Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Serbia

Newsline: Serbian embassy to open in Armenia

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said at a press conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian that the republic was planning to open an embassy in Yerevan, Armenia Today reports. Nalbandian is on a visit to Belgrade at the invitation of Dacic.


Newsline: Serbia keeps investigating embassy torchings in Belgrade

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said that he expects the first results of the task force set up to establish all circumstances of the 2008 embassy torchings in Belgrade to be presented soon, noting that all information will be made public. The task force has been established to investigate all circumstances surrounding the torchings of the embassies in the most serious manner, Stefanovic said. On July 3, minister Stefanovic set up the task force to establish all circumstances related to the torching of the US and German embassies in Belgrade in 2008. The incidents took place following a protest against Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence that was staged under the motto “Kosovo is Serbia”, involving around 600,000 people from all parts of the country. The aim of the task force is to identify all individuals involved in the incidents and clarify the circumstances of the violent acts so that the organisers and attackers responsible for the torching of the two embassies can be legally prosecuted. The trial of 12 suspects for the February 21, 2008 torching of the embassies is underway before the High Court in Belgrade. Washington has said on several occasions that the US expects the Serbian government to identify and punish the perpetrators of the incidents, in which the US embassy in Belgrade was set on fire.


Newsline: 15 embassies urge Serbia to ensure a safe Belgrade Pride

The Netherlands Ambassador to Serbia and 14 other ambassadors have called on the Serbian Government to ensure that Belgrade Pride Week events can be held safely and peacefully. Ambassador Laurent Stokvis sent a statement in support of Belgrade Pride on behalf of the Dutch embassy to Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic. Stokvis wrote that allowing Belgrade Pride to happen would build on the work Serbia had already done around LGBT rights. ‘A successful Pride week and parade would add much to the work already done to promote the rights of LGBT people,’ Stokvis wrote. The European Union will open accession talks with Serbia in January next year and has made it expects candidate countries to do more on LGBT issues. The Serbian Government has not yet anounced if it will allow the event to go ahead.


Newsline: US embassy officials in Serbia threatened over visa dispute

A McHenry man is accused of threatening to kill State Department officials, including the U.S. Ambassador in Serbia, as well as Serbians in Chicago because of a visa dispute involving his wife in Serbia. Russell K. Gordon, 48, was born in the United States but lived for several years in Serbia, where he met a woman who had a child with a Serbian national. Last September, the courts in Serbia awarded custody of the child to the biological father. In February, Gordon sent threatