parliament of Serbia, as part of a two-day visit to Belgrade, with parliamentary groups of the Moramo-Zajedno coalition, as well as representatives of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party of Serbia. Vladimir Bilcik also spoke with representatives of the parliamentary group PUPS-Solidarity and Justice, and during the day he will also meet with the parliamentary group Greens – Left Bloc, the Union of Vojvodina Hungarians, the parliamentary group NADA – New DSS-POKS, as well as with the parliamentary group European regions.
Co-president of the party Zajedno Nebojsa Zelenovic said, after the meeting with Bilcik, that “it is unsustainable that Serbia is not determined according to the facts regarding Russian aggression”. Zelenovic told the journalists that the Zajedno party will try to make the topic of Serbia’s position towards Russia the most important topic in society and that it be discussed in the parliament. He indicated that it is important for citizens to know that Serbia is in a very delicate situation and that a strategic agreement with the EU regarding European integration should be made.
Bilcik met yesterday in the parliament with parliamentary groups SNS, SPS, Party of Freedom and Justice and DS. As the journalists were told, Bilcik will issue a press release after all the meetings in Belgrade.
Lajcak on the dialogue with Scholz’s adviser, Jens Ploetner (RTV)
The European Union’s special representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak, spoke with Jens Ploetner, foreign policy advisor to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, about the next steps in the dialogue normalization process. “A very good meeting with Jens Ploetner, Chancellor Scholz‘s chief diplomatic adviser in Berlin. We discussed our recent visit to the Western Balkans, as well as current developments and the next steps in the normalization process. I am grateful for the strong support for my work,” Lajcak wrote on Twitter. Jens Ploetner was tasked by Chancellor Scholz at the beginning of the month to help Lajcak in the dialogue process.
Germans work on drafting CSM statute, the document is secret; How did that happen? (Novosti)
“Friedrich Ebert Stiftung” and the European Institute for Peace were entrusted with the task of drafting the Statute of the Community of Serbian Municipalities. The German Foundation “Friedrich Ebert Stiftung” (FES) and the European Institute for Peace (EIP) were entrusted with the task of drafting the Statute of the Community of Serbian Municipalities. The mentioned organizations have been working on that document for the last months, and the revised version, which should contain the comments of Serbian and Albanian NGOs in Kosovo and Metohija, should be on the desk of the EU’s special representative for the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak, writes Novosti. As the newspaper learns from diplomatic circles, on Tuesday, a meeting was organized in Belgrade, in the premises of the “Aeroclub”, with the participation of representatives of Serbian and Albanian NGOs and international missions from Kosovo, as well as German diplomats.
They were presented with the draft of the future statute of the CSM, on which they could make comments and suggestions. The Serbian side was represented by Milica Andric Rakic, Jovana Radosavljevic, Aleksandar Rapajic, as well as Aleksandra Spremo from YUKOM. The mentioned document, as Novosti has learned, is not intended for publication, but to become part of the negotiation process after the objections that are expressed, that is, to be negotiated with “the government of the so-called Kosovo and the Serbian government, and then to be shared with a third party”, but it is not specified with which one.
We’re guessing that it will be Germany, which is directly involved in the process through FES, and it was said at the meeting that official Berlin is open to suggestions.
On the basis of the presented Draft Statute, representatives of NGOs, among other things, had a dilemma whether CSM is a legal entity or should be a state body. They expressed their fear that under this draft, Serbs would have even fewer rights than those currently granted by the Kosovo constitution.
They were also bothered by the fact that the text emphasizes that everything must be in accordance with the Kosovo constitution, and the Constitutional Court there has already declared that the CSM is not in accordance with the highest legal act. The participants also stated that official Berlin is open to suggestions. Criticisms presented at the meeting should subsequently, according to an objective assessment, be included in the final draft of the CSM Statute, which would be prepared by “Friedrich Ebert” and the European Institute for Peace, and which would ultimately be submitted to Lajcak for further use and offer to the Serbian and the Albanian side in the dialogue. And here comes the point of contention in this whole process.
First of all, the question is how it came to be that the core of the Brussels Agreement, namely the CSM, was left to the will of a German non-governmental organization, which, according to many, discredits the entire process, as well as the EU itself as the sponsor of the dialogue and Lajcak as the envoy for the dialogue. Especially considering that he was given the mandate for this job by all EU members, including five countries that do not recognize Kosovo’s independence. Now the entire process of drafting the statute is being directed by a German NGO, that is, Berlin, which is one of the most vocal founders of Kosovo and which is asking Serbia to recognize Kosovo as a condition for entering the EU. Then, it is problematic that the political option that has by far the strongest support among the Serbs in Kosovo, which is the Serbian List, was not invited to the talks on the draft of a vitally important document for the Serbian people in Kosovo. Preference was given to the heads of the NGO sector in Serbian communities in Kosovo, who have no legitimacy among our compatriots.
As Novosti has learned, Lajcak should meet with the representatives of Serbian and Albanian NGOs who were “combing” the outline of the proposed statute of the CSM in Belgrade today in Berlin, at the conference of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), an organization currently co-chaired by Carl Bildt.
Pristina’s chief negotiator Besnik Bislimi and State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nemanja Starovic were initially invited to the panel with Lajcak. However, at the last minute, the organizers requested that, at the request of Lajcak, Bislimi and Starovic not attend the meeting, so that the EU envoy “could communicate more openly with representatives of the civil sector”.
The former head of diplomacy, Vladislav Jovanovic, indicates to Novosti that the inclusion of Germany, through the “Friedrich Ebert” Foundation, in the drafting of the CSM Statute is not encouraging, given the decades-long negative role of Berlin, first in the destruction of the SFRY, and then in the subsequent crisis stages in which the Serbs and Serbia bore the brunt of the victims precisely because of Berlin’s extreme policy. “Germany was among the countries that advocated the NATO intervention the most in 1999. Lajcak, as in his previous positions and in this one as an emissary for dialogue, is clearly not completely independent, but rather to the greatest extent the executor of the order”.
