DACIC TO U.S. AMBASSADORS: STATEMENTS BY RAMA, THACI, MUSLIU DANGEROUS, NOT RASH
BELGRADE, 21 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on April 21, that recent statements by Edi Rama, Hashim Thaci and Jonuz Musliju about the unification of all Albanians and "the creation of a Greater Albania" were dangerous, not "rash" or "ill-advised" as they have been described by U.S. ambassadors to Belgrade, Pristina and Tirana. These statements are "dangerous to the peace and stability of the Balkans and Europe," a press release from the Serbian Foreign Ministry said. "Would the ambassadors have responded so mildly had Skopje been mentioned, the Greek Epyrus or Montenegro's Ulcinj, in the way that Musliju placed the Serbian [city of] Nis within the borders of a Greater Albania? They would surely have responded more severely - it is as if a strike against Serbia is something that can be tolerated," said Dacic, adding that "it won't fly in Serbia either." Dacic said the statements "are not rash," they are "a reflection of a clear platform shared by all Albanians about a Greater Albania."
DACIC: DISCUSSES COOPERATION IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH SOUTH KOREAN OFFICIAL
BELGRADE, 21 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met with South Korean official Lee Yae-yong on April 21, to discuss the development of bilateral relations and cooperation within international organizations, with a special emphasis on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the initiative of South Korea, the Serbian and Korean delegations, the latter led by the general director of the Bureau for Cooperation in Culture at the South Korean foreign ministry, Lee Yae-yong, met on April 21 to discuss cooperation in the areas of culture, education, youth and sports. The foreign ministry reported that the meeting was an opportunity to discuss different forms of cooperation based on existing agreements, and to outline a new program for cooperation in culture, education, youth and sports for the period between 2018 and 2021.
VUCIC: ENTIRE BALKANS NEED TO REPENT, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN WHOSE NAME JASENOVAC HAPPENED
BANJA LUKA, 23 April 2017 (Beta) - The laying of wreaths at the Topole cemetery in the Donja Gradina memorial area on April 23 marked the beginning of a commemoration on Remembrance Day for the victims of Ustashi atrocities in the Jasenovac concentration camp and its largest killing ground, Donja Gradina, organized by the governments of Republika Srpska and Serbia. Incumbent Prime Minister and President-elect of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic said at the commemoration in Donja Gradina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, that all peoples in the Balkans were obligated to repent and feel shame, especially those "in whose name and to whose benefit" the crimes in Jasenovac and other Ustashi camps were committed. Speaking at the commemoration, Vucic said there were still people in Croatia "who wish there were no Serbs there" or their cultural, religious and other symbols, adding that Serbia wanted and had to work with "a normal Croatia," where people will not be judged by whether they are different. Vucic repeated that Serbia would never let anyone to have another Bljesak or Oluja, adding that staunch opposition must meet anyone who wants to redraw borders in the Balkans, who wants a "Greater Albania" and some other states, "not asking the rest of us, especially not the Serbs whose territory they want to seize."
VUCIC, CHEPURIN ON SERBIA'S PARTICIPATION IN ST PETERBURG ECONOMIC FORUM
BELGRADE, 21 April 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic spoke with Russian Ambassador Alexander Chepurin on April 21 on preparations to present Serbian companies at the St Peterburg International Economic Forum. Chepurin and Vucic agreed that Serbia's participation as an honorary guest would be a chance to best showcase the abilities and results of Serbian companies not just in Russia, but to the over 12,000 participants from around 130 countries, the government said in a press release. They also voiced the expectation that Serbia's presentation at St Peterbug would contribute to stepping up Serbian-Russian economic cooperation, but also to Serbian-Russian relations overall, to mutual advantage. They agreed that the two states' relations were developing well.
IMF DEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR PRAISES SERBIAN GOVERNMENT'S WORK
BELGRADE, 22 April 2017 (Beta) - The International Monetary Fund's Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang praised in Washington the Serbian government's efforts to strengthen local economies and carry out difficult reforms, the Serbian Ministry of Finance reported on April 22. At a meeting with the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) governor, Jorgovanka Tabakovic, and the Serbian finance minister, Dusan Vujovic, said that the financial institution intended to continue its extensive support to the Serbian government. The theme of the meeting, held within the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, was the analysis of the results of measures arranged within a precautionary agreement with the Fund. Governor Tabakovic underlined that Serbia had set a good example as a state that had managed to reduce internal and external imbalances, and increase growth to 2.8 percent in 2016, "while this year it is expected to continue growth, just like in the years to come." Minister Vujovic said that the first-quarter surplus and savings amounting to nearly half a billion euros, "send a clear signal to investors to invest in the Serbian economy." The Serbian finance ministry reported on April 21 that in Washington, Vujovic had discussed with IMF representatives the implementation of structural reforms in Serbia, and key parameters for the 7th review of the precautionary arrangement with the Fund, expected at the end of June and in early July, this year. Head of the IMF Mission in Serbia James Roaf said that the positive assesment of Serbia's economic situation was encouraging, stressing that stronger investment in the private sector was proof.
HEAD OF GERMAN SEE FRIENDSHIP GROUP MEETS WITH SERBIAN OFFICIALS
BELGRADE, 21 April 2017 (Beta) - The German Bundestag's South East European countries friendship group head Stephan Albani had separate meetings with Serbian officials in Belgrade, on April 21. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic and Albani agreed that a comprehensive solution was necessary when it came to illegal migration and considered possibilities of technical support and assistance that Germany could extend to Serbia in order to modernize and build up the capacities of the Serbian Interior Ministry. The German MP told Serbian Speaker Maja Gojkovic that the friendship group would continue to work with Serbia and countries in the region when it came to EU integration.