International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Vucic tells Jerusalem Post Serbia plans to buy Israeli arms

March 2, 2020

President Aleksandar Vucic told The Jerusalem Post that Serbia intends to buy weapons from Israel.

“In a response to questions about the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Western Europe targeting Israel, Vucic said the Serbian purchase of weapons from Israel will not be a small delivery,” the daily said.

It quoted Vucic as saying that Serbia is “not a fertile ground for anti-semitic messages” and that BDS is non-existent in Serbia. “No one has heard of the boycott movement in Serbia," he said. Vucic is also quoted as saying that Serbia “will always to do our best to align our interests with Israel.”  

The Jerusalem Post said that Serbia was the first country that passed legislation permitting restitution of unclaimed Jewish property seized during the Holocaust. It recalled that Vucic’s “paternal grandfather was murdered by the Nazi-supported Croatian fascist Ustashe during World War II, expelled his family and they resettled near Belgrade”.  

“Vucic is well-versed in the dangers of lethal antisemitism and fascism, as well, and he energetically advocated for a memorial for the Staro Sajmiste concentration camp in Belgrade, where the Serbs, Jews and Roma were murdered during Hitler Germany’s occupation of the Balkan country,” the daily said and added that he initiated a remembrance day for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust in January.  

"Jews fought neck and neck with the Serbian people" against the fascists and Nazis in WWII, Vucic told the daily.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413487/Vucic-tells-Jerusalem-Post-Serbia-plans-to-buy-Israeli-arms.html

FM Dacic says Kosovo's Kurti is playing 'maneuvering games'

March 1, 2020

Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic said that Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti is blackmailing Serbia and playing “manoeuvring games” regarding the import tariffs, saying that the tariffs would be lifted while actually they will stay in effect.

Kurti recently announced that Pristina authorities will first lift 100 percent import tariffs on goods from Serbia and Bosnia on March 15, and as of April 1 entirely, under the condition that Belgrade stops its anti-recognition campaign.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic described the move as “an attempted hoax.”

“There are those in Kosovo who don’t want the tariffs to be lifted, from Kurti who is playing manoeuvring games to revoke something but actually making it stay in effect, while blackmailing Serbia, to those who think that the tariffs must be lifted for the sake of good relations with the US,” Dacic told Serbia’s public broadcaster, RTS. 

“Kurti came up with two ideas – that we stop with the anti-recognition campaign, and just the other day they celebrated because Jamaica supposedly recognized Kosovo,” he added.

Dacic stressed that there can be no reciprocity and that Pristina authorities must come to terms with the fact that they are not equal with Serbia.

European Union welcomed Kurti’s announcement without getting into the essence of the matter, he said adding that the US strongly reacted as they believe that the import tariffs were a disturbing factor and had to be completely lifted without any conditions or negotiations.

“There are other parts of the American administration, the parts of the so-called deep state, who observe with sympathy, because that was their project, they are pressuring Pristina but they never say what is going to happen if Pristina doesn’t obey them,” said Dacic.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573900/FM-Dacic-says-Kosovo-s-Kurti-is-playing-manoeuvring-games.html

IOM official: EU, Western Balkans must find solution to migrant issue together

March 2, 2020

European Union (EU) and the Western Balkans must act together to find a solution to the migrant issue, which the region is likely to face now after Turkey opened its borders allowing the refugees a passage to Europe, the chief of the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) in Bosnia Peter Van der Auweraert told N1 on Monday.

According to him, Bosnia can expect an even larger number of migrants using the country as a route to their final destinations in the European Union than in the years that passed.

“It depends on the number of those who manage to reach Croatia. What worries me is that Croatia is increasing the border control, which means that the number of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina could go up. It means there can be up to 10,000 migrants here on a daily basis. The solution cannot come from Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he was quoted as saying, stressing that it is important for Bosnian authorities to cooperate with the EU to find alternative solutions.

Commenting on security and humanitarian aspects of the migrant crisis, Van der Auweraert said they are closely connected.

“If you wish to secure the safety of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then humanitarian conditions for the migrants must be acceptable, which means that if you wish to control the migrants while they are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the easiest way to do that is putting them in centers managed by the state instead letting them sleep in abandoned buildings,” he said.