Dejan S. Miletic, from the Center for the Study of Globalization, believes that this is about the continuous loss of the position of the mediator in the dialogue, which should be status neutral, to convince both parties to work in the interest of the agreement, and not to act in the interest of one party. “With this move, the credibility of the EU continues to collapse, in which there is no consensus on the issue of Kosovo’s independence. Everything that is done in favor of one side or in the direction of prejudicing Kosovo status is the wrong direction and cannot bring results.
According to Ognjen Karanovic, from the Center for Social Stability, instead of dealing with the issue of the CSM Statute, official Berlin should force Pristina to implement the Brussels Agreement and form the CSM, and the Statute should be defined by those whose community it is – Kosovo Serbs. “Unfortunately, official Berlin has so far had no intention of seriously dealing with this issue and removing the pressure on Kurti, who, after all, is acting on their orders,” said Karanovic.
It is interesting that the draft proposal for the statute of the CSM does not directly mention the Brussels Agreement, i.e. the first agreement on the principles governing the normalization of relations, initialled in 2013 by Belgrade and Pristina with the guarantee of the EU. The Brussels Agreement is mentioned at the beginning of the text of the Draft, but indirectly, again under the guise of Kosovo laws and the Constitution. Thus, the first article of the Draft reads: “The Association – Community of municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo is a legal entity in accordance with the Law on Ratification of the First Agreement and the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo”.
Lajcak and Germans drafting statute for Community of Serb municipalities (Novosti)
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) foundation from Germany and the European Institute for Peace have been tasked with drafting a Statute for the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo, the Vecernje Novosti daily has reported. It was added that said organizations have been working on the document for months, and that a revised draft – incorporating the comments of Serb and Albanian NGOs from Kosovo – will be submitted to Miroslav Lajcak, the EU’s special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue. Citing diplomatic sources, the paper claims that a sitdown was organized to this end in Belgrade on Sept. 27, gathering the representatives of Serb and Albanian NGOs, the international missions in Kosovo and German diplomats. The Novosti maintains that the drafted document “is not intended for publication.” Instead, once the comments of the NGOs have been incorporated, “it will be used as part of the negotiations process,” wherein the governments of Serbia, Kosovo and an unnamed third country will be asked to offer their opinions.
U.S. Officials: Agreement between Serbia, Russia step in the wrong direction (Beta)
The U.S. believes that no country should expand its cooperation with Russia while it is waging its aggressive war against Ukraine, the U.S. State Department has said, commenting on the Serbian Foreign Ministry’s decision to sign a plan of consultations with Russia for the next two years. A State Department spokesperson told the Voice of America that the “news of the agreement is surprising and entirely contrary to other constructive meetings held with Serbian officials in New York” but did not say which meetings. “The further siding with Russia is a step in the wrong direction and contrary to Serbia’s pronounced European aspirations… Serbia should step up its efforts to progress on the European path, including diversifying energy sources to reduce its energy dependence on Russia and align its foreign and security policy with the EU’s,” the unnamed spokesperson said.
Vulin: Serbia is not a reserve, we make our own decisions (N1)
The US State Department’s criticism of Serbia over the signing of a consultations plan with Russia “is, to use the language of the State Department, surprising and a step in the wrong direction,” said Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs Aleksandar Vulin. “Serbia has done nothing against international law, and especially nothing that is against the interests of its citizens, which is the measure of all things for us here in Serbia,” said Vulin. The United States of America is sitting with the Russian Federation in the United Nations Security Council yet it expects Serbia to become part of the “anti-Russian hysteria,” said the Minister.
“As in the example of disrespecting the territorial integrity of Serbia, and demanding that Ukraine be inviolable, the USA confirms that hypocrisy and double standards are the only constants of the policy of the great powers, especially of those that bombed Serbia,” said Vulin. “We are a small people, but we are a free people and as long as we are led by (Serbian President) Aleksandar Vucic, we will remain free and decide for ourselves who our friends are and with whom and how we cooperate,” said Vulin, adding: “Serbia is not a big country, but it is not a reserve either, we make our own decisions.”
Oath keepers oppose sanctions against Russia (Beta)
The president of the Oath Keepers party, Milica Djurdjevic Stamenkovski, stated in Belgrade on Sept. 29 that Serbia should “fortify its position of military and political neutrality” and that it must be a country that would not impose sanctions on any internationally recognized state. Before the start of a conference titled Security Issues in Modern Europe, Djurdjevic Stamenkovski told reporters that the state in which the EU member countries were was “alarming” and that Serbia should not follow their example. “The Brussels administration imposes the harmonization of European countries’ foreign policy and insists on the member states’ joining the sanctions against Russia. These sanctions have had a multifaceted effect on the economies and energy stability of European countries,” she said at a news conference, which representatives of Russia and Belarus also attended.
MEP Groselj: Nobody Is Forcing Serbia to Join EU (N1)
MEP from Renew Europe Group Klemen Groselj said, after the announcement that the European Parliament will call on EU not to continue accession negotiations with Serbia until Belgrade complies with the policy of sanctions against Russia, that Serbia decided to move towards the EU membership and that it had some obligations on its way, such as the harmonization of foreign policy, N1 reported. “EU expects Serbia to harmonize its foreign policy with EU, Serbia can do something different, but if it decides to make such moves, then it is a message to us that Serbia does not want to join EU, but it is a choice, it is not blackmail, it is the decision of the official authorities in Belgrade, it is not our pressure. If someone wants to join EU, they know what the conditions and criteria are and they should follow the conditions”, Groselj said. “It is better for Serbia to resolve the issue of Kosovo in negotiations with Kosovo, we all want to reach an agreement in the interest of everyone – Serbia, Kosovo, EU and the international community, no one wants to force Serbia, but only to start negotiations and reach an agreement acceptable to all. “Serbia, however, stands on the wrong side. The fact is that Russia is in great difficulties, everything clearly says that Russia is not a great power and that it can create problems, but it does not have the power to guarantee Serbia something regarding Kosovo”, Groselj said. He emphasized that Serbia’s political position is quite legitimate not to join EU if it considers that it is not in its interest. “No one will force Serbia to do something, the problem of Serbian politics is that the acts of foreign policy are not in accordance with what Serbia represented in EU, we expect that what was said should be realized. “Serbia can decide otherwise, but every decision has some consequences, and that will be that the other party in the negotiations will no longer have an interest in the negotiations. “EU wants Serbia as a member, but there are conditions and principles that every country that wants to be a member must follow. “It is nothing different for Serbia, and the only question for Serbia and its authorities is whether they want to follow those principles. That decision should not be too complicated, because the only way for the entire Western Balkans is towards EU”, Klemen Groselj said.
