Vucic: Dialogue to resume when Pristina withdraws illegal decisions (RTS/Beta)
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that the dialogue in Brussels will continue when Pristina withdraws its unlawful decisions. “To the citizens of Serbia I want to say that difficult days are ahead of our country, in the political sense. In the past days, we received the decisions of the Pristina authorities that, unlawfully in regard to the CEFTA agreement, increased the tax on goods from Serbia. No one from Europe was particularly excited, other than a statement from Mogherini,” he said. Vucic also warned of Pristina’s intention to form an army and send a garrison towards the north, which is contrary to the Brussels agreement and the agreement we have with NATO. “What is happening tomorrow (Friday) is the third thing – Europeans are trying to throw us out of the energy network for northern Kosovo, unlawfully. In the draft, the proposal for the energy dispute, it was clear that the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) must be formed, and those two mixed companies in the north would have been the transfer to the Albanian operator. Since the ZSO has not been formed, for which Pristina is to blame – they are now trying to get rid of us, to grab away from us the right to electricity, to make us lose power lines to Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro,” Vucic said. They want to throw us out, unlawfully, without respecting our arguments, Vucic warned, and added that the decision will be on Monday. According to him, against such a decision are Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, the Netherlands, while Serbia’s stance is represented by Spain, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. “We fight as much as we can, but the chances are small,” he said.
Brnabic: International community to be made aware of conduct of Pristina (Beta)
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic requested at Thursday’s session of the government preparing a letter to be sent to the heads of governments of all countries in the world, warning them of endangering regional peace and stability by Pristina. The letter will point out the decisions and behavior of the provisional institutions of self-government in Pristina, which completely and continuously violate all the agreements reached, regional initiatives and international agreements, and even the documents that the provisional institutions themselves adopted, such as the Constitution of the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”. By this letter, the Serbian government wants to draw attention and warn individual countries of endangering regional peace and stability by Pristina, as well as to intentionally and directly undermine the atmosphere of dialogue at a time when Serbia is making the maximum effort to intensify it, with the aim of long-term peace, stability and prosperity for all inhabitants of this part of Europe.
Brnabic stressed the need for communication with all partners around the world to be strengthened so that everyone would be aware of the complexity of the situation in which Serbia is conducting the dialogue, which would in the most direct way give full support to the efforts of President Vucic, and provide as much security as possible for our people in Kosovo and Metohija.
Dacic: Pristina doesn’t want dialogue, they want us to accept ultimatum (RTS)
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told RTS prime news on Thursday that Pristina’s tactics is to intensify the situation so some decision would be forced out, such as the visa free regime with the EU. “They are counting on trading with this. These are dirty games that threaten the entire region. As Vucic said, we have a series of incidents that are occurring always as a rule on the eve of holding the dialogue,” says Dacic. Asked whether it is realistic to expect a comprehensive legally binding agreement to be reached by May next year, when the EC and Mogherini’s mandate expire, he says that if we continue this way, we will not reach even the first item, because what Pristina is doing is the mining of the dialogue. “First they didn’t realize what they signed during the Brussels agreement, and this was the prerequisite for various other mechanisms that were necessary to be formed in Kosovo and Metohija, including the energy agreement. They are now linking this issue with some other packages, such as, if you admit us in the UN, we will form the ZSO. Nothing will come out of it. They are counting on Serbian being weak and that it will give up under ultimatums in order to have a certain perspective on the EU path that is very important for us,” says Dacic. He says Pristina is objecting that Serbia doesn’t accept Kosovo to become a member of international organization, and recalled that international organizations according to their statute accept states and that self-governing territories that are not states can become this only with the consent of states to which they belong. “Kosovo hasn’t requested any consent from us. They don’t have the statutory right to become members of these organization, and then there are attempts at presenting Kosovo as state,” said Dacic, adding that Kosovo wants to become a member of Interpol in order to be accepted as a state. Pristina wants a visa free regime with the EU, Dacic says, pointing to the cynicism of some Western countries that want Kosovo in Interpol, but they don’t wish to give them a visa free regime. He says that Kosovo is already cooperating with Interpol through UNMIK, adding that if somebody bilaterally recognized Kosovo, this is their bilateral matter. “Everyone must respect this: Kosovo will be recognized as a state when it becomes a member of the United Nations – and that will never happen,” Dacic said. He added that everyone must understand that without a deal with Belgrade, there is no permanent solution. “They cannot be members of international organizations. As long as they are inviting countries to recognize Kosovo, we will be inviting countries not to recognize Kosovo, and to withdraw their recognition,” Dacic said. According to him, the fate of the dialogue is not good, unless Pristina is pressed to participate in it. “If someone thinks that the smarter one will be backing down, it seems they should be the one who’s more stupid. We can’t back down any more,” he said. Dacic also noted that the ZSO is no longer being mentioned by anyone, and recalled that 230,000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo in 1999.
