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Belgrade Media Report 20 May



Dodik, Vucic and Porfirije meet in Belgrade, discuss upcoming Resolution on Srebrenica (RTS)


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic hosted Republika Srpska (RS) President Milorad Dodik, Patriarch of the Serb Orthodox Church Porfirije, and the Holy Synod of the Serb Orthodox Church for a working lunch in Belgrade on Friday. Vucic thanked the guests for their help in the fight against the adoption of the resolution on Srebrenica in the UN General Assembly. Vucic informed Dodik and the Patriarch that the Serb people in Kosovo are exposed to brutal persecution, as well as that Serbia will never accept an independent Kosovo. Vucic noted that, if resolution on Srebrenica is adopted, Serbia will ask for a resolution on the killing of Serbs at the hands of the Germans in the Second World War, as well as at the hands of the Ustasha in Jasenovac to be adopted. Vucic also told media that he had discussed the seriousness of the moment with Dodik, the Patriarch and the Holy Synod and expressed his "gratitude that they are dealing with the issue of the imposed resolution on Srebrenica, as a key issue for the survival of the Serb people". The Serbian President stated: “That resolution was initiated secretly, hidden from us, hidden from the public eye, they worked on it for eight months, only after that did Serbia come to know who the creators were and who worked on it, and it is a notorious falsehood that it is a resolution which should only mark one suffering and nothing more.” According to the Serbian President, the resolution on Srebrenica opens “the Pandora’s box”. Dodik also addressed media after the working lunch and said that the resolution on Srebrenica will affect the relations within Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H). Dodik noted that Serb people stand a chance only if the RS separates from B&H and unites with Serbia. The Patriarch reiterated the position that what happened in Srebrenica was no genocide but rather a major crime. Vucic, Dodik and the Patriarch also discussed the All-Serb Assembly which will be held in June. Dodik pointed out that a hybrid war is being led against Serbs, no matter where they live. He says the “century for Serb unification has come,” and he believes that to be a completely legitimate political idea. During Friday’s lunch, Dodik told his interlocutors that the Resolution on Srebrenica has a hidden goal of moral disqualification of the Serb people. Speaking to Vucic and Porfirije, Dodik said that the RS has the chance to survive only if it separates from B&H and unites with Serbia. Dodik says that the Resolution will solely serve as a new platform for attack on Serbs. Vucic reiterated that the Resolution, which was worked on in secret for eight months, “will open Pandora’s box.” Vucic also announced that Serbia will ask for resolution on suffering of Serbs by the hand of the Germans in the World War II, as well as by the hands of the Ustashas in Jasenovac, to be adopted. Vucic said “more concrete responses” will be defined during the Assembly of all Serbs. Patriarch Porfirije said that a crime happened in Srebrenica, and Serbs never compared which crime is bigger than the other. Crime is crime, he says. Porfirije said that the UN’s intention forces all people to compare crimes. He added that suffering in Srebrenica is undeniable, but suffering of Serbs throughout history cannot be forgotten or made less important. Dodik confirmed that he will be in Belgrade on Monday again, and that he will wish safe travels to Vucic who will be heading to New York – with the goal of talking about the Resolution and lobbying for its non-adoption. After the meeting, Vucic posted the following statement on the Instagram: "I informed President Dodik about the efforts that the Serbia is undertaking to protect the vital national interests of the Serb people, as well as international public law, once again repeating that the adoption of such a resolution would mean opening a Pandora's box for the future while opening countless wounds from the past. President Dodik warned me that passing a resolution on the genocide in Srebrenica will have disastrous consequences for relations within B&H." A special topic of discussion, as Vucic emphasized, was the upcoming Assembly of Serb People scheduled for 8 June in Belgrade, for which numerous joint activities, the signing of memoranda and agreements, as well as events that will confirm the unity of the people and protect the right to the future of generations to come. "On 23 May of this year, the Serbia and the RS will jointly and unitedly fight for the truth, pride and dignity of the Serb people," said Vucic. Dodik emphasized that Serbia is now stronger than it was before and that this provides security to Serbs wherever they are. Dodik said that the relations between the RS and Serbia have never been better and more concrete that the resolution on Srebrenica is an attack on the Serb people. “If the Serb people remain within the framework of B&H as a political entity for the long term, they will be lost in the next few decades,” said Dodik. Dodik emphasized that the Srebrenica Resolution is anti-Serb and wants to impose collective guilt onto the entire Serb nation. Dodik is also convinced that there will be more countries that will vote against or abstain, than those that will vote to support the Resolution. “That resolution is something we will reject. We have no intention of complying with that act, which is a precedent in the political life of the UN itself. I am happy due to our friends who will not support or will refrain, despite the enormous pressures exerted by the countries of Western Europe and the United States of America,” Dodik told RTS. On 23 May this year, the Republic of Serbia and the RS will jointly and unitedly fight for the truth, pride and dignity of the Serb people, said the President of Serbia. “This is a very difficult question for us, because it shows the attitude of individuals in the region towards us, as well as of some world powers. All I can tell you is that we fought, that we invested enormous energy, I gave all the time in this world, even as the President of the Republic, to oppose them as strongly and powerfully as possible,” Vucic told a press conference in Belgrade.


Vucic before his trip to New York: "On Thursday, we will know who our friends are. We will resist strongly" (B92/Politika)


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic addressed the public before his trip to New York. "I will have many meetings, and on Thursday we will all fight together. In the morning, several representatives of us will meet in the Saint Sava temple, I believe that the patriarch will also be there and he will give us a speech and tell us what they think. What is certain is that we will put up a strong fight. I know how big the force is that threatens us and how big and strong they are, and we will do our best and resist them stronger than they thought," said Vucic. He then commented on the latest decision of Montenegro. "People from Serbia participate in this and help. These are the platforms for the destruction of Serbia. I am proud when I am in a negative context on their front pages. I do not interfere in the internal affairs of Montenegro and it is their decision how they will vote. It is a perfidious trick," he said. "You did not come to an agreement with Serbia regarding the amendments related to the resolution. Someone did that so that they could wash their own conscience as to why they would vote for the resolution", he added. "We will know on Thursday evening who are our friends in the world and who are our partners. All those who vote against or abstain are our friends," Vučić pointed out, adding that it was important that a small country, Serbia, stood up to the big powers in the world, and no one expected that. "I will not be happy with the results, but I will be proud of our fight. I also believe that the citizens of Serbia will be proud of it," he said. He also commented on Konakovic's statements that neither he nor Serbia deserve respect by supporting the Resolution on Srebrenica. "Everything I said, he confirmed and said he would do it, even though they said it was a lie. They had to bring meaningless amendments to say that it is not the people who are genocidal, but the individuals. Then explain why you support the resolution. What's up with you?", said Vucic. "Apart from that personal hatred of Konakovic, they cannot give serious answers, which is that if it is about individual responsibility, why do you support the resolution and then there is no answer," he added.