Vucic at the reception marking China’s National Day: “Steel friendship” (Tanjug)
On the occasion of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, a formal reception was held today at the Embassy of that country in Belgrade. The reception, which began with the singing of the national anthems of Serbia and China, was also attended by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, government ministers including Sinisa Mali, Zorana Mihajlovic, Nikola Selakovic, Aleksandar Vulin, Tomislav Momirovic, Nenad Popovic, Irena Vujovic, Nebojsa Stefanovic, Darija Kisic, Andjelka Atanaskovic, Maja Gojkovic, President of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, Tomislav Nikolic and others. Among the guests are Ivica Dacic, director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Petar Petkovic, director of the Office for Information Technologies and Electronic Administration Mihailo Jovanovic.
The National Day of the People’s Republic of China is China’s national day, which is celebrated on October 1, in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the PRC at Tiananmen in 1949 by the proclamation of Mao Zedong. It was officially declared the National Day of China on December 2, 1949, and this was done by the People’s Political Consultative Conference of China, which at that time performed the function of the Constituent Assembly.
From 1949 to 1959, a large military parade was organized every year on the occasion of National Day, and after a multi-year break, the next parade was organized in 1984. Since 1999, parades have been organized every 10 years, and since that year, National Day has become the “Golden week” and the whole week is non-working.
“I am endlessly grateful to the Chinese leadership for the support it provides to Kosovo and Metohija as part of Serbia and to our territorial integrity, and that this has never been called into question, regardless of all the pressures,” said Vucic. As well as our relationship with China and support for the policy of preserving China’s territorial integrity and the policy of One China, it has never been questioned, added the President of Serbia. “We can be proud of our friendship. I honestly believe that it is a steel friendship,” said Vucic. President of Serbia said that 10 years ago we did not even dream of how much we could achieve through joint work and cooperation with China. Vučić reminded that during the corona pandemic, China helped Serbia with medical equipment and in other ways and thanked the Chinese for showing that they are our friends in difficult times. He pointed out that China helped Serbia by taking over Ironworks Smederevo when we were previously looking for partners and were losing huge amounts of money on a monthly basis. “We did not manage to solve the problem until President Xi, at the invitation of President Nikolic, came to Smederevo and promised to help, and since then we have provided security for 5.700 people, but also for at least another 10.000 to 12.000 people who work with the HBIS Smederevo ironworks, which today is Serbia’s second export company,” said Vucic.
In the meantime, they told us to call for tenders for the copper and gold mine, said Vucic and added that at the time there was a debt of 1.2 billion euros for RTB Bor and that the state wanted to speed it up, assuming that Western countries would not submit offers to this tender. “They said that they would and we lost a year in the procedures, but again China came to our rescue and today it is our biggest exporter, which contributes to the survival of citizens in the east of Serbia. This is only part of the example since we have many infrastructure projects that we are working on together and Chinese investors who will change the situation in the country,” Vucic emphasized.
He reiterated that in New York he had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Wang Yi, and stated that then he once again sent an invitation to President Xi for a visit. “Knowing how busy he is in the preparation of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party, we are all eagerly awaiting the results of the congress, to see what the new guidelines are for the Chinese government and leadership and to continue our extraordinary cooperation,” said Vucic. He adds that people from the Presidency have three or four meetings a week with representatives of the Chinese Embassy and that such cooperation does not exist with any other embassy. “Thank you for your patience and for always having time for our requests. And when we have nowhere to find coal and when we find some kind of objection to better quality Chinese coal, since I guess we have to use lower quality, they then find us Indonesian coal which is of lower quality and again they are helping us to survive the winter. Serbia is your sincere friend, who has never said a bad word about China anywhere, even where we were supposed to be silent, we were not silent, not even in the White House, I spoke well about China, despite all the challenges and hopes of the hosts that they would hear different words. I really think we can be proud of our friendship,” said Vucic.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
General elections in B&H scheduled for Sunday, October 2 (Hayat)
Officials of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Central Election Commission (CEC) held a press conference Thursday ahead of the end of the election campaign and the B&H general elections, which will be held on Sunday, October 2. A total of 5,903 polling stations will be opened in B&H on Sunday, and a total of 3,368,666 voters will have the opportunity to vote in the B&H general elections. B&H CEC representatives underlined that a total of 518 members of the authorities at several levels will be elected on Sunday, including three members of the Presidency of B&H, 42 members of the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) and 98 members of the Parliament of the Federation of B&H (FB&H). For the first time on election day in B&H, 24-hour TV channel of the BiH CEC will be activated.
B&H CEC officials rejected any kind of misinformation about the alleged preparations for election theft, noting that representatives of the Ministry of Security of B&H, the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) of B&H, the Border Police of B&H, the B&H CEC, entity and cantonal ministries of interior and the Police of Brcko District are in the Operational Headquarters of ‘2022 General Elections’. B&H CEC member Irena Hadziabdic confirmed that the CEC does not intend to adopt new implementing acts.