Drecun: Pristina’s unilateral moves destabilize the dialogue (RTS)
A series of Pristina’s unilateral moves are destabilizing the dialogue and preventing its resumption, said the Chairperson of the Serbian parliamentary Committee for Kosovo and Metohija Milovan Drecun. He called Pristina Europe’s black hole and noted that at issue is a territory controlled by criminal groups made of politicians such as Thaci, Haradinaj, Haliti and Veseli. “At the same time, they are politicians in charge of fighting organized crime, terrorism, radical Islam, corruption, while they are bearers of all that and this is clear to everyone, but here we have political reasons, hue pressures are exerted,” says Drecun.
Ambassador Scott: Serbia and NATO have same strategic goal – free Europe (Beta)
US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott said that Serbia and NATO had the common strategic goal – united and free Europe in which peace reigns, agencies reported. At the Sixth Belgrade NATO week, he said that Serbia and NATO must cooperate in order to achieve this goal. Scott said that the most obvious role of NATO in the region was – to ensure stability and stabilization and he added that KFOR in Kosovo was working to secure peace and freedom of movement for all the communities in Kosovo. He said that peace between Kosovo and Serbia was the key
for peaceful, free and united Europe.
Russia speaks on EU mediated Kosovo dialogue (B92/Sputnik)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov assessed on Friday that EU’s efforts to mediate between Belgrade and Pristina have failed. According to Lavrov, the United States is also forcing the issue of establishing a (Kosovo) army. “It is obvious that EU’s efforts have failed, because Pristina refused to implement all the agreements that have been reached so far,” Lavrov said.
The Russian Minister specified that this, above all, refers to the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) in Kosovo, Sputnik is reporting. “Pristina’s efforts to form its own army represent the crudest violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. In addition, Pristina is being pressured from the outside, and above all by the United States,” Lavrov said.
After his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Union of the Comoros Mohamed El-Amine Souef, Lavrov stressed that Russia welcomed that country’s decision to withdraw its recognition of Kosovo. “Of course, we welcome this. Russia will continue to comply with the decisions taken by the (UN) Security Council in the future, and above all I am referring to Resolution 1244, which requires that Kosovo is a part of Serbia. All steps must be taken in accordance with that resolution,” Lavrov said.
So-called civic parties are forming political alliances without Croats and SDA in Zenica and Sarajevo (Vecernji list)
Daily notes that ‘so-called civic parties’, with the help from SBB Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) and parties formed after conflicts in SDA, are forming authorities in cantons with Bosniak majority, arguing that although they are mentioning programs and platform, the only thing that binds them is the plan to expel SDA from the authorities. According to the daily, this plan is at most advanced stage in Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDC) and Sarajevo Canton (SC). Daily notes that if the agreement comes to life in practice in ZDC, new authorities will be formed without relative winner SDA, which has 11 representatives in the ZDC Assembly, and HDZ B&H, which has three representatives but has managed to win 90% of Croat votes. All this led the daily to say that by excluding HDZ B&H, SDP, DF, Our Party, SBB B&H, A-SDA and Independent Bloc (NB) will show how much they care about respecting the election will of the Croat people. Daily further reads that the ‘so-called left-wing parties’ are prepared to form new authorities in ZDC and SC with ‘radical’ A-SDA, and parties founded by former SDA officials, adding that SDP is demonstrating more respect in Tuzla Canton where it wants to form new authorities without SDA and Movement of Democratic Action (PDA), a party founded by former SDA Vice President Mirsad Kukic.
Representatives of six parties in ZDC agree on forming parliamentary majority without SDA (BHT1)
Leaders of cantonal boards of SDP B&H, DF, Our Party (NS), Independent Bloc (NB), A-SDA and SBB B&H signed an agreement on Thursday on common goals and framework of activities to form the future ruling parliamentary majority and authorities in the Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDC). The ruling majority in the outgoing convocation of the ZDC authorities was formed by SDA, HDZ B&H and SBB B&H. Chairman of the SDP B&H Board in ZDC Senaid Begic said that the signed agreement sends a clear message that this bloc represents “a serious political alternative to the currently ruling authorities in the ZDC”. NB Coordinator for the ZDC Nusret Imamovic stated that these parties came to a framework agreement to bring new energy and a new concept into formation of the parliamentary majority and future authorities in the ZDC. SBB B&H official Meldina Ugarak noted that SBB B&H “cannot distance itself from some things that were not of quality for the citizens of this canton”, but it can “correct the mistakes”.