Upcoming elections

"I could say a lot about those people. Unlike others, I am always ready to congratulate them on their good results. They use a dangerous trick. They say they are fed up with the Belgradization, and in the last 10 years that difference has been decreasing. The percentage is higher salary growth in Nis than in Belgrade. There are all new people there, there is no one from the past," he said, talking about the upcoming elections. "I will go to Nis on the last day of the election campaign and I will tell them what I think. I think that Nis is on a great path and I don't think that anyone has come forward faster," he added. Vucic also commented on the statements of Savo Manojlovic, as well as "who is financing him". "I just feel sorry for this man (Savo Manojlovic). Their only problem is always Vucic in prison, and Dacic is not important to them, however, he is an important partner to us. The worst thing is to work against your country," said Vučić and drew attention to the fact that they were given money by Rockefeller, but he doesn't understand why. "It is good that people perceive their numerous anti-Serb attitudes," he emphasized. "The local elections will certainly be difficult for the list that bears my name," he added and drew attention to the fact that the elections are uncertain, but that is democracy. In the end, Vucic thanked the citizens of Serbia who support their country.


Vucic in crowded Spens: This team is like Real Madrid compared to others; I want you to fight for people (B92)


The election list "Aleksandar Vucic - Novi Sad tomorrow" is holding a pre-election rally in Spens. Vucic, was greeted with applause, and at the beginning of his speech he said that he thinks the elections on 2 June are of great importance. "I am proud of all that we have done, that we have shown that even when we do not agree on all issues, we can work together when it comes to the interests of our country," he said. He welcomed the coalition partners and emphasized that the parties are no longer important, but only the defense of Serbia's interests is important. "We are preparing to host Expo 2027. It is a question of whether we will have the best high-speed road, whether we will also build the Belgrade-Zrenjanin highway, we also want to build a full profile highway from Nis via Prokuplje. Just 10 years ago, 482 Euros was the average salary in Novi Sad, and now it is over 900 Euros. For that, we need to put in a lot of effort and work together with local governments," said Vucic. "In the previous 10 years, we brought 10 factories and scientific research centers to Novi Sad. We will accept the poor election result, but remember that there is a single factory in Novi Sad that they didn't destroy... They destroyed everything. Only if they could, they will lock up the factories and we must not let them deceive you. They are not capable of showing any plan and program. That is their plan and program - we want bridges, we want three more bridges in Novi Sad. Whatever we start to do, they say we won't let them build it," said the Serbian President. "This team is like Real Madrid compared to all the others competing and I am proud of you, my dear friends. It used to be a saying that everyone plays football and at the end the Germans win. Now we will take on the role of Real Madrid and beat them in every game. And so every year someone thinks it's time to throw Real Madrid out, and the people who care about them want to win. I want you to fight for them, I want you to solve their problems, even when you can't," he said. "In all municipalities, I am asking for victory from you because that is the best indicator that these people will have a good future. To win, to work hard, to fight and to defeat them in the most convincing way," said Vucic. "On Friday, I will also return to New York, and after that I will be with our Bosniak brothers to talk and build a common future. Until then - we are not afraid of anyone because freedom-loving Serbia has nothing to fear. Long live Serbia, Novi Sad - until the final victory," Vucic concluded.


Vucevic: Gabon will not vote for Srebrenica resolution (Tanjug/RTS)


Serbian Prime Minister Milos Vucevic said on Monday Gabonese PM Raymond Ndonga Sima had informed him Gabon would not vote for a UN General Assembly resolution on Srebrenica. Vucevic also thanked Gabon for its full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia regarding Kosovo and Metohija. "PM (Ndonga) Sima informed us his state will not vote for the proposed UN resolution on the so-called Srebrenica genocide, for which we are immeasurably grateful to them. We, of course, informed the PM and the Gabonese delegation of Serbia's position regarding that resolution, without underestimating or diminishing the war crime that happened there and without disputing the individual responsibility of anyone who might have been involved in the commission of those crimes," Vucevic told a press conference with Ndonga Sima at the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade after Serbia and Gabon signed agreements on cooperation in sports and defence. Vucevic added that the resolution had been drafted in a manner that ran counter to Bosnia and Herzegovina's internal procedures and without consultations, and noted that it would lead to further escalation and deterioration of interethnic relations within Bosnia and Herzegovina itself. Vucevic noted that Gabon supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia. "Gabon is one of the countries that have derecognised the so-called Kosovo, which is inestimably important to us and a confirmation of our good and sincere relations, which have been maintained since the Non-Aligned Movement and have strong potential even today," Vucevic said. Before the press conference, Serbian Defence Minister Bratislav Gasic and his Gabonese counterpart Brigitte Onkanowa signed an agreement on defence cooperation. Serbian Minister of Sport Zoran Gajic and Onkanowa signed a MoU on sport.