A few days ago, member of HDZ B&H Presidency Lidija Bradara said that the instruction of the B&H CEC on the method of filling the House of Peoples (HoP) of the FB&H, which was adopted in 2018, was a one-off thing and that there are no conditions for the implementation of the election results, at least when it comes to indirect elections. “The B&H CEC adopted by-laws for the implementation of these elections and the rules for holding the elections are known. Therefore, we have no intention of adopting any new implementing acts. We have no information whether the High Representative will do anything in that regard,” Hadziabdic underlined.
According to the B&H CEC, everything is ready for the elections. The B&H CEC stated that distribution of voting material to municipal/city election commissions ended on Thursday and everything passed without any difficulties. During the past few days, the B&H CEC carried checks and talks with municipal/city election commissions and they established that there are no serious problems that would endanger the election process on Sunday.
HR Schmidt sends letter to 20 prosecutors in B&H: Fair and democratic elections must be protected (Dnevni avaz)
High Representative Christian Schmidt sent a letter on Thursday to the addresses of 20 prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), noting that the reason for his letter are the upcoming elections on October 2nd. “Free and fair elections are of course a foundation of democracy. All citizens of B&H must be enabled to exercise their democratic rights in these free, fair and democratic elections and in line with this such active right to vote must be protected. Possible abuses in the electoral process undermine the legitimacy of elections and encourage public distrust in the electoral process. Therefore, it is necessary to address such abuses in serious and swift manner and it is necessary to establish accountability for such acts,” reads the letter. HR Schmidt noted that in case the abuses appear, judiciary and law enforcement bodies need to be determined and ready to implement the law and make sure that all those who are responsible for any form of dishonest behavior are discovered and sanctioned. “Integrity of elections needs to preserved. I am certain that you take your responsibilities seriously and that you have secured conditions for discovering possible offenses, as well as conditions that will enable citizens to feel free and encouraged to report behavior which is considered illegal and which will encounter your swift reaction,” wrote Schmidt. HR Schmidt underlined that it is crucial for judiciary and law enforcement to react swiftly to possible illegalities. “Let me assure you that you have all my gratitude and support in your fight against crime,” reads the letter.
HR Schmidt: I have not given up on changes of electoral legislation; B&H is too close to elections for major interventions (Nova BH)
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung analysed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) ahead of the elections. Thus, the media quoted High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt who announced persistence in changing of the B&H Election Law after the elections regardless of the expected resistance. According to Schmidt, there was no enough time for bigger interventions due to the upcoming elections and they should take into account that some issues can easily dominate in the election campaign and suppress other, more important topics. Asked does he count on the support of the EU, Berlin and Washington, Schmidt stated that he is taking advices on all addresses. Schmidt warned some actors in B&H not to underestimate his readiness to reach decisions. Schmidt stressed that he has not given up on changes of electoral legislation, adding that B&H is too close to elections for major interventions. The High Representative went on to saying that when he passes decisions, they will be procedurally justified and legally binding, adding that otherwise he would not launch this process. Schmidt emphasized that he is not an executive secretary of signatories of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). “I also would like to suggest to some domestic actors in B&H not to underestimate my independence”, concluded High Representative Schmidt.
Ambassador Sattler calls on citizens of B&H to vote: There is chance on October 2 (Dnevni avaz)
Head of the EU Delegation (EUD) to Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Johann Sattler has called on the citizens of B&H to vote in the October 2 elections despite, as he said, he is not satisfied with reforms that politicians promised but did not implement. According to Sattler, he understands that there are perhaps people who are disappointed, who are not satisfied with the speed of reforms. “I really expected a lot more, bigger engagement of your politicians to achieve their promises to the citizens, but now there is chance on October 2 that you make your choice as well”, said Sattler.
OSCE PA Charalambides meets Genjac in Sarajevo: There is big interest of international officials for general elections in B&H (Nova BH)
Head of the observer mission of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) Irene Charalambides said on Thursday that there is a big interest of international officials for the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) and aside from the OSCE, a significant number of international organizations has their own observers. Charalambides met member of the delegation of the B&H Parliament in the OSCE PA Halid Genjac in Sarajevo on Thursday. During the meeting, the officials assessed that during this election campaign, use of hate speech was significantly reduced and public broadcasters had fair access to all political subjects. Besides, they pointed out the need for a political consensus related to changes to the B&H Election Law in line with verdicts of the Court of B&H and the European Court of Human Rights.
SNSD’s Dodik says he does not need to prove his patriotism, notes SNSD has clear program for strengthening of RS: I want to see RS on its own, stable and proud (Glas Srpske)
In an interview to the daily, candidate for the Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik (SNSD) said that his patriotism has been proven and people recognized it and showed during the campaign that they trust SNSD the most because it is willing to fight and cope with all challenges: “We will never betray the RS but we will defend it and strengthen it”. Dodik went on to say that voters are aware of the fact that SNSD “is a political party that wants development and peaceful coexistence with everyone, but it is also determined to defend its sacred things – the RS and Serb people” and he added that SNSD is a patriotic party which keeps the RS on the path to stability, development and better life for all those who live in it.
Asked whether the campaign showed that SNSD can score another victory and whether he can be elected the RS President, Dodik replied by saying that “this is already a done deal” and he argued that SNSD gathered the highest number of people in rallies and showed them that it has both a program and organization, good and serious people who are willing to cope with all challenges in the best possible way in both political and economic context. “We must not fool ourselves or allow others to do it instead of us. The RS must be protected and strengthened because individuals have never accepted it, nor they will ever accept it, in the way it was described by the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA)”.
Dodik argued that SNSD has a clear program for strengthening of the RS and creation of preconditions for better lives of everyone who live in it, while the only program of “the inert opposition” was to attack Milorad Dodik and other officials of SNSD. Asked to explain his statement that the RS needs serious leaders who will be able to respond to upcoming challenges, Dodik said that the RS has been resisting numerous challenges for years already but there are global disturbances to which only the societies with a stable political structure will be able to respond. “We all remember of disastrous floods from 2014 and the pandemic that has been present since 2020. The RS, thanks to the stable structure of SNSD, had the best possible institutional response to those issues and we have dealt with it even more easily than others”, Dodik added.
