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DAILY SURVEY 29.05.2017.
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SERBIA

VUCIC, DACIC SEND TELEGRAMS OF SYMPATHY TO EGYPTIAN LEADERS

BELGRADE, 26 May 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic sent on May 26 a telegram of condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Prime Minister Sherif Ismail after an armed attack on Copts in Egypt. "We were struck by the news of the horrific attack again targeting Christian Copts in Egypt. This terrifying act again warns the world that it must unite in the fight against evil, which balks at nothing, for terrorism in its desire to rule by fear knows no boundaries and honors no human values," read Vucic's telegram, as quoted by the Serbian government. On behalf of the Serbian government and his own, Vucic expressed deep sympathy to El-Sisi, Ismail, the Egyptian cabinet and victims' families, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic sent a telegram of condolences to his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry, read a press release issued by the Serbian Foreign Ministry. On May 26, masked men attacked a bus with Copts south of Cairo, killing 28, including children. More than 20 people were injured, Egyptian officials announced.

SERBIA, REPUBLIKA SRPSKA'S TOP OFFICIALS MEET AT BRATOLJUB BRIDGE

BELGRADE, 26 May 2017 (Beta) - Top-ranking officials from Serbia and Republika Srpska met on May 26 on the Bratoljub Bridge, connecting Ljubovija in Serbia and Bratunac in Republika Srpska. The Serbian president and prime minister, Tomislav Nikolic and Aleksandar Vucic, met halfway with their Srpska counterparts, Milorad Dodik and Zeljka Cvijanovic, who visited the construction site together with two government delegations. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic described the bridge as a strategic project important for economic development, trade, tourism and transportation. Seventy-two percent of the works have been finished already, the two banks of the Drina River have been connected and only the final works on the pedestrian and bike lanes remain to be completed. The bridge is 227 meters long and 14 meters wide, with eight pillars, four in the river, and four on the river banks. The project worth EUR13 million was financed by the Serbian government, and Republika Srpska will build road network on its side. The Serbian cabinet and the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina will sign an agreement for a new border crossing to be installed on the bridge.

VUCIC TO CONTINUE TO BUILD REGIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY AS SERBIA'S NEW PRESIDENT

BELGRADE, 26 May 2017 (Beta) - The outgoing prime minister, Aleksandar Vucic, said at a meeting in Belgrade on May 26 with EU ambassadors that as Serbia's new president he would remain committed to peace and stability in the region, pledging that "Serbia will not change its priorities." At the meeting attended by the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Oscar Benedict, Vucic said that once he took over his presidential duties he "will work on creating a single economic zone, and on themes of strategic importance to the country, including a dialog with representatives of local political parties interested in a dialog, in order to create a better atmosphere in Serbia." The Serbian cabinet reported that the EU ambassador said to Vucic that "Serbia's place is in Europe," and that he should use his presidential term to create the best possible conditions for Serbia in its European home. The officials also discussed the Union's recommendations in the EU integration process, delays in the talks with Pristina and the problems surrounding the establishment of a Community of Serbian Municipalities, as well as reports on accession chapters 23 and 24. Vucic said he was pleased with increasing trade with the EU, and growing EU investment in Serbia, underlining that Serbia had considered all of the recommendations very seriously, and that the staff of the Anti-Corruption Agency would be elected soon. "Serbia is on the road to Europe, and we will work to finalize the process in the best interest of the citizens of Serbia," Vucic said. The outgoing prime minister briefed the EU ambassadors on a meeting between High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the Western Balkan leaders, held in Brussels two days ago. EU Delegation official Oscar Benedict praised Serbia's economic reforms and progress in the EU integration process. The meeting was also attended by Serbian minister in charge of the country's EU accession Jadranka Joksimovic and Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric.

CONTINENTAL TO OPEN DOORS ON JULY 1, HIRE 500 ENGINEERS

BELGRADE, 26 May 2017 (Beta) - Germany's Continental is slated to open a software research and development center in Novi Sad on July 1, and hire over 500 engineers to work there, it was announced at the Serbian government headquarters after a meeting of company representatives with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. There will be 100 hires by the end of the year, while Continental will employ 400 more over the next two years. Several million euros will be invested in the research center. Vucic told a news conference that an engineer's gross salary would equal EUR2,300 and stressed that this was the best investment project in Serbia to date, a signal to other companies that want to invest in Serbia that it is an attractive destination for investment, development, science and research. German Ambassador Axel Dittmann said bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Germany included a growing trend and that there was potential for German companies to continue to invest in the coming period. According to Continental CEO Sasa Coring, the company offers safe, efficient and accessible solutions for vehicles, machinery and transport, and employs more than 227,000 people in 56 countries. In 2016, this company had sales worth EUR40.4 billion.

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: ROMANIA CONTINUES TO SUPPORT SERBIA'S EU ACCESSION

BELGRADE, 26 May 2017 (Beta) - Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said that Romania would continue to support the Western Balkans' integration with the European Union (EU), and that the country would assist Serbia in its accession talks as well. "Romania actively supports Serbia's EU accession, because we are interested in seeing a friendly, neighboring state join the Union," Minister Meleskanu said in an interview with the Kurir daily. The Romanian foreign minister said that Romania could understand "the hard work, efforts," and reforms required by the EU accession process. "Romania remains a strong advocate of EU enlargement, because the union brings peace, stability and progress. The entry process is rigorous in its terms, and we are prepared to share our experiences," the Romanian foreign minister said in a May 28 interview to Kurir. Romania wants to build even better economic relations with regional partners, Meleskanu said, adding that Romania's neighbors would be a major theme of the country's 2019 chairmanship of the EU Council. The foreign minister said that Serbia and Romania shared a duty to advance historically good relations, and that the Romanian minority in Serbia and the Serbian minority in Romania could be a bridge for communication.

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