Friendly relations between Serbia, Hungary reaffirmed (Tanjug/RTV)


Serbian Foreign Minister Marko Djuric paid an official visit to Hungary on Friday, during which he met with head of Hungarian diplomacy Peter Szijjarto. Djuric, during his first bilateral visit, said that he is pleased that the visit to Budapest is another confirmation of friendly relations between Serbia and Hungary. We are sincerely looking forward to the fact that Hungary will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union, because we know not only that we, as Serbia and as a region, will have a reliable friend at the top of the EU, but also because the EU will be managed by political structures will look at the European interest in a responsible way, the Minister pointed out. He assessed that the proposed Resolution on Srebrenica means the opening of old wounds by irresponsible political circles in the region, which has caused numerous tensions and dissatisfaction. Such irresponsible policy did not take into account the needs of the future of our people, but took into account the narrow political interests of those who try to manipulate the victims, Djuric said. When it comes to Kosovo and Metohija, he pointed out that Serbia wants stable and normal relations and finding solutions based on compromise, but at the moment, instead of interlocutors who would help solve inter-ethnic problems, in Pristina, unfortunately, there are interlocutors who day in day out, not respecting agreements, create new tensions. The head of Serbian diplomacy said that Serbia extremely appreciates Hungary's support, and when it comes to Pristina's attempt to achieve membership in the Council of Europe, beyond the standards prescribed by the EU. Szijarto said that Hungary is preparing to preside over the EU and wants to bring Serbia closer to membership during that presidency and that the process will be more intensive than ever before. He pointed out that Hungary will vote negatively at the United Nations Assembly when it comes to the adoption of the proposed Resolution on Srebrenica, judging that it is an attempt to demonize the entire Serbian nation. We will also vote negatively if someone raises the question of membership of the so-called Kosovo in the Council of Europe, Szijarto concluded.


Dacic: Only votes for and against are counted when adopting the resolution on Srebrenica (TV Prva)


Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated yesterday for TV Prva that it is far from the truth that the proposers of the resolution on Srebrenica in the United Nations General Assembly have a two-thirds majority, but it should be noted that only votes for and against are counted when adopting it, not abstentions. Dacic emphasized that Serbia’s goal was to remove this topic from the agenda since the issue is illegal and unlawful on two grounds – there was no consensus of the Presidency of B&H on it, and the issue cannot be on the agenda of the UN General Assembly if it is a matter in the UN Security Council. According to Dacic’s assessment, it is difficult to say whether the counting of votes for and against should be approached based on the bilateral relations we have with some countries, or in the shadow of pressures those countries are exposed to. Under the guise of fighting genocide, one topic is politicized, added Dacic, pointing out that the fight for and against this resolution “is not fought with gloves on but rather a ruthless struggle that is far from regulations, rules”. Dacic stated that even President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic has been involved in this fight since day one and warned that the resolution violates international law and opens a Pandora’s box for “everyone to propose their genocide”. Asked about the situation in Serbia following the assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Dacic said that the security situation in Serbia is stable. Dacic emphasized that due to all the challenges and threats, the issue of providing security for the highest state officials is taken very seriously, and no one can hide behind false names when threatening. Vucic is the most exposed to threats, and we do not dismiss any of them as false or unserious, Dacic stated. Speaking about local elections, Dacic, as the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia, said that there are many parties, but Serbia is one, and that is why everyone is on the same list with the Serbian Progressive Party. The opposition rejoices that Serbia is in a difficult situation. It is a great tragedy for our people that we have an irresponsible opposition, Dacic said, emphasizing that when journalists ask them about Srebrenica, they respond about sewage. Dacic called on all supporters of the SPS to come out and support the list led by Vucic in the elections.


BIRODI: Vucic continues to violate international standards, Serbian Constitution, laws (Beta)


The BIRODI Bureau of Social Research said in a press release on 19 May that, by appearing for an interview in the morning program of TV Pink, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had spent three-fourths of his time on the air speaking as if he were implicitly heading the tickets for local elections in Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Cacak, thus infringing on international standards and the Serbian Constitution. According to BIRODI's announcement, Vucic thereby contravened the 1990 Copenhagen Declaration which requires the separation of public and party offices, the recommendations of the ODIHR Observer Mission on the 2023 parliamentary elections geared toward preventing campaigning by office-holders and the Constitution of Serbia, which states that "the president of the Republic represents the state unity of Serbia". The statement goes on to say that Vucic also violated the Law on the president of Serbia, which also states that "the president of the Republic represents the state unity of Serbia", the Law on preventing corruption -- Article 40, which "regulates conflicts of interest and the integrity of public officials, and insists that public officials are obligated not to subordinate the public to the private -- in this case party interests, by endorsing a political party which they are members of, in contravention of their constitutional and legal rights and obligations".


Both Schmidt and Becirovic in UN SC without authority (Politika)


The daily noted that the session of the UN Security Council (UN SC) “at which Bosniak member of B&H Presidency Denis Becirovic made an address ‘on behalf of the state’ without an approval of B/H Presidency, while (non)appointed supervisor Christian Schmidt supported all of his claims on only one culprit –RS – contributed to the impression of the public that the internal irreconcilable differences shifted from B&H onto the world stage.” The daily also argued that the debate in the UN SC also confirmed the existing stance of the public that Srebrenica Resolution is aimed at making the atmosphere of an additional pressure onto Belgrade and Banja Luka because “the western countries are in a hurry to carry out political projections in this part of the world before expected changes of international circumstances happen, including possible end of the war in Ukraine or calming down of it.” RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic said that he is sure that, after this year’s elections in Europe and USA, things will either go in a very wrong way or everything will be brought in order and pieces will fall into their places. RS President Milorad Dodik stated that “all hypocrisy in international law comes from the West” which is proven in the UN SC where Schmidt does not go whenever Russia or China are presiding, but he goes there when USA is presiding. Dodik reiterated that Schmidt was not appointed by the UN SC, and he argued that the West has launched “personalization” of guilt and there is also an attempt to create an image as if the RS is destabilizing the situation. “We are not getting armed. We do not call to conflicts, we want to carry out policy in line with ‘Dayton’,” Dodik noted. Dodik also said that representatives of the RS and Serbia will attend the All-Serb Assembly in Belgrade on 8 June and they will adopt necessary measures as a response to the announced adoption of Srebrenica Resolution and he argued that the adoption of Srebrenica Resolution will result in “immeasurable consequences for an internal agreement in B&H.” Viskovic assessed that it is a nonsense that Schmidt and Becirovic addressed the UN SC and spoke only on their personal behalf, knowing that Schmidt’s mandate as the High Representative was not confirmed while Becirovic spoke without consent and approval of B&H Presidency. Viskovic also noted that, even if Srebrenica Resolution were to be adopted, it will not be mandatory, and the RS will not be implementing it. Viskovic said that the Resolution, in a historical context, will mean nothing because it is not mandatory, but there are attempts to “stick a label onto each Serb” through its adoption. Viskovic also reminded that documents of the UN SC, on the other hand, are mandatory but Sarajevo failed to respect 1244 Resolution “so some from Sarajevo voted for the admission of so-called Kosovo to the Council of Europe.” Viskovic thanked Serbia for its understanding and diplomatic efforts, and he argued that “whenever Serbia is successful in lobbying, Germans follow right behind it and they are trying to spoil it, based on which they reached the number of some 80 countries that will vote for the Resolution.” Finally, Viskovic also reminded of the report of (Gideon) Greif’s commission, which argued that the Army of the Republic of B&H decided to make a breach from Srebrenica to Tuzla in 1995 almost 80 kilometres through the territory that was under the control of the RS Army at the time and he added: “Some 2,300 people were killed in their breach. Unfortunately, this number includes 1,200 of those who lost their lives in a way that is not in line with existing conventions and that, in my opinion, was a severe crime. A crime of an individual character and majority of those individuals were either sentenced or are standing trials.”