Responding to accusations of opposition parties that he is a false patriot, Dodik said that the opposition parties can say whatever they want but he does not need to prove his patriotism, love and care for the RS because he demonstrated it on every occasion he had. “My victory and victory of SNSD candidates will mean the stability for the RS, continuation of development and strengthening of its institutions and independence, while the victory of opposition will bring its disappearance within six months. Many give promises but few have strength and courage to implement those promises”, Dodik said.
Asked to present priorities in his work should he be elected the RS President, Dodik said that he and his associates will put their efforts into strengthening of the RS on a daily basis and he added that a political stability must be secured first, after which they will be able to fully focus on economy and all other problems that are bothering citizens in the RS. “However, parallel with all of that, we must keep our eyes wide open because attacks on the constitutional status of the RS, its competencies and property will not disappear. I want to see the RS on its own, stable and proud. Everyone must understand that we will not allow any kind of foreign administration over the RS, which is what foreigners wish for. The RS has its own legal representatives and it will have them after October 2 as well, they are the ones who were elected by the people and they are the ones whose decisions matter, and not some kind of foreigners who have been brokering in Bosnia and Herzegovina for years. We must preserve the RS and freedom that we have now. We will be protecting its competencies, but we will also do everything we can to improve quality of life and rights of citizens throughout the RS”, Dodik said.
Cvijanovic: I will represent interests of RS and work to preserve its autonomy using all available means; I want to crrate conditions for prosperity and development of both entities if possible, but I will not hesitate to use mechanisms to protect RS (Nezavisne)
The daily carried an interview with SNSD candidate for office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency member Zeljka Cvijanovic who said that she is very satisfied with the campaign, and that she got the impression that people are very interested in politics and their future, and they are aware of the challenges and the significance of preserving strong Republika Srpska (RS) institutions.
Asked if she feels that it will be difficult to take over office from SNSD leader and B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik if she gets selected, Cvijanovic said that SNSD is a strong party with a strong leader, but its members are used to teamwork. Commenting the work of B&H Presidency in the past four years, Cvijanovic said that Dodik fought for the constitutional B&H, while the other two B&H Presidency members fought for unconstitutional B&H. “I am open to agreement because I know that there is no progress in B&H without it, but I am also aware that my role there is to protect the position of the RS when it is endangered. After all, I will be elected in the RS, which means that although I will be working in Sarajevo, I will still be an official and politician of the RS, and not a Bosnian or Sarajevan politician or official. This, among all other things, is what sets me apart from (SDS candidate) Mirko Sarovic”, said Cvijanovic.
She underlined that she is certain that SNSD will win the election at all levels. Cvijanovic said that the situation is very difficult on the global level, and SNSD is dedicated to preserving the economic stability of the RS. She noted that it would be good to have partners in the Federation of B&H (FB&H). Cvijanovic said that the global crisis is being used for showing political allegiance. She underlined that internal crisis in B&H has been lasting for two long, and it will be resolved only when all sides accept the need to look at matters in a realistic manner.
According to Cvijanovic, B&H can be functional, but only if B&H Constitution is strictly implemented, if the entities are not deprived of their competencies, if internal dialogue is strengthened and different identities are not undermined, and if B&H citizens start seeking their own solutions instead of relying on foreigners to make decisions instead of local institutions. If elected, Cvijanovic said that her priority will be respecting the constitution, insisting on consensus and constitutionally prescribed mechanisms of protection. She also underlined that the chaos in B&H’s foreign policy must stop.
Sarovic: SNSD has nothing to offer except staged crises, Dodik run away from B&H Presidency sessions and hid behind false patriotism; I do not have to prove my patriotism, we will focus on progress and EU path (Nezavisne)
The daily carried an interview with SDS candidate for office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency member Mirko Sarovic. Asked to comment the impression that citizens seem less interested in the election and politics, Sarovic said that this is a direct results of the two decades of rule by SNSD’s regime. He underlined that citizens are tired of constant crises, poor life, constant fear and struggle to survive. Therefore, it is difficult for people to believe that there really are honest politicians who can be trusted and who truly wanted to move forward. According to Sarovic, he and PDP’s Jelena Trivic are such politicians, and people are recognizing this fact. Sarovic is convinced that the opposition coalition can win the election because the current ruling coalition has nothing to offer.
Asked to comment the work of B&H Presidency in the past four years, Sarovic said that B&H Presidency member Milorad Dodik run away from Presidency sessions and tried to present this as heroism, while the other two Presidency members used the opportunity given by Dodik to pass decisions which were detrimental to the RS. Sarovic also said that Dodik reached for the mechanism for protection of vital national interest to protect the interests of Croats, but not the interests of Serbs. “He signed off on the NATO path and now we see our soldiers preparing for NATO brigades…Instead of serious matters, he dealt with unsuccessful patriotism shows and so, instead of the RS flag at a session, we got a small badge on his lapel, and the picture of a frustrated and defeated politician. The entire tenure was marked by different, in most cases staged crises and conflicts, and that did not bring us anything good”, said Sarovic. He underlined that in the next four years, the opposition coalition will move the RS forward because it will protect its interests and competencies, while focusing on intense economic development at the same time. According to Sarovic, EU membership is a strategic goal and that process will be kick started again. He also announced development of stronger ties with Serbia, noting that “free and strong Serbia means free and strong RS”.
Commenting the work of his main opponent, SNSD’s Zeljka Cvijanovic, Sarovic said that in the past 16 years, she has been an accomplice in constant theft of public resources and devastation of the RS. Sarovic noted that as former B&H Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, he was very successful in opening different foreign markets for local businesses, and he is one of the first promoters of the idea of the ‘Open Balkan’ initiative. Sarovic emphasized that his coalition plans to lead the RS to progress, with annual growth rate of 8 percent, minimum wages in amount of BAM 1,800, minimum pension in amount of BAM 400, lower taxes and contributions paid on top of salaries, increase of veteran allowance, creation of job and prevention of youth emigration.