As for external financial support, he believes there is a chance for increasing these amounts but that it is a matter of talks between Bosnian authorities, the EU and other donors.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413455/IOM-official-EU-Western-Balkans-must-find-solution-to-migrant-issue-together.html

Nepotism allegations put strongest Bosniak party into the spotlight

March 1, 2020

A top official of the Democratic Action Party (SDA), the strongest Bosniak party, and the party itself have come into the spotlight this week after the leak of an audio file which unveiled details of an alleged deal involving vote-buying in return for a job arrangement in public institutions.

Semir Efendic, the candidate for the post of Sarajevo Canton SDA board chief, published an audio file on Saturday which, according to him, includes the voices of Asim Sarajlic, the SDA deputy leader, and three other persons, allegedly delegates who were supposed to arrange the vote outcome.

“In a media statement prior to the vote for the President of the Cantonal Board of SDA Sarajevo, I said I had findings on some unprincipled lobbying and pressures on delegates, but that I would speak about that after the vote. The vote is over and everyone is aware of its result, but as I promised I am publishing this audio file, which in the best way shows what happened behind the curtains of this vote. You can hear Asim Sarajlic, the Chairman of Personnel Committee and SDA deputy leader, offering the employment to a delegate in return for the vote for another candidate,” said Efendic, who lost the run for the post.

“I believe that, considering all these facts, Asim Sarajlic can no longer perform the duty of the SDA Personnel Committee Chairman, and I expect the party’s bodies to discuss this recording and pass adequate decisions,” he stressed.

According to Efendic, the man who was supposed to give his vote in return for the employment of his wife attended this meeting only to see who initiated the offers that were allegedly sent out to many delegates who were supposed to vote.

The audio file contains a conversation of four men, clearly showing they were arranging the said deal. However, its authenticity or the identity of its actors has not been yet officially confirmed by no one else except Efendic himself.

Nevertheless, the recording sparked strong reactions in the public and on the political stage, with some top SDA members saying they expected the party to act urgently.

“If we want to preserve the credibility of the SDA and the credibility of its policies and goals proclaimed at its convention, I am sure that the SDA’s competent bodies will call an urgent meeting and introduce adequate political sanctions on the actors of the recording,” said Denis Zvizdic, the party’s long-term member and current Speaker of the State House of Representatives.

He wrote on his official Twitter that he was not supportive of the “arrogant behaviour” and “scandalous offers” or “malicious threats” that could be heard in the audio.

But, the SDA’s statement issued a day later said it was only “an attempt to destabilise the newly-elected body of the SDA.”

“Such recording, if it existed, was supposed to be presented immediately after it was made or during the assembly, and delivered to the party’s leadership and competent state institutions,” the party said.

“It is the institutions of the state that should deal with the content of the recording, its authenticity, the way it was made and the motives, its public distribution and potential responsibility of all actors,” the SDA said, adding that the party alone will deal with political responsibility and pass adequate decisions.

Of 99 delegates entitled to vote, 59 voted Fikret Prevljak, the new leader of Sarajevo Canton SDA board, while 40 thought Efendic should be at the helm of the party in Sarajevo Canton.

The election winner briefly commented on the affair, noting that they should preserve the unity.

“Without that unity, we cannot move on, no matter who is in charge. If we’re not together, we’re bot losers,” said Prevljak, adding that he would wait for the prosecution’s findings before he says anything on the published content.

How long it will take for the competent institutions to clear the doubts, it is not known yet.

“The Prosecutor’s Office of Sarajevo Canton and the Interior Ministry are looking into the allegations from the articles regarding the recording published by Semir Efendic, the head of Sarajevo’s Novi Grad municipality. The Prosecution and Interior Ministry is taking all measures from the scope of their competencies,” spokesperson Azra Bavcic briefly told media.

Asim Sarajlic is already a subject of an investigation. The Prosecutor’s Office has already presented evidence in a case against Sarajlic before the Municipal Court in Sarajevo, charging him with a number of offences including the abuse of office and influence peddling.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413315/Nepotism-allegations-put-strongest-Bosniak-party-into-the-spotlight.html

Bosnia marks Independence Day, holiday which divides the country 28 years on

March 1, 2020

As in previous years ever since the country declared its independence in 1992, only half of Bosnia and Herzegovina is marking the Independence Day this Sunday, as the holiday is celebrated mainly by ethnic Bosniaks and Croats and their administrative half of the country. In the other, Serb-dominated half, March 1 is just a regular working day.