Konakovic sends letter to Commissioner Varhely: What is it that Vucic, Dodik and you defend Serb people from? (Oslobodjenje)


B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmedin Konakovic sent an open letter to European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhely in regard to his statements made in Belgrade concerning the issue of Srebrenica Resolution. Media carried entire letter. “Honourable Commissioner Varhely. I have learnt from the media that You have publicly joined the shameful propaganda of Serbian President. I expected from You more responsible, more serious, more humane stance on the matter of Srebrenica Resolution. Because of the post that you preform, you have to be aware that your words are heavy and painful, especially when they are in confrontation with universal human values, moral norms, international law and UN conventions. Essentially, the Resolution is aimed at establishing of justice and permanent peace, because this is what our region needs. It is written for victims of the genocide. Because of the tragedy and horror, they suffered. Because of their rights to this symbolic part of delayed justice. International Courts have already convicted perpetrators and those responsible for genocide awarding them total of 1, 500 years of prison. This is not matter of politics, but of global civilizational values and most of all humanity. To dispute to genocide victims that they have right to this remembrance day, is not only wring but it is uncivilized. This is why it is concerning to me how you, in your public appearances, insinuate collective guild to the entire people, by paraphrasing Aleksandar Vucic words in your statements. His imagined conspiracy theories are directed to destabilize relations in the region and divert attention from difficult issues that Serbia is currently facing. Taking over of the rhetoric of those who award medals to convicted perpetrators of the genocide, irrefutably puts you on the dark side of history. What is it that Vucic, Dodik and you defend Serb people from? From the Resolution that does not mention them in a single word? You managed to see in the text of the Resolution, something that is not there. Reads the text of Resolution more carefully. Your stances are obviously not stances of the European nations, or of the Commission, so I am asking you whose stances did you present…? Only couple of days after your statement, Deputy Minister of Defense of B&H, publicly paid respect to convicted war criminal for genocide in Srebrenica. Do You think this is the way to build joint future and secure permanent peace in the region? Thesis that adoption of the Resolution will destabilize the region, can be created only by those who deny genocide, celebrate war criminals and perhaps have similar intentions in the future. Because of such things, you should support this Resolution, as EU Commissioner, as European and as human being,” reads the letter. Statement also reads that B&H Foreign Ministry decided not to continue implementation of Action Plan on Knowledge Transfer about the process of EU accession between B&H and Hungarian Foreign Ministries, which included training of diplomats.


SDA statement criticizes Varhely’s statement; European Commission has special obligation to publicly distance and condemn Varhely’s objection to adoption of the Resolution (Dnevni list)


SDA stated that the statement of European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhely, in which he objects adoption of Srebrenica resolution, claiming that Resolution aims to impose collective guilt on Serb people, is not only contradictory to European values, but is based on untruths. Statement reads that Resolution does not stigmatize nor it imposes collective guilt to the Serb people, and it does not even mention ethnic, institutional or any other affiliation of those who committed genocide, but it is exclusively dedicated to preserving of memory of the victims and condemnation of judicially established facts. SDA noted that with this Varhely took the side of those who deny genocide and who impose collective guilt on Serb people with their wrong interpretations of the content and of the essence. SDA underlined that Commissioner’s stance is contrary to three European Parliament’s Resolutions which states that genocide was committed in Srebrenica, and which mention those responsible for this crime. “Therefore, European Commission has special obligation to publicly distance and condemn Varhely’s objection to adoption of the Resolution,” reads SDA statement.


Varhelyi, Konakovic issue joint statement: Genocide in Srebrenica unquestionable (FTV)


B&H Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmedin Konakovic and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi issued a joint statement concerning the UN Resolution on Srebrenica. Commissioner Varhelyi posted entire joint statement on his X profile: “We have discussed today the recent draft UN resolution on Srebrenica. The previous statements by Commissioner Varhelyi are in full respect of the victims and have in no way questioned the facts concerning the genocide in Srebrenica in 1995. The facts of the genocide in Srebrenica have been legally established by, among others, the International Court of Justice. The Commissioner's statements clarified that the perpetrators bear full and sole responsibility for the crimes they committed. Any notion of collective guilt or collective responsibility of a whole nation is unacceptable and against internationally accepted norms. The crimes committed shall never be forgotten to avoid that they are ever repeated against anyone. Reconciliation can only be built upon truth, peace, and upon justice. There can be no tolerance for genocide denial, historical revisionism, and glorification of war criminals. Commissioner Varhelyi is one of the strongest supporters of the accession of B&H to the European Union. We have worked together in recent years for a prosperous and peaceful B&H. The future of B&H is in the European Union as a single, united and sovereign country. Based on the recommendation of the European Commission, in December 2022 B&H received candidate status and in March 2024 the European Council decided to open accession negotiations. B&H must continue implementing its EU reform agenda and Commissioner Varhelyi is committed to fully support this process.” Konakovic said that he and Várhelyi had a “long and difficult conversation” before issuing the joint statement. "I had excellent cooperation with Varhelyi during the process of European integration, but I must mention that, when it comes to the resolution and Srebrenica in general, we have a position that is sensitive," said Konakovic. Konakovic said that he is happy that they succeeded to clarify the situation regarding Varhelyi’s previous statements on the Resolution on Srebrenica and that they were able to agree on basic facts about character of the crime that happened in Srebrenica in 1995, i.e. that it was the genocide as legally established by the International Court of Justice, as well as that they jointly condemn the genocide denial.  Konakovic stressed that there has never been intention to generalize the guilt for crimes or to speak about collectively, but this was all Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s deed with a goal to prevent the adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica in the UN.