Asked to comment the claims that SDS has betrayed the national and patriotic ideas, Sarovic said that patriotism is not something that should be promoted, but demonstrated on a daily basis. He underlined that the RS is his home and that he never accepted any decision that could be detrimental to the RS. Sarovic also emphasized that SDS, together with the RS Army, created the RS. He added that he does not have to prove anything to anyone.
PDP’s Trivic rejects accusations on receiving financial aid from USA, lists measures which she plans to implement if she is elected RS President (Glas Srpske)
In an interview to the daily, candidate for the Republika Srpska (RS) President Jelena Trivic (PDP) said that she visited every part of the RS, not only during the campaign but also before it, and had a chance to “feel the pulse and energy of people” which is the best possible encouragement to never give up.
Speaking about claims that she was receiving financial aid from the USA and that she was working in line with US’ instructions, Trivic said that attacks on her and people close to her started even before the official campaign was launched. “Those stupid accusations on financing by the USA are in fact a reflection of the situation in the regime, i.e. a reflection of their despair. That was one of many unsuccessful attempts to discredit us”, Trivic said and added that it was sad to see that “the trapped public service”, i.e. RTRS, presented this nonsense document as news.
Asked what kind of policy she will be implementing in case she wins, Trivic said that she is always guided by words of Orthodox Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic who said that one should never steal from the state because “your brothers were killed in wars while defending the state”. Trivic went on to say that she believes in strong institutions so she will invest all of her efforts as the RS President in building a system of strong and efficient institutions which are performing their duty to serve the people.
As for SNSD’s Zeljka Cvijanovic, Trivic said that there are two main differences between them: “I will respect the constitutional obligation to express unity of people and I will be independent in making of decisions as the President, i.e. I will be respecting the Constitution instead of decisions of party bodies”. Trivic reminded that she published a set of ten measures which PDP plans to realize in the first year of the work of the RS Government and she noted that, as the RS President, she will be a guarantor of implementation of those measures. “We will again establish the RS Special Prosecutor’s Office and this will be the victory of people over crimes. The victory of people over corruption will be the establishment of the Agency for Fight Against Corruption of the RS”, Trivic said.
Finally, Trivic said that the biggest national interest of Serbs in 21st century is peace, stability and economic prosperity and she noted that they will disagree on many things with Bosniak and Croat representatives “but this should not set boundaries for us in building a better future. Things which we cannot solve now should be postponed for better and more stable time, both in political and economic context. We will have a significant support of Serbia, because (Serbian) President Aleksandar Vucic advocates policy of peace and especially good relations with Bosniaks”.
Covic calls on Croat voters to go to the polls in mass numbers, says it is hard to predict when election results will be implemented (Vecernji list)
In an interview with HNS and HDZ Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) President Dragan Covic who was asked, among other issues, to comment on HDZ B&H’s and HNS’ messages during the campaign that insisted on mass turnout of Croats voters in the general elections. Covic replied by saying that dangers of electoral engineering will exist as long as there are unconstitutional electoral rules and that ‘we’ take announcements of Bosniak leaders about outvoting seriously. According to Covic, only by mass turnout on Sunday “we can stop taking away of the rights that belong to Croats”. He added by saying that “orchestrated protests” in Sarajevo have shown that some would like to have B&H without Croats.
Asked if he fears that his decision not to be on list of candidates could have negative impact on the election result, Covic said there is no reason to be afraid and that he is always there to serve the Croat people, no matter the post. Asked what kind of election result HNS and HDZ B&H will consider as success, Covic replied by saying he is convinced HDZ B&H and HNS will achieve victory on all lists and that “our biggest focus is on restoring equality and sovereignty for Croats in B&H. That is the starting point and measure of our success”.
Asked to comment on the daily’s remark that it would appear the High Representative (HR) has given up on imposing the partial electoral reform, Covic said he believes that everyone was taken aback with the HR’s decision not to complete the job regarding changes to the Election Law and to postpone his decision to present days. “I understand his hesitation after threats with death and violence”, said Covic adding that it was predictable that the Bosniak representatives will force their party members to the streets. “B&H is much more than Sarajevo. Aggressive street has no right to be above the Constitution and political rights of a people”, said Covic adding that he believes that representatives of the international community will be up to the task and act with the aim to protect the Dayton agreement.
Asked if he expects quick formation of authorities at all levels after the elections, Covic said it is difficult to make a prognosis at the moment when one does not have the election results. “Process of formation of authorities is not a simple task, especially in B&H, where we have a complex system and even more complex relations. Implementation of election results partly depends on whether the Bosniak leaders will once again carry out unconstitutional theft of Croat positions and usurp the Croat rights. If they opt for it, I fear we are heading into far-reaching, long and unpredictable political crisis”, said Covic.
Orban expresses support for Dodik at general elections (RTRS)
Following support expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) Presidency Milorad Dodik in the upcoming elections during their recent meeting in Moscow, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also supported Dodik. In his video message released on Thursday, Orban said that he has always supported Dodik, “who is ready to preserve peace, who is open to dialogue, advocates Dayton and protects the interests of the Serb people at all times”. “Hungary and Serbia are neighbors, but Hungary also considers Republika Srpska (RS) as its honorary neighbor. That is why what is happening in your country is very important for us. It has an impact on Hungary and the entire region, but of course it also affects your lives, that is, the lives of our friends. You have important elections coming up”, Orban stated. He added that he is proud of personal friendship with Dodik and that he wants to cooperate with him in the future as well. “I hope that I will have the opportunity to do so after the elections. God bless all Serbs in the entire Balkans”, Orban concluded. Dodik replied by saying that he is thankful for support of Orban, “who is a great statesman and friend of the Serb people”.