Bosnia declared independence in a referendum held on this date in 1992, with a 63.4 percent turnout and 99.7 percent of votes in favor of the country declaring the independence from ex-Yugoslavia.

On March 3, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic declared the independence of what was initially called the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which changed into Bosnia and Herzegovina after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA) which ended the 1992-95 war that followed soon after the secession from Yugoslavia.

On April 7, 1992, the United States and then European Economic Community recognized Bosnia as an independent state, and the country joined the United Nations on May 22. 

But opinions on the national holidays are divided between the country’s two semi-autonomous entities, Bosniak-Croat Federation (FBiH) and the Serb-majority Republika Srpska (RS).

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency recently said that there is no consensus in Bosnia on the state holidays, nor a law regulating this matter.

“Marking this non-existent holiday contributes to further confusion in Bosnia and Herzegovina and leads to even further divisions in the already divided country that Bosnia and Herzegovina is,” he stressed.

However, Valentin Inzko, the international administrator overseeing the implementation of the peace process and final interpreter of the Dayton Agreement, which contains the State Constitution, claims the opposite.

He recalled that a great majority of Bosnia’s population voted the country’s independence on March 1, 1992, and that the Constitutional Court resolved all disputes regarding this holiday.

“The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that this date is legal and until this changes the holiday can be celebrated,” said Inzko.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413291/Bosnia-marks-Independence-Day-holiday-which-divides-the-country-28-years-on.html

Croatia consulting EU, NATO on new potential migrant wave

February 29, 2020

Croatia is consulting its partners in the EU and NATO regarding a possible new migrant wave, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey had opened its borders towards Europe for migrants.

"I spoke last night on the telephone with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who travels today to Turkey. Greece and Bulgaria are currently the most engaged in controlling their borders with Turkey," Plenkovic said, adding that the crisis at Idlib, Syria, had generated a new potential migrant wave.

"We have been consulting with all colleagues in the EU and NATO," he said.

Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey had opened its borders for migrants and that 18,000 were already on their way to Europe.

The EU has relied on Turkey to stop the migrant wave after since 2015 more than one million people arrived in Europe from the Middle East, triggering a political crisis in Europe.

Plenkovic believes that "political and diplomatic efforts should be undertaken towards President Erdogan to avert a more serious migration wave towards Europe via the eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes."

He said that Croatia had so far been investing significant effort into controlling the external EU border, "and not only as part of its preparations for the Schengen area", and that 6,500 police officers had been engaged and €271 million absorbed from EU funds "to enhance (border protection) capacity and buy technical equipment, thermal cameras and other equipment police officers are expected to have."

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413195/Croatia-consulting-EU-NATO-on-new-potential-migrant-wave.html

Minister: Bosnia can't stop migrant stampede, situation might get 'cataclysmic'

February 28, 2020

Situation might get “cataclysmic” and Bosnia won't be capable of handling a wave of thousands of migrants if the crowd starts moving towards Europe, Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic said Friday, commenting on the information that Turkey could open its border with Syria for migrants as a response to the deadly airstrike in Idlib that killed at least 33 Turkish soldiers.

Despite the deal that Ankara made with Brussels to host some 3.6 million Syrian migrants and step up control to stop the flow of refugees, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would “open the gate” following the deadly airstrike with the largest death toll for Turkey in one day since its intervention in Syria started.

“Situation will get cataclysmic indeed if Turkey keeps the word of sending two, three millions of illegal migrants to the European Union countries. The front line, in that case, must be on Greek and Bulgarian borders,” the minister told N1.

According to available information, he said, Greece has already prevented a number of migrants from crossing the border and talks are ongoing.

“I believe that officials in Brussels are trying to reach an agreement with Turkish authorities on not starting something that is out of the Turkey-EU deal,” he added.

Radoncic warned that Bosnia cannot afford to become the front line and expressed hope the wave of migrants will be stopped at borders of Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina absolutely cannot accept the stampede of one or two hundreds of thousands of migrants, which might come here. Even Serbia or Croatia or the whole region wouldn't be able to stop it,” he added.