Becirovic resumes with lobbying for adoption of Srebrenica Resolution (O Kana/ Dnevni avaz)


Chairman of B&H Presidency Denis Becirovic will travel to New York at beginning of this week to resume with activities aimed to adopt the Resolution on International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica in the UN General Assembly (UN GA). Becirovic’s new visit to the UN HQs comes only few days after he addressed the UN Security Council (UN SC) that was dedicated to discussion on situation in B&H. O Kanal reports that in previous period, Becirovic held series of meetings with embassies of numerous countries in the UN. New series of similar meetings will be held next week. This is Becirovic’s third visit to the UN HQs within period of one months and is part of his activities to advocated adoption of Srebrenica Resolution. Becirovic met on Friday with UK Ambassador to B&H, Julian Reilly, on which occasion Becirovic expressed gratitude for the support on issue of Srebrenica Resolution. Reilly underlined that UK will protect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of B&H and strongly continue to support democratic and multiethnic state of B&H. Becirovic underlined that adoption of Resolution is very important for strengthening of peace in B&H and the region. Ambassador Reilly underlined support to B&H on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.


RS PM Viskovic: Adoption of Resolution on Srebrenica might be beginning of end of United Nations in its current form (


Commenting on the announced vote on the Resolution on Srebrenica in the UN General Assembly, RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic said in an interview to the portal that the possible adoption of the Resolution on Srebrenica might be the beginning of end of the United Nations in its current form. “This has obviously become an area for lobbyist interest spheres when the international law has been violated”, Viskovic stated. He assessed that historically the Resolution on Srebrenica means nothing, but politically it represents a big problem because it will disturb relations in B&H.


Dodik: Serb people in Srpska will be exposed to great pressures; Serbs in the RS have no future without status accession to Serbia (O Kanal)


O Kanal carries comments made by RS President Milorad Dodik, via post on Instagram. “The Serb people in RS will be exposed to great pressures, and we have no future without status accession to Serbia. And this is something that this time and the resolution on Srebrenica best show, because it aims at the hidden disqualification of the Serb people, morally and otherwise. During the week in Belgrade, I attended a lunch with Aleksandar Vucic, Patriarch Porfirije, and the bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, where we discussed the attacks on RS and Serbia. Also, I was in Budapest, where I talked with Viktor Orban and Peter Szijjarto about continuing cooperation and opening new projects,” wrote Dodik. Dodik assessed that the Resolution on Srebrenica unnecessarily imposes “an evil mark” on the Serb people.


Finalized text on Srebrenica Genocide Resolution ready, condemns denial and glorification of war criminals (FTV)


Final version of the Resolution on the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica in the UN was harmonized on Friday. The first amendment filed by Montenegro emphasizing that the responsibility for the Srebrenica genocide is individual and it cannot be put on any ethnic group was included in the text of the Resolution, reiterating that criminal accountability under international law for the crime of genocide cannot be attributed to any ethnic, religious or other group or community as a whole. The second amendment filed by Montenegro was also included in the text of the Resolution, which reiterates the unwavering commitment to maintaining stability and fostering unity in diversity in B&H. The final version of the Resolution primarily reminds of all verdicts of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), stressing the verdicts against wartime military commander of the RS Army Radoslav Krstic, wartime commander of the RS Army Main Staff Ratko Mladic and first RS President Radovan Karadzic, by which the genocide in Srebrenica was confirmed. The final version also reminds that the UN General Assembly: 1) decides to designate July 11 as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica to be observed annually; 2) condemns without reservation any denial of the Srebrenica genocide as a historical event, and urges the UN member states to preserve the established facts, including through their educational systems by developing appropriate programs, also in remembrance, towards preventing denial and distortion, and occurrence of genocides in the future; 3) condemns without reservation actions that glorify those convicted of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by international courts, including those responsible for the Srebrenica genocide; 4) emphasizes the importance of completing the process of finding and identifying the remaining victims of the Srebrenica genocide and according them dignified burial and calls for the continued prosecution of those perpetrators of the Srebrenica genocide that have yet to face justice; 5) urges all states to fully adhere to their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as applicable, and customary international law on genocide prevention and punishment with due regard to relevant ICJ decisions; 6) requests the Secretary-General to establish an outreach program entitled ‘The Srebrenica Genocide and the United Nations’, starting its activities with preparations for the 30th anniversary in 2025, and further requests the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all member states, organizations of the United Nations system and civil society organizations for appropriate observance; 7) invites all member states, organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and other relevant stakeholders to observe the International Day, including special observances and activities in memory and honor of the victims of the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica, as well as appropriate education and public awareness-raising activities. B&H Ambassador to the UN Zlatko Lagumdzija has published the final version of the Resolution on Srebrenica on his X profile. He stated that the final version of the Resolution has brought a better-quality text with the two amendments included in the document that will be on the agenda of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Lagumdzija stressed that the first amendment annuls arguments of “fake patriots who promote the non-existing guilt of genocidal nations”, while the second amendment stresses the strengthening of unity in diversities, noting that this is not only the moto of the EU, but it also reflects nature of B&H as European state that is based on similar traditions.