Croatia’s PM: EP initiative to suspend negotiations with Serbia “logical” (Hina)
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said the European Parliament (EP) initiative to suspend accession negotiations with Serbia until it imposes sanctions on Russia was “logical”, and noted that, under the current circumstances, it is not possible “to sit on two chairs.” Radio Free Europe said Wednesday that it had access to an EP document asking the European Union (EU) to suspend negotiations with Serbia until it imposes sanctions against Russia. The document will be discussed by MEPs on October 13 at the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, with the final vote expected in November. Pleknovic told a joint conference with EC Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira that the EP has “launched a logical initiative.” “In this kind of global crisis, in which it can be precisely and clearly distinguished between good and evil, one cannot sit on two chairs,” said the Prime Minister.
“You cannot strive for EU membership and share values” while, at the same time, “failing to clearly stand behind the package of sanctions” against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. In addition to Belarus, Serbia is the only European country that has not imposed sanctions on Russia. Serbia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic signed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov last week in New York a plan of “consultations” between the two foreign ministries.
Croatian Prime Minister Plenkovic says it is very important for Croats to be represented by legitimate representatives (Vecernji list)
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic addressed a session of the Croatian Government, on which occasion he pointed out the importance of upcoming general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) for protection and improvement of the constitutional position of Croat people and he added that it is very important to have Croats in B&H represented by legitimate representatives. Plenkovic said “we visited Livno and we supported candidates of the Croat People’s Assembly (HNS)”, and he reminded that this issue did not came up a year ago but it is something that has been present for years and the policy for equality represents a constant in Croatia’s policy. “I am saying this as a friend, neighbor and ally and I believe many Croats will go out and vote on Sunday”, Plenkovic said.
Several people suspected of collaborating with Russian secret serviceꓼ no one arrested yet (CDM)
At the request of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office (SDT), and by order of the High Court in Podgorica, the police have searched the apartments and other premises of several citizens, due to the grounds of suspicion that the crimes committed were the creation of a criminal organization and espionage. So far, no one has been deprived of their freedom, SDT spokesman and special prosecutor Vukas Radonjic has told CDM. This operation is led by the National Security Agency, under whose jurisdiction this criminal offense is. The operation was carried out by order of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office. According to CDM, the investigation is being conducted against 2 Montenegrin citizens, 6 Russian diplomats and about 30 Russian citizens who have temporary residence in Montenegro. They are suspected of collaborating with the Russian secret service.
Abazovic: Several people arrested, their names can only be revealed by SDT; Prosecutor Radonjic: No one currently arrested (CDM)
Prime Minister in technical mandate Dritan Abazovic has commented on operation carried out by National Security Agency (ANB) and Special State Prosecutor’s Office (SDT), which included several persons suspected of espionage. He has announced that several people have been arrested. Abazovic has told reporters that he could not disclose more details because the operation was a secret. At the request of the Special State Prosecutor’s Office, and by order of the High Court in Podgorica, the police searched the apartments and other premises of several citizens, due to the grounds of suspicion that the crimes committed were the creation of a criminal organization and espionage.
Special state prosecutor Vukas Radonjic has told CDM that no arrests have been made in that operation so far. “I cannot disclose the names of the persons arrested this morning, because the only institution that can disclose that information is the Special State Prosecutor’s Office”, Abazovic says. Answering the question whether his visit to the USA had anything to do with this morning’s arrests, he has said that he could not talk about that either. “I can only say that my visit was very successful and will be positive for the rule of law in Montenegro”, Abazovic has pointed out.
Montenegro declared six Russian diplomats persona non grata; Embassy of Russia: Hostile behavior of the Montenegrin authorities, we are suspending the work of the consular department until further notice (CDM)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro has declared six diplomats of the Embassy of the Russian Federation accredited in Montenegro as persona non grata. “Six persons were declared personas non grata due to activities that are in contradiction with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Relations of Mutual Respect and Respect between the two states,” the department announced.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Montenegro announced that the work of the consular department was suspended for an indefinite period. The Russian embassy announced after the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared six Russian diplomats persona non grata. “We are forced to inform you that due to the hostile behavior of the Montenegrin authorities towards the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Montenegro, as of September 30, 2022, the work of the Embassy’s consular department has been suspended indefinitely. For consular services, you can contact the embassies of the Russian Federation in neighboring countries,” the Russian embassy said on Facebook.
After the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared six diplomats of the Embassy of the Russian Federation accredited in Montenegro as persona non grata, Ukrainian embassy said on Twitter: “a very symbolic act in the background of the Russian propaganda play called “referendums” in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine. Thank you, Montenegro”.
Djukanovic: Montenegro strongly condemns any attempt to appropriate parts of the territory of Ukraine (CDM)
Montenegro strongly condemns any attempt to appropriate parts of the territory of the Ukrainian state, said the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, after it was announced that the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, had signed a decree recognizing the independence of the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. “The organization of the so-called referendum on part of the territory of a sovereign state, under pressure and during a military conflict, is unacceptable, as well as the so-called the results of such illegal actions,” he wrote on Twitter. Djukanovic points out that Russia, as a permanent member of the Security Council, continues to violate international law. “We stand firmly by Ukraine, its territorial integrity and sovereignty”, Djukanovic concluded.
What should Macedonia expect from the elections in Bulgaria? (Libertas)
Bulgarians are electing a new parliament on Sunday. For the future of bilateral relations, it is important who will be the next interlocutors of Skopje in Sofia, after the elections on October 2nd.
What will be the future of Macedonian-Bulgarian relations? Tonight, at midnight, the election campaign for the early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria ends, a campaign – in which the topic – North Macedonia – was often present. It was also used by the Bulgarian parties at the end of the campaign. “The football match between Bulgaria and North Macedonia quickly went beyond sports and was used by politicians in the pre-election campaign. The leaders of the political scene used the booing of the Bulgarian national anthem and the victory to send messages to the citizens,” commented Dnevnik.
For the future of bilateral relations, it is important who will be the next interlocutors of Skopje in Sofia after the elections on the second of October, considering the many current issues – from energy, interdepartmental cooperation, good neighbourliness and integration.