It is on the European Union to act resolutely, said the minister, and stop the migrants on the borders near Turkey.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a413077/Bosnia-s-Security-Minister-on-potential-new-wave-of-migrants-towards-EU-if-Turkey-opens-borders.html

Inzko: Bosnian institutions should solve political crisis or int. community will

February 27, 2020

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik “crossed the red line” when he rejected a decision of the Constitutional Court but domestic institutions should first deal with the problem and if that does not work then it will be dealt with at the international community level, Bosnia’s international administrator told Al Jazeera Balkans on Thursday.

High Representative Valentin Inzko, an Austrian diplomat, is tasked with overseeing the civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement which ended Bosnia’s war and contains the Constitution. He made the statement in light of the latest political crisis in Bosnia and calls for him to use the so-called Bonn Powers - a mechanism that allows him to adopt and abolish laws and fire officials.  

He said he agreed with the leaders of pro-Bosnian parties who said that Dodik had “crossed the red line” with his latest activities. 

Last week, the Parliament of the semi-autonomous Republika Srpska adopted a set of conclusions including an instruction to all RS representatives in state institutions to stop participating in any decision-making processes until a law that would remove foreign judges from Bosnia’s Constitutional Court is adopted.

This means that state institutions are blocked. The move was initiated by Dodik and came after the Constitutional Court declared that public agricultural land in Republika Srpska should be owned by the state and not by the RS.

According to the Constitution, the Constitutional Court is composed of nine judges - two Bosniaks, two Croats, two Serbs and three foreigners. The foreign judges are named by the President of the European Court of Human Rights.

Dodik has been accusing the institution of working against Republika Srpska, arguing that the three foreign judges frequently side with the Bosniaks and outvote the Croats and the Serbs.

The Bosnian Serb leader has been mentioning the secession of the RS from Bosnia as a possible solution for the crisis. He said last weekend that there is no plan for such a move, but that “we aren’t excluding that option either.”

“The red line is then someone says that he will not respect the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically, the latest one on agricultural land,” Inzko said.  

“Imagine if someone in Corsica said they won’t respect decisions of the Constitutional Court in Paris. Macron would immediately send the army there,” he said, stressing that the Constitutional Court is “the foundation of every state and its decisions must be implemented.”

“It is due time for domestic institutions to do their job and if they don’t, there is always the possibility of us finding a common language on the level of the international community,” he stressed.  

He argued that after Yugoslavia disappeared, Slovenia and Serbia inherited the deed on public land and so should Bosnia.

“The owner of state property must be the state,” he said.

The High Representative said he was prepared to use his Bonn Powers only if the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) - the international body composed of 55 countries and agencies supporting Bosnia’s peace process - would agree to it.

Inzko said that more and more PIC member countries are in favor of him using the Bonn powers but that no such decision has been made yet.

He explained that except for Russia - which traditionally sides with Bosnian Serb leadership - there are some other countries within the PIC that “believe domestic solutions to be the best,” but he would not name those countries.

The Quint countries (the US, the UK, Italy, France and Germany) have always been in favor of using the Bonn powers, he said.  

Inzko also argued that Dodik was happy with the work of the Constitutional Court in some particular cases - such as when the names of particular towns were being changed and when it ruled that identification cards should include which entity people are from.

“So it is not true that the Constitutional Court only rules in favor of Bosniaks. Nearly 99 percent of those decisions were made unanimously,” he pointed out.

He added that the foreign judges can not be removed from the Constitutional Court with a new law but only through constitutional changes.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a412853/Inzko-Bosnian-institutions-should-solve-political-crisis-or-int.-community-will.html

Parliamentary elections to be called early March, president says

February 29, 2020

President Aleksandar Vucic said he would call parliamentary elections on March 4, immediately upon his return from Washington, where he is attending a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Vucic said the election campaign will last over 50 days.

“When the campaigns last for that long, it is necessary not to rush, you can't reach the campaign peak if you don't have a strategy for that, everyone will have time to prepare one. I hope that the list I'm leading will make a good result,” he said.

The president also noted it was an honor for Serbia to be at the gathering he is going to attend in Washington.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573661/Parliamentary-elections-to-be-called-early-March-president-says.html

Serbia increases police presence in Sid due to burglaries involving migrants

February 29, 2020

Chief of Serbia's police, Vladimir Rebic, said 40 more police officers have been deployed to the territory of Sid municipality on Serbia's northwest, which borders Croatia, to control the presence of illegal migrants.

According to him, the local population reported on several occasion this month that migrants were breaking into abandoned houses, which sparked anxiety among the locals.