HR Schmidt: Resolution on Srebrenica only contains legally established facts, I do not see any plans that resolution would impose collective guilt on Serb people (Face TV)


Face TV carried an interview with High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt. Asked to provide his opinion on the Resolution on Srebrenica that the UN General Assembly (UN GA) is expected to vote on this month, Schmidt stated that he still has not seen the final text of the resolution, but that he knows that the resolution only states the legally established facts, based on international court rulings. “It has been established that genocide happened in Srebrenica”, Schmidt underscored, adding that no new accusations are mentioned in the resolution. According to Schmidt, “guilt is not mentioned, it simply includes established facts”. Commenting on the allegations of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that the resolution aims to put the collective guilt onto the entire Serb people in order to abolish RS and for B&H to seek war compensation from Serbia, Schmidt responded that he does not see any plans that would move in that direction. Schmidt stressed that he protects the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA), which includes protection of entities as well. Schmidt stressed that he consulted legal experts about possible legal grounds that the resolution could provide, to which they explained to him that the ruling on the genocide already exists, and the resolution would thus bring nothing new in a legal sense. Schmidt underlined that he spoke to representatives of the UN SC, Quint countries and the EU and who fully agree that the DPA is untouchable. “I think that Serbia needs to think again so that it is clear to them how things are”, he added. Asked if RS President Milorad Dodik’s allegations that a disaster would follow after the UN GA adopts the resolution, Schmidt answered that that is not going to happen. “The only thing that would be considered a disaster is to fully freeze the political dialogue”, he warned. Schmidt was asked if he believes that Vucic could support Dodik’s secessionist ideas, and he replied that, from his point of view, that would be a violation of the DPA. Schmidt called on officials to stop with such inflammatory rhetoric, stressing that there should be an understanding instead of anti-Dayton statements. Schmidt does not consider that EUFOR or NATO need to take any preventive action, but he considers that the situation needs to be carefully followed. Schmidt stated: “They should perhaps consider increasing reserve forces in EUFOR.” The HR emphasized he does not expect violence or danger in the coming years, and he finds that this is a country that is in peace. “We will carefully monitor what is happening. In the meantime, everyone should enable economic progress”, he added. Speaking about how Dodik could be sanctioned in case he continues with the secessionist threats, Schmidt pointed out that the international community has its instruments, which are in line with the DPA, and noted that the international community needs to react in case of crossing the red line. Asked to provide a comment on Russian Ambassador to B&H Igor Kalabukhov’s statements that the West is interfering with the process of reconciliation in B&H, Schmidt noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin faces an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity, and given that Russia is illegally waging war in Ukraine and killing people there - contrary to all international law, then its ambassador should not be the one to comment on other countries’ issues. Since Serbian and RS officials often say that Germany as one of the proponents of the resolution had committed genocide against Jewish people in the past, Schmidt admitted that it took years for Germany to try those responsible for the crimes that were committed against Jews. In his opinion, although it happened, Germany is done with that, and it took responsibility. “Germany has done a lot of wrong things in the past. However, that is what I precisely think that it is important to insist on the term genocide (in the resolution). Germany has to do everything to prevent new genocide from happening”, he concluded.


Stevandic invites all parliamentary parties in RS and parties in local communities to meeting on local elections, RS opposition rejects invitation (ATV)


RS parliament speaker Nenad Stevandic has sent all parliamentary parties in the RS and all political parties in local communities in the RS an invitation to a meeting dedicated to holding of the local elections. The meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday. However, the RS opposition parties have already said that they do not plan to come to the meeting stressing that they have “nothing to agree on with the RS authorities and they do not trust such kind of talks.” According to SDS leader Milan Mliicevic, none of the decisions of the RS parliament on issues of crucial importance for the RS has been implemented. He said that this is just one of the reasons why SDS rejected the invitation for the meeting on Monday. ‘For Justice and Order’ list leader Nebojsa Vukanovic and ‘People's Front’ leader Jelena Trivic both said that they do not have intention to come to the meeting. PDP leader Branislav Borenovic said the same thing, stressing that he believes that the only goal of the RS authorities is to put the RS opposition as decoration to their political gameshow, which is why PDP does not want to be part of that. The RS ruling coalition parties stated that their invitation is still open regardless of the stance of the opposition, stressing that the fact that they have already rejected the invitation shows that the RS opposition is loyal to foreign factors in B&H and that they have reached agreement with Bosniaks in order to prevent the implementation of the election law of the RS. SNSD Secretary General Srdjan Amidzic said that the RS opposition continues to play a supporting role in a Bosniak political soap-opera, adding that it is clear that there is a deal with Bosniaks with an aim to have Bosniak parties at the helm of local communities in the RS and for the opposition to keep their posts. ATV Banja Luka commented that the RS opposition refused the invitation to the meeting on the local elections because they obviously more appreciate making deals with political Sarajevo, noting that they will certainly take part in the local elections as they obviously trust the election law imposed by Christian Schmidt the most.


HR Schmidt: Elections in B&H will be more efficient with technical amendments to Election Law; Rulings such as in ‘Sejdic-Finci’ case need to be implemented (Face TV)