According to the results of the survey published on the last day of the campaign, and conducted by the Research Center “Trend”, the GERB party led by Boyko Borisov is ranked first and with a growing advantage. During his tenure, the RSM vetoed the start of negotiations, but this year the party voted to unblock the veto based on the terms of the French proposal. GERB with 25.7% support from respondents leads by 9% before “We continue with the change”, for which 16.4% would vote. Nationalist “Revival” also recorded a strong final sprint with 13.9%, ahead of DPS which has 11.9% support from the respondents, but with the potential to increase the percentage of votes from the diaspora. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) follows with 8.7%, and behind them is “Democratic Bulgaria” with 7.6%. Slavi Trifonov‘s “Ima takiv narod” with 4.4%, and “Bulgarian Campaign” of the former official Prime Minister Stefan Janev with 4.2%, “Stand Up, Bulgaria” (2%) and VMRO-BND (1.2%) remain below the threshold.
Two days before the elections, what are the attitudes of officials from the first-ranked GERB towards North Macedonia? In the context of the “new wave of anti-Bulgarian campaign in the North Macedonia”, to the question – do they understand in Brussels that Macedonianism is incompatible with European values and that it has no place in the EU – the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ekaterina Zaharieva, gives a decisive answer.
“Oh yes. We should be naive to think that Brussels does not understand our concern. Ursula Von der Leyen will hardly forget how she was welcomed in the parliament of North Macedonia – with slogans “Traitors of the people”, “The people say NO, wake up”, “Language is identity”, “Son of Zaevism, you are bringing back fascism”. And the French President, and the enlargement commissioner? Long ago the anti-Bulgarian wave became anti-European. We all know who has an interest in this, who does not want North Macedonia to enter the European Union and who wants the Balkans to continue to be unstable,” Zaharieva says in an interview for Bgnes. She is also sure that the European ambassadors in Skopje saw a few days ago how the audience booed the Bulgarian national anthem and insulted the Bulgarian football players from the stands of the stadium in Skopje.
“Did you see such a behaviour in Razgrad when we hosted their football team?” One thing should be clear to the politicians in Skopje – the European Union guarantees a better life for their citizens and they want exactly that, but instead of following the path of good neighbourliness, they are still victims of the communist Yugoslav propaganda of hatred towards Bulgaria. That is why we want this country to open the archives of its secret services, to purge itself of ex-communist police agents in its ranks, to remove the language of hate from textbooks and the media. No one chooses the neighbours, there is no way to move our countries further, so it is ridiculous and disgusting to live in such a way – in hatred. And whoever encourages that, will be severely punished, if not now, then in history,” Zaharieva believes.
Her fellow party member and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Daniel Mitov, when asked how he assesses Bulgaria’s position in relations with North Macedonia, focuses on the French proposal as “good for Bulgaria”. “Relations with the Republic of North Macedonia continue to be complex and delicate. The proposal of the French presidency of the EU Council was good for Bulgaria and guaranteed all the parameters that Bulgaria insisted on in future negotiations. Now we need to monitor the strict fulfilment of those conditions and invest more in the improvement of bilateral relations”, says Mitov in an interview with Trud.
Fans are not a representative sample
And according to a survey by “Alpha Research”, the distribution of forces is the same. With a similar percentage, GERB is ahead of PP, but unlike the “Trend” poll, in these results, it is not “Prerodba” but DPS that is in third place. So far, the only different tone in the election “consumption” of the topic from the Skopje stadium, came from Ivaylo Mirchev, from the “Democratic Bulgaria” party. He replied to Trifonov, who ironically called the boos “shouts of gratitude from the grateful Macedonians for the fact that PP, GERB, DPS, Democratic Bulgaria and the neutral BSP allowed the Macedonians to start negotiations with the EU”. Mirchev did not justify the booing of the Bulgarian national anthem, but said that no political conclusions should be drawn from it.
“The time has come to call again: Ma-ce-do-ni-aaaaa!” Boyko and Slavi commented on the match and came out with serious political conclusions about the ungrateful Macedonians and their lack of European values (…) It is a fundamental mistake for politicians with pretensions to equate a sign of equality between agitating in a stadium and the official position of the North Macedonia. The fans at the stadium are not a representative sample of society. Because even in our national stadium, the cases in which the anthem of the visiting team is whistled are no exception. I have not heard politicians in the Netherlands (for example) making similar conclusions,” said Mirchev.
Four regions seek union with Russia! USA and Albania, resolution against Moscow referendums (Radio Tirana)
The pro-Russians claim that the residents of the 4 southern and eastern regions of Ukraine have strongly supported the union with the Russian Federation. Organizers of the Moscow-imposed referendums released the results of the four-day vote that closed on Tuesday. But for the West, referendums are “fraud”. The United States and co-host Albania in the UN Security Council will present a resolution condemning them. In his speech, the Albanian Ambassador to the United Nations, Ferit Hoxha, said that Albania will never recognize the results of these referendums. “The disgraceful referendums held by Russia are contrary to the principles and values of the United Nations Organization, as well as against international law. As Prime Minister Edi Rama said last week at the headquarters of the United Nations, Albania condemns the Russian attack on Ukraine and will never recognize the results of these referendums.” Even for the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, the referendums are illegal and the results falsified, while Brussels warns of further tightening of sanctions.
President Bajram Begaj receives the US Ambassador to our country, Yuri Kim, in the Presidency (Radio Tirana)
President Bajram Begaj received the US Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim, in the Presidency. After the meeting, President Begaj, through a post on Facebook, announced that important issues and vital areas of bilateral cooperation were discussed, such as: energy, security, justice reform, current global challenges, etc. “Today I had the pleasure of hosting the Ambassador of the United States of America in Albania, Yuri Kim. We evaluated the strategic partnership, discussed important issues and vital areas of bilateral cooperation such as: energy, security, justice reform, current global challenges, etc. Regarding Albania’s mandate, in the Security Council, we talked about the excellent cooperation so far and expressed the will to continue the close cooperation and coordinate positions in the future on matters of common interest,” writes President Begaj.