“The Interior Ministry processed all felonies, but for the safety of our citizens we increased the police presence in this town,” he said.

President Aleksandar Vucic earlier announced a significant increase of the police presence in Sid, to secure peace and order in that town.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573683/Serbia-increases-police-presence-in-Sid-due-to-burglaries-involving-migrants.html

Pompeo encouraging Montenegro to open dialogue with SPC

February 29, 2020

US State Secretary, Mike Pompeo, advised the Government of Montenegro to start an open dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in that country on the law on religious freedoms, whose recent adoption sparked strong reactions and disapproval in the SPC.

“We are encouraging the Government of Montenegro to start an open and transparent dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church on the Law on Religious Freedom and its implementation. Any effort to consider the validity of property demands should entirely be in accordance with Montenegrin legislation and the European Convention on Human Rights,” Pompeo wrote in a letter to Archbishop Elpidofor, the Chairman of the New York-based Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Dioceses.

Thanking the Archbishop on his letter, Pompeo said he and US President Donald Trump strongly believe that all individuals in the world are entitled to the right to openly and peacefully practice their religion.

He also said the US government has closely followed the process of the law adoption in Montenegro.

“We understand that some religious groups expressed their worries over the law provisions concerning the property ownership and legal procedures in which the disputable ownership will be treated. Although the Government is certain it entirely incorporated the proposals from the Venice Commission's opinion on the Law, the opponents claim that the Government of Montenegro failed to hold inclusive and detailed consultations with religious organisations and the public, as recommended by the Commission,” said Pompeo, expressing the concern over “constant tensions” and “isolated cases of violence.”

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573695/Pompeo-encouraging-Montenegro-to-open-dialogue-with-SPC.html

State officials say Serbia won't become waiting room for migrants

February 29, 2020

Serbia has served as an example of a serious and responsible approach to the migrant crisis so far but it will not become a parking lot or a waiting room for migrants, Serbian officials said on Saturday in a comment on the news of a new migrant wave heading from Turkey towards Europe.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in separate statements that their country would show solidarity and respect but would at the same time protect its national interests.

"If someone thinks that Serbia should at one moment take in 100,000, 150,000 or 200,000 migrants - that won't happen," Vucic told the public RTS broadcaster, when asked what would happen if Turkey opened its borders to let at least two million migrants leave.

Commenting on the decision by the Turkish authorities to let migrants pass towards Europe, Dacic said that it was important that Serbia "is neither the country of entry for migrants nor their final destination" but that it would continue "to act responsibly."

Dacic believes that "geostrategic games" between Turkey, the EU, Russia and other partners are underway in connection with the conflicts in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier in the day that Turkey would leave its borders to Europe open so that migrants could pass, accusing the EU of not helping Ankara enough on the issue of migrants.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Hungary would strengthen the protection of the southern border after Erdogan informed him that Turkey could no longer hold back the flow of migrants, according to Reuters.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573727/State-officials-say-Serbia-won-t-become-waiting-room-for-migrants.html

Vucic to deny allegations that Republika Srpska is to blame for everything

February 28, 2020

Aleksandar Vucic, the President of Serbia, said he would underscore during his visit to Washington that Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-majority region, is a constitutional category and that one side is being partially blamed.”

Vucic is set to attend a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a bipartisan organisation promoting the US-Israel relationship.

He said he expected to hear in Washington that Milorad Dodik, the Serb leader and member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, is to blame for everything and that Republika Srpska is a “millstone around everyone's neck.”

“They will hear different things from me. They will hear that Republika Srpska is a constitutional category of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that the Dayton (Peace Agreement, which ended Bosnian 1990s war and contains the State Constitution) had created it and that it was a 'sine qua non' condition to establish the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Vucic told RTS, Serbia's public broadcaster.

He said he would point out in the Washington meeting that only one side is being partially blamed, while nobody analyses the long-term plans and programs that others create.

“When they say Republika Srpska, they also mean Serbia and they try hard every time to find anything to criticize Serbia for,” said Vucic.

He believes that Kosovo will be among the top topics in Washington but that the talks on Serbia's position towards Bosnia will not be simple either.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573645/Vucic-to-deny-allegations-that-Republika-Srpska-is-to-blame-for-everything.html

Dodik calls ambassadors' work in Bosnia 'a charade', will inform Trump about it

February 28, 2020

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on Friday he would contact US President Donald Trump to brief him about the work of his administration in Bosnia, calling their actions "a charade."