Face TV carried an interview with High Representative (HR) Christian Schmidt. Commenting on the issue of the Election Law of B&H, Schmidt stated that fair elections are one of the EU priorities and he believes that, with the technical amendments he imposed, the elections will be more efficient. Asked about his opinion on the issue of voters’ lists that contain more names than there are citizens in B&H, Schmidt stressed that B&H has a huge diaspora, but the figures still do not reflect the real situation. “That is why the OSCE, and other institutions suggested verifying identity at polling stations. That is why I passed these amendments to the Election Law”, added Schmidt. In this regard, the HR said: “There was an opinion of the European Commission (EC) in 2019, with priorities, and among the significant reforms was ensuring that all citizens use their right to be elected, too. It is necessary to revise the electoral lists and voters’ lists.” Given that he faced numerous criticisms for imposing amendments to the Election Law, Schmidt reminded of the responsibility that politicians in B&H had in terms of amending the Election Law and he also reminded that the politicians failed to amend the law, so he had to do that. Namely, Schmidt stressed that deputy speaker of the B&H House of Representatives (HoR) Marinko Cavara accused him of being the problem in B&H, adding that Cavara should know that politicians who failed to ensure amending of the Election Law are the problem. Speaking about other amendments to the Election Law that should be adopted, the HR noted that the rulings like the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling in the case Sejdic-Finci vs. B&H need to be implemented. The HR stressed that, in order for this to be implemented, the Constitution of B&H will have to be changed in the part regulating representation of ‘Others’. Asked if B&H can join the EU with the current Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA), Schmidt replied that some things cannot be completed overnight, but some amendments to the Constitution from the DPA will have to be adopted. “All of that has to be resolved. I think B&H has good help of the international community. The EU does not interfere in internal issues, but it expects cooperation”, added Schmidt, concluding that young also need to be included in the debate on important issues. Commenting on the fact that he attended the UN Security Council (UN SC) session in New York on Wednesday and presented his report on the situation in B&H in person rather than via video link like he did before, Schmidt noted that this is a common thing and he came to the session because he received an invitation and his report was provided to all UN SC member countries. With regard to Chairman of the B&H Presidency Denis Becirovic’s address before the UN SC, Schmidt commended Becirovic for not letting emotions overwhelm him and for emphasizing the most important things for B&H. Schmidt also provided a statement regarding the RS authorities’ rejection of him as the HR, saying: “The Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) is part of the very existence of B&H, and that DPA includes me.” The HR added that he is here to protect the DPA. Asked what he thinks about the fact that RS President and SNSD leader Milorad Dodik – who does not recognize Schmidt as the HR – admitted defeat as he will have to participate in the local elections according to the election rules, he (the HR) imposed, Schmidt explained that this is not about winning or losing, but rather about additionally improving the functionality of the state. Given that Dodik keeps showing up at the hearings before the Court of B&H – which he also does not recognize – in a trial in which he is charged for non-execution of the HR’s decisions, Schmidt underlined that it comes as no surprise that Dodik has been attending the hearings in a court he criticizes, specifying: “If he wants to be a part of the European integration and respect the standards that are in force, he needs to respect independence of courts and the rule of law.” Asked for how long he is staying in B&H, the HR specified that his position needs to exist until the conditions from the Agenda 5+2 are fulfilled. “My position should exist until the conditions from the Program 5+2 are met. I hope that we will follow the path of European integration and that I will be able to accept an invitation from Laktasi to come there and drink ‘sljivovica’ (traditional, domestic plum brandy) - but in that case I would go there as a tourist. Until then, I am the HR”, concluded Schmidt.


Spajic’s Cabinet: Montenegro’s amendments prevent further politicization and are a victory for all nations in the region (CdM)


Montenegro’s amendments to the Resolution on the International Day of Remembrance and Commemoration of the Genocide in Srebrenica (1995) have been accepted, which represents a great success of Montenegrin diplomacy and a victory for all peoples in the region, PM Milojko Spajic’s Cabinet has announced. It is recalled that on this occasion Spajic also said that the essence of the amendments was preserved in the final text, and that it is believed that it is an additional contribution to regional reconciliation and good relations between Serbs, Bosniaks and all other nations in the Balkans. “Namely, the amendments sent by Montenegro to the proponents aim to contribute to the removal of distorted and wrong interpretations and prevent misunderstanding and further politicization of this issue. We remind you that through intensive diplomatic correspondence and significant efforts, Montenegro managed to agree on two amendment formulations which unequivocally emphasize that criminal responsibility under international law is individualized and cannot be attributed to any ethnic, religious or other group or community as a whole, and that commitment to preserving stability and fostering unity in diversity in B&H is unshakable”, the announcement emphasizes. It is tressed that the efforts and activities of Montenegrin diplomacy are based exclusively on a friendly and conciliatory approach. The acceptance of Montenegro’s amendments to the draft Resolution on Srebrenica is a great success of Montenegrin diplomacy and a step towards reconciliation within Montenegro and the region, Spajic has said. Commenting on the fact that the amendments were adopted after refinement, Spajic has pointed out that these were technical changes. He adds that they want all nations in Montenegro to feel comfortable, as they have had inter-religious and multinational harmony for so many years and decades, which was confirmed in the best way by the census in December. He also believes that the acceptance of the amendments will have a positive impact on Montenegro’s candidacy for membership in the United Nations Security Council, which he announces for next year.


Majority proposes Jasenovac resolution (RTCG)


The parliamentary majority submitted the proposed Resolution on Jasenovac, confirmed parliament speaker Andrija Mandic. The proposed Resolution was signed by 43 MPs. Mandic said at the parliamentary session that the Resolution on Jasenovac had been submitted. “We submitted the draft Resolution on the Genocide in Jasenovac for the parliamentary procedure, with 43 signatures of support from members of the parliamentary majority. We have a firm assurance that a few more MPs will support it, and that is what I have to inform the public because it is an important and significant thing for this parliament, which was previously determined according to some other events in the area of the former Yugoslavia, so this is very important to us”, said Mandic during the parliamentary session. The signatures of the MPs of the Albanian parties that make up the parliamentary majority were missing.


Vukovic: Resolution on Jasenovac should be withdrawn from procedure, we have to return to ourselves and our national interests (CdM)


The draft law on the Resolution on Jasenovac should be withdrawn from the parliamentary procedure, MP Ivan Vukovic said at the press conference of the DPS caucus. “One month before receiving IBAR, it is proposed to adopt a resolution that destroys good neighbourly relations with an EU member. Montenegro is currently the only aspirant country for the EU and has a real chance to become the first next member of the EU”, said Vukovic. He pointed out that Montenegro had a historic chance to provide prosperity to its citizens. “Montenegro must secure the political will of all member states in order to become a member of the EU, and our neighbouring country Croatia is among them. The current majority proposes a resolution on Jasenovac. The Serbian Parliament refused twice to adopt such a resolution. This serves to settle scores within the ruling coalition and for PES and Spajic to retain their support even after they remain in power. This serves to provoke an even sharper reaction from Zagreb and to stop Montenegro on its path to EU membership”, Vukovic believes. According to him, the situation is serious, and it will be even more serious if this resolution is adopted. “People in the government proved to us that by submitting amendments to the Resolution on Srebrenica, an extraordinary success was achieved. We saw the reaction of Aleksandar Vucic. We have to return to ourselves and our national interests. We are not interested in political profiteering. We would join this government at no cost”, said Vukovic. He wished all citizens a happy Independence Day.


