PM: Ties with Serb entity "of major importance"
Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said that cooperation with the Serb Republic (RS) in Bosnia-Herzegovina is of major and strategic importance for Serbia.Source: Tanjug
After a meeting on Tuesday in Banja Luka with RS President Milorad Dodik, which was also attended by RS Prime Minister Aleksandar Džombić, Dačić recalled that Serbia is a signatory of the Dayton Agreement and that it advocates the respect for this agreement and its change only if all three peoples and two entities agree on that.
That is a clear policy of Serbia on the basis of which its relations with Banja Luka and Sarajevo function, the Serbian PM stated.
Referring to the fact that Serbia and the RS have the Agreement on special and parallel ties, he said he "does not believe that anyone in the world could say something against it".
RS President Milorad Dodik said that the series of projects which Serbia and the Serb entity have implemented are proof that their cooperation shall continue, and at the same time they are a basis for further cooperation.
Dodik recalled that Serbia and Croatia are signatories of the Dayton Agreement, adding that in this sense Serbia has its responsibilities.
He stressed that the relations between Serbia and RS are within their usual practice, which is acceptable to all.
Dodik noted that he is in favor of raising these relations to an even higher level, announcing that the Council for the implementation of special and parallel relations will soon hold a meeting. He also extended his wishes for the success of the joint meeting between the two governments.
RS Prime Minister Aleksandar Džombić highlighted the strategic goal of the RS, which is to improve the relations with Serbia even further.
The Serbian and RS governments are this Tuesday holding their third joint session. Minister are set to discuss a series of projects, Džombić observed, adding that only three cabinet members from Serbia and one from RS will not be able to attend.
Serbia-RS relations' strategic importance
Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his the Serb Republic (RS) colleague Aleksandar Džombić agreed in Banja Luka Tuesday that the promotion of relations between Belgrade and Banja Luka are of strategic importance for both Serbia and the RS.
“This was a working meeting with clear conclusions with respect to what I have already said - that our cooperation should be operational, rather than serve the purposes of daily politics,” Dačić told reporters after a joint meeting between the two governments in Banja Luka.
Dačić said that the goal was to help reinforce the political, economic, cultural and other ties between Serbia and the Serb Republic.
“We have no more important tasks than that one, and I have to say to the ministers in my government that the promotion of cooperation with the RS should be part of their daily tasks as only in that way can these ties exist as special and parallel,” said Dačić.
He pointed out that 16 out of a total of 19 ministers in the Serbian government came to Banja Luka Tuesday, which proved there was a responsible attitude.
Asked how he saw comments by some that the holding of the joint meeting of the two governments in the midst of the election campaign in Bosnia-Herzegovina was a sign of Serbia's interference, Dačić said that nobody had mentioned any political party during the meeting.
“I arrived as the prime minister of Serbia. We discussed issues of importance to the cooperation between Serbia and the Serb Republic. The meetings are held twice a year and probably the topic that is of interest to you here was perhaps not on our minds at the time of scheduling this meeting,” said Dačić.
Džombić said that the entire discussion on Tuesday was focused on ways to further promote the cooperation.
“It is our strategic interest to build the best possible relations,” Džombić underscored.
During the meeting, it was agreed that the companies Gas RES and Srbijagas, as well as the relevant ministries, should reach an agreement of understanding as soon as possible.
Also, it was agreed that a review of the power plant project on the Drina should be done within 30 days in order to have the project realized, said Džombić.
The ministries were tasked with drafting a cooperation agreement between the electric power industries of Serbia and the RS within 30 days to make sure certain quantities of energy from Serbia are set aside for the RS.
An agreement was reached that in the coming budget year, both Serbia and the RS should provide funding for the reconstruction of three bridges on the Drina, on the border between Serbia and Bosnia.
One of the main topics of the meeting was the Podrinje project, which should link 25 municipalities on both sides of the Drina River and concerning which a protocol was signed today.
Another important topic was the introduction of a flight between Banja Luka and Belgrade by December 1.
The protocol on cooperation between the two governments on the Podrinje project and the Memorandum of Understanding were both signed earlier on Tuesday.