SDP B&H, DF, NS, NIP, SBB B&H and NBL discuss formation of authorities in SC without SDA (BHT1)
Representatives of SDP B&H, DF, Our Party (NS), People and Justice (NIP), SBB B&H and Independent B&H List (NBL) held on Thursday their first meeting on formation of the authorities in the Sarajevo Canton (SC). On this occasion, representatives of these parties expressed their commitment to move in the direction of program activities and to have legitimacy to represent SC citizens. The parties’ representatives agreed that it is necessary to adopt the cantonal budget by the end of this year and that they should form a parliamentary majority that will prepare the budget. They announced that they will be guided by the basic principles of democracy for the sake of establishing the rule of law, which – as they assessed – has been seriously undermined in this year’s election process. They also intend to advocate citizens’ interest in realization of all agreed principles. NIP leader Elmedin Konakovic stated expectation that the SC authorities will be formed by November 16.
Izetbegovic: Excluding SDA’s from talks on formation of authorities at different levels is by no means good (TV1)
The Presidency of SDA held a regular session in Sarajevo on Thursday. On this occasion, the SDA Presidency discussed the results of general elections as well as possible coalitions for forming authorities in B&H. The SDA Presidency emphasized that this party is grateful for their voters’ trust. Reflecting on the fact that various left-wing parties have lately been calling for formation of authorities at different levels without SDA, the SDA Presidency concluded that every attack on SDA represents an attack on 300,000 voters that supported it in the elections. SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic told media that this party is ready to form parliamentary majority in B&H with strong parties with a pro-Bosnian program. Speaking about possible parties that SDA is considering for forming a coalition in authorities in the future mandate, Izetbegovic pointed out that SDA does not exclude SDP B&H, DF or its coalition partner in the current mandate SBB B&H as possible future coalition partners. According to Izetbegovic, excluding SDA’s from talks on formation of authorities at different levels is by no means good and such attitude of the left-wing parties in B&H is unfounded. In this regard, the SDA leader called on the left-wing parties to “stop with the post-election campaign against SDA”. The SDA leader referred to SDA as “a deserving, patriotic party that led the defense of B&H and was the engine of reforms in B&H”. He went on to say that SDA will start the meetings within talks on formation of future authorities in “some 10 days” and the first meeting will most likely be held with SDP B&H. Izetbegovic emphasized: “We will try to make one healthy agreement with winners of elections.”
Izetbegovic calls for national reconciliation, most political leaders dismiss his statement and continue to reject possibility of coalition with SDA (Dnevni avaz)
Daily carried that following signing of a coalition agreement in Zenica-Doboj Canton without SDA, and the agreement reached in the Sarajevo Canton, SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic called on “national and ideological reconciliation”, underlining that there are no rational reasons to exclude SDA from the future coalitions. The statement caused fierce reactions amongst the politicians in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our Party leader Pedja Kojovic stated that if Izetbegovic and SDA want to preserve B&H and its unity, ensuring equality of all the citizens living in the country, then they should not fear, as the goal of the new coalition is just that. However, Kojovic pointed out that the vision of SDA differs from the vision of SDA. “If you worked in accordance with the law and within democratic framework while you were the authority, there is no need for you to fear the audit new authority certainly plans to conduct” concluded Kojovic. SDP leader Nermin Niksic told the daily that SDA is clearly nervous, because they realized they have been left all alone and now have to pay for their policy of protecting only their personal interests. He noted that, unfortunately, SDA still believes it has a right to determine everything and anything in B&H, including who is true Bosniak and who is not. “SDA should not look towards others to find a cause to its problems, but it must realize that their policy is the cause,” said Niksic. A-SDA official Rifat Hozanovic told the daily that “SDA unity” is actually a wish to work in favor of individual interests, not for the people. And that is why it is impossible to build unity with someone willing to sell their own country to fulfill their ambitions, said Hozanovic. NB leader Senad Sepic said that it would be good to build national reconciliation on positive foundations, but when it comes to Izetbegovic that is impossible, because he first privatized all the state institutions and then deceived everyone, which makes him the last person to launch such process. NiP leader Elmedin Konakovic told the daily that until Izetbegovic and SDA break “corruptive unity”, they will not be able to reestablish relationship with other political parties. SBB B&H leader Fahrudin Radoncic told the daily that Izetbegovic used SBB B&H in the past, which is why he lost potential partner permanently, underlining that a politician who was fined for hate speech cannot speak of reconciliation. “He is leading a family dynasty, trying to rule police and intelligence services using anachronous, autocratic methods, while we want European and modern country,” said Radoncic and rejected Izetbegovic’s claims that SDA won 300,000 votes as a lie, saying that SDA was heavily involved in electoral theft.
NBL leader Ibrahim Hadzibajric said that SDA is bothered by the fact it has not even been invited to negotiate formation of potential coalitions. DF Vice-president Milan Dunovic stated that the coalition agreement between political parties that hold two-thirds of seats in the Sarajevo Canton Assembly is more than legitimate, and SDA should not have a problem with it.