Mickoski says next government to lead principled neighborly policy (MIA)


VMRO-DPMNE leader and future PM-designate Hristijan Mickoski said Sunday the next government's neighborhood policy would be principled, adding they would not make hasty steps that could "cost the country a lot". "You are aware that we cannot go against nature, we are one of the smallest nations in Europe. The organization that has the privilege to defend the interests of one of the smallest nations in Europe - the Macedonian people - must be wise. We should not make hasty steps that could cost us a lot. It is better we move slowly but surely. We must be patient, we must be smarter, a bit wiser than the rest because that is the only way to survive among predators who, believe me, do not want to see Macedonia succeed, prosperous and happy. You saw this during the first days after our historic win, when the situation heating up not only around but also at home," Mickoski told reporters. The future government, he added, is prepared to overcome all those challenges through a patient and smart policy with neighbors. "I call on you to build bridges, I call on everyone to cooperate within this beautiful Balkans. In regard to international politics, you will never see us begging on our knees, humiliating ourselves. Over the years, I have met with global authorities in Washington, Brussels, Berlin and other capitals. There is nothing more inspiring for me than this beautiful Macedonian people and our beautiful Macedonian state, and therefore we will conduct an international politics that is based on arguments, because we are never afraid to cross our arguments with those of our interlocutors," said Mickoski. The VMRO-DPMNE leader noted it is unwarranted to irritate neighbors, adding however that the fundamental human rights must be respected.


Mitsotakis urges Siljanovska Davkova to avoid 'similar unlawful and provocative actions' (MIA)


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has urged President Gordana Siljanovska Davkova to "avoid similar unlawful and provocative actions", saying the ratification of the three memoranda depends on how much the other side demonstrates its consistency with international obligations, MIA reports from Athens. "The new President of North Macedonia made an unlawful and provocative choice of violating the official text of the oath by calling her country by a name different to what is defined in the Constitution, and by that violating not only the Prespa Agreement but her homeland's constitution as well," Mitsotakis told Thessaloniki-based daily Makedonia. He adds that the swift response of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the US were no coincidence. "We urge the new president to avoid similar unlawful and provocative actions that we categorically say will not accept. It goes without saying that Skopje's European path depends on its sincere observance of what has been agreed. Therefore, the leadership of North Macedonia must understand that it can only benefit from Greece's friendship," notes Mitsotakis. He also refers to the three memoranda and says the Greek government will "obviously respect" what has been agreed through an international treaty. "However, the vote on the memoranda will depend on the other side as well, primarily by its consistency in keeping up with its international obligations. Therefore, we expect them to abide by agreements and we, a country of continuity and consistency, will do what is expected of us," says Mitsotakis. The Greek PM recalls that his party New Democracy did not support the Prespa Agreement while in opposition, but highlighted that from the moment it was endorsed, the treaty became binding for the country. "Let me remind you that we voted against the treaty in 2019 without ever saying we would terminate it. In my remarks in the Parliament back then, I pointed to the agreement's inconsistencies and warned about the problems it would create. We insisted on this as opposition, knowing well that once it is voted, the agreement cannot be changed and is binding for the country. Now, as a government, we must respect the Greek signature on an international agreement," underlines PM Mitsotakis.


Worth It leaders meet Kosovo PM Kurti in Pristina (MIA)


Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti hosted Saturday leaders of the Worth It coalition Bilal Kasami, Arben Taravari, Izet Mexhiti and Afrim Gashi, congratulating them on the election result at the 8 May parliamentary elections, saying it is the first time an ethnic Albanian opposition garnered over 100,000 votes. The meeting focused on issues of importance for Albanians in North Macedonia, but also inter-state relations and other developments. Interlocutors find the Russian and Serbian influence quite concerning, considering ties with corruption and crime. Infrastructure development between Kosovo and North Macedonia was one of the main topics of discussion, along with ideas and projects for revival of economic, cultural and educational cooperation, reads the daily. According to Kurti's office, the meeting was cordial, taking into account that "Albanians in the Balkans are a factor supporting democracy, European integration, Euro-Atlantic peace, security and stability".


Rama: Albania in 2030 will be at the EU table (Radio Tirana)


Prime Minister Edi Rama in a meeting with Albanian journalists, prior to returning from the Western Balkans Regional Summit with the EU held in Kotor, Montenegro said that Albania will sit at the table of the European family by 2030. When asked about the statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that integration could take up to 5 years and Ukraine could join earlier, Rama said, "Now that the President of Serbia and Serbia are more pessimistic than us, this is the most normal thing." "We are not Serbia, we are the Europe of the Balkans, and we are Albania, which, with the right of God, and with the right of the Albanian people, seeks to sit at the table of the EU, and in the meantime, we are working on this on a daily basis," emphasized Rama.


Rama: Roads should open to the common European market without needing EU membership (Radio Tirana)


Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama stated from Montenegro, that there needs to be more support and real integration pathways into the EU, without necessitating the full membership. Speaking to Albanian journalists before returning from the Western Balkans Regional Summit with the EU held in Montenegro, Rama addressed Albania's benefits from the Growth Plan. He said that he was indeed optimistic, more so now than before, noting that many things had changed in the EU's internal dynamics and its approach to what was previously called enlargement, now termed the reunification of Europe, partly due to the strong alarm bell raised by Russia's aggression in Ukraine. Rama emphasized that he had been a critic with the EU even before the opportunity arose to do so, and that Albania had been at the forefront of this change. He mentioned that he had repeatedly turned meetings with various EU leaders and representatives directly into exposés of a study conducted on the real benefits of EU membership for neighboring countries and the actual benefits for their countries, especially those in the Western Balkans, through EU assistance. He continued by pointing out that the gap was significant, so his idea and insistence had been that while doing own home works and every country needed to do them individually to have all the structures, mechanisms, institutions, and performance levels deserving membership, they needed to see that there should be more support. On the other hand, real integration pathways into the EU should open up without needing full membership. In conclusion, Rama stated that roads should open to the common European market, and paths should open in all those parts of the EU's coexistence structure where their countries could participate without necessarily being members.