Dodik's statement comes as a response to the letter that some foreign ambassadors in Bosnia, including a US Embassy's official, sent to the Serb officials, expressing concern over their attendance at a meeting in Istocno Sarajevo last week, where they reiterated the intention to block the decision-making process in the state-level institutions over a court decision.

A screenshot of the letter was first published on Thursday by RTRS, the public broadcaster in Bosnia's Serb-majority region, Republika Srpska (RS), but the authenticity of its content was confirmed for N1 by all of its signatories.

“We remind you that civil servants and other officials, in particular heads of independent institutions at the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) level, while performing their professional duties, must be independent from political interference and refrain from any actions which may question their impartiality and consequently undermine the very independence of the institutions they represent,” said the note signed by EU ambassador, Johann Sattler, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kathleen Kavalec, and Charge d'Affairs at the US Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ellen Germain.

“You are representatives of the state of BiH, not representatives of the RS to the state. As a state-level official, you must represent all citizens of BiH, regardless of their or your ethnic and political background, or place of residence,” the ambassadors warned.

But, the leader of the Serb main party, the SNSD, and the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, strongly disagreed.

“No matter how it might look like, maybe even ridiculous, I will try to write and will write a letter to the US President and inform him about the work of his administration. I heard him speaking at the UN General Assembly where he said he respected the sovereignty of the states. What is this, what kind of charade this is,” said Dodik, following a meeting of his SNSD executive board.

“They loosened up here too much, they think they can do anything they like. They're ignoring the fact I'm a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that, in terms of communication, I can reach their bosses sooner than they think,” he stressed, adding he would also ask European Union's High Representative Josep Borell if ambassador Sattler's "threats to Serb employees are an EU policy."

“Nobody has to worry in RS, peace will not come to jeopardy. I fully guarantee you the peace and stability of RS,” said Dodik, adding that the Serb officials will stay consistent to the decisions and conclusions that RS institutions passed.

Republika Srpska National Assembly (RSNA) adopted a decision last week, instructing the state-level officials from that entity to halt any decision-making process until adoption and implementation of a law that would remove foreign judges from the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The instruction came days after the Constitutional Court ruled that an RS law which defines all farmland in Republika Srpska the entity property – is unconstitutional.

The court decision sparked strong reactions among the Serb leadership, which further led them to block the decision-making process at the state level until their demand is met.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573519/Bosnian-Serb-leader-to-write-to-Trump.html

Kosovo's politicians describe PM as cheater; coalition party says may leave Govt

February 28, 2020

Kadri Veseli, the leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, said on Friday that Prime Minister Albin Kurti was an ignorant, weak and cheater after he announced his Government would partially lift the 100 percent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia pending Belgrade move to stop the anti-recognition campaign, the KoSSev website reported, and Kurti's coalition partner threatens to leave the Government.

Veseli added that Kosovo could be endangered with Kurti as Prime Minister.

"Nothing new from Albin… As an opposition, he was ready to set Kosovo on fire and use violence and lives of young idealists to come to power. Today, when he leads the Government, it's clear that his only ideal is to stay in power. By blackmailing, he is destroying himself faster than others were expected," Veseli said.

Kurti’s coalition party, Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) may leave Government if taxes aren’t lifted completely. “Can you successfully run the Government if you don’t have the support of the US? DSK won’t be in such a government if the taxes are not unconditionally annulled. The Government which isolates itself cannot support Kosovo’s agenda,” Avdullah Hoti, the LDK leader, said, adding Kurti’s decision was not agreed within the coalition.

 Fatmir Limaj, the head of the Socia-Democratic Initiative join Veseli I harsh criticism of Kurti's announcement. He described Prime Minister as "He (Kurti) will be remembered as a politician who in one day cheats, lies, changes opinion and promises he made and based on which people voted for him," Limaj said.

President Hashim Thaci's advisor, Artan Behrami, wrote on his Facebook profile described Kurti as 'shallow', adding the love for America had much deeper roots.

Behrami added that Kurti was looking for a state where the US would not have a role in domestic politics. "To confront the US is opposed to the Albanian genetic code."

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a573341/Kosovo-PM-harshly-criticised-by-Pristina-politicians-coalition-party-may-leave-Govt.html

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