Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Discussion on role of citizens at local and regional level of government

Belgrade, Oct 16, 2007 - The Serbian Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government issued a statement today that today's work of the 15th session of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Entities of the Member States of the Council of Europe in Valencia “Good local and regional governance – the European challenge”, is dedicated to discussion on the role of citizens in those authorities.

On the second, closing day of the conference, in which participates the Serbian delegation, led by Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Milan Markovic, a discussion was held about the Strategy of innovations and good governance at local level, which envisages intensive activation of local authorities at central level. The Strategy was supported by all member states of the Council of Europe.

Minister Markovic endorsed implementation of the Budapest agenda adopted at the previous conference held in 2005.

Participants in the conference adopted the Declaration " Good local and regional governance – the European challenge".

Minister Markovic held an introductory speech yesterday in the capacity of chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. He attended the conference at the invitation of Spanish Minister of Public Administration Elena Salgado.

During the two-day conference, Markovic met with his counterparts, mostly from the neighbouring countries. The Serbian delegation also includes Speaker of the Vojvodina Assembly Bojan Kostres, reads the statement.

Kosovo status should be resolved in a way that reflects European values

Belgrade/Rome, Oct 16, 2007 - Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said today in Rome that the European future of the Balkans is guaranteed only if Kosovo-Metohija status is resolved through an approach that reflects European values.

After the talks with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, Jeremic said that it is not possible to resolve Kosovo status in a non-European way and then hope that such a solution will bring a European future to that area.

Jeremic stated that this issue must be resolved through compromise.

D'Alema said that Italy supports the negotiating process for Kosovo-Metohija conducted by the Contact Group's troika and a compromise solution that will be acceptable for both sides.

In Rome this morning Jeremic also met with President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Umberto Ranieri.

Djelic congratulates Montenegro on signing Stabilisation and Association Agreement

Belgrade, Oct 16, 2007 - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic sent greetings today to Montenegro for signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union.

"Today's success of the Montenegrin government shows that the European Union remains committed to the European perspective of the Western Balkan states. The European Union is our future, and a step forward in the European integration of any Western Balkan state means a step forward for the entire region, " reads the greeting of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Djelic to visit USA

Belgrade, Oct 16, 2007 – Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic will lead a state delegation to the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, scheduled for October 19-22.

The Serbian delegation will meet with heads of both organisations and discuss advancement in cooperation and opportunities for new projects. Apart from the Deputy Prime Minister, the delegation will include Minister of Finance Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic and Governor of the National Bank of Serbia Radovan Jelasic.

During the stay in Washington, the delegation will hold several bilateral meetings with representatives of US administration and finance ministers of the Group of Eight.

On October 17 in New York, before leaving for Washington, Djelic will meet with New York Stock Exchange General Director John Thain and representatives of leading investment banks and funds to discuss investment possibilities in Serbia and the development of the capital market.

On October 18, Djelic and Minister for Diaspora Milica Cubrilo will go to Boston where they will hold a meeting with representatives of the academic community, Harvard University, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Susan Hockfield and the Serbian diaspora.

The aim of these meetings is to ensure favourable conditions at universities for the most talented Serbian students and to intensify the integration of the Serbian diaspora in Serbia’s development projects.

As part of his visit to the US, Djelic will host a working breakfast on October 22 in Washington for representatives of the leading US media.

US officials issue statements against compromise solution for Kosovo-Metohija

Belgrade, Oct 16, 2007 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica stated today that the aim of daily statements by US officials, saying that after December 10 and based on Ahtisaari’s plan they will unilaterally acknowledge Kosovo-Metohija’s independence, is to prevent Kosovo Albanians from accepting a compromise solution to the province.

Vojislav Kostunica

In a written statement, Kostunica said that the USA is leading a rough policy of force and is openly advocating the dismemberment of Serbia.

Unfortunately, all this proves that the USA and NATO Pact cruelly and illegally bombed Serbia and brought their forces to the province in order to seize 15% of our country, said Kostunica.

According to him, Serbian citizens must know that the essential reason for such violence over Serbia carried out by the USA is stated in Annex 11 of Ahtisaari’s plan which says that NATO is the ultimate organ of authority in Kosovo-Metohija.

Serbia will never allow or acknowledge this outlaw creation on its territory. Every day and in every place we will keep stating that Kosovo-Metohija cannot be NATO’s war trophy, emphasised Kostunica and added that as long as the UN Charter exists, Serbia’s internationally recognised borders will remain unchanged.