PDA official Elzina Piric told the daily that Izetbegovic is calling for unity and reconciliation because he is panicking. “The fact that nobody wants to work with SDA is his fault,” said Piric and pointed out that nobody is willing to trust SDA anymore.
Newly-elected Serb member of B&H Presidency Dodik says priority in his work at new post will be departure of HR (RTRS)
Newly-elected Serb member of B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik stated on Thursday that priority in his work after he officially takes the office at B&H Presidency will be “departure” of High Representative (HR) Valentin Inzko as “he is a broker who presented unjustifiable, false and defamatory statements about Republika Srpska (RS) before the UN Security Council (UNSC).” “HRs in B&H have imposed 560 decisions with legal force and thus created a new system in B&H,” Dodik stressed. He added that Inzko cannot be a partner for talks on certain issues, especially because he compared the RS with Hitler’s regime. Dodik reminded that he said he will never meet with Inzko and this will not be changed until the HR apologizes to the RS.
Dodik: RS reps will attend manifestations of Austrian Embassy when its reps start attending manifestations on RS Day (ATV)
RS President and newly elected Serb member of the B&H Presidency Milorad Dodik stated on Thursday that representatives of the RS will attend manifestations organized by the Austrian Embassy to B&H – once its representatives also agree to attend the manifestation of marking the Day of the RS. “We will establish this reciprocity, as part of a new policy we are going to pursue,” Dodik said as a message for Austrian Ambassador to B&H Martin Pammer. Earlier, Dodik refused to meet with Pammer explaining that his “biased” statements often exceed the frameworks of good diplomatic behavior, which he thinks is something that undermines cooperation. Pammer replied by sending a letter to certain media outlets and not directly to Dodik, which reads that representatives of the Austrian Embassy to B&H are regular guests of various manifestations in the RS, while the RS President has never attended manifestations organized by the Austrian Embassy to B&H. Pammer also argued that Dodik’s rhetoric and questioning of the state unity of B&H produce insecurity and fear, especially among potential investors from Austria. “I also have to draw attention to your inappropriate attacks in the past on representatives of other countries in B&H, such as the US or France for example, which harm the reputation of both B&H as a state and the RS as an entity”, Pammer was quoted as saying. In the letter he sent directly to Pammer, Dodik argued that all of this proves that Pammer is not a good diplomat. Dodik made it clear that Pammer favors the Bosniak policy and thus deprives Austria from having an unbiased influence in B&H. “In your letter, you are not talking to me as a diplomat but as a participant on the internal political scene in B&H, by using almost the same vocabulary and qualifications used by my political opponents. A reputable diplomat should never allow himself something like that” Dodik stressed. He added that the RS fully respects Austria, with whom it wants to improve relations in all segments, while Pammer represents an unnecessary obstacle to cooperation.
Tannock: I’m disappointed in the Democrats, URA (Dnevne novine)
Charles Tannock, the European Parliament rapporteur on Montenegro, welcomed the idea of setting up the parliamentary Committee for the reform of electoral and other legislation, noting that he has been disappointed in the decision of the Democratic Montenegro and URA Civic Movement not to take part in the work of this body. He said: “I welcome establishing of the Committee for the reform of electoral and other legislation in the parliament of Montenegro, which will be implementing the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations. Even though the existing law backs all fundamental freedoms, elaborates the exact dates of the election campaign, ensures further transparency in terms of financing and use of state funds, ensures greater consistency in decision-making process by the State Election Commission, it will also contribute to greater voters’ trust. It’s obvious that I’d like to have all the parties included in the work of the Committee for the reform of electoral legislation, so I’m quite disappointed to find out that the Democrats and URA decided not to be involved in this process, still intending to boycott the parliament.” On 30 October, the parliament of Montenegro adopted the decision on establishing the Committee for further reform of electoral and other legislation, proposed by the MPs of the ruling coalition, Branimir Gvozdenovic and Genci Nimanbegu.
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA SOURCES
Federica Mogherini hosted a meeting of the High Level Dialogue with President Thaçi of Kosovo and President Vučić of Serbia (EEAS, 8 November 2018)
Bruxelles, Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, hosted today a meeting of the High Level Dialogue with President Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo and President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia.
The European Union expects Serbia and Kosovo to swiftly deliver on their commitment to the Dialogue given the direct link between comprehensive normalisation of relations between them and the concrete prospects for their EU aspirations. In her discussions with the two Presidents, Federica Mogherini emphasized the need for Kosovo and Serbia to ensure an environment conducive for the Dialogue and to refrain from words, actions and measures that are contrary to the spirit of normalisation. They discussed the necessary steps for the way forward and decided to remain in constant contact in the coming days to assess the follow up of today’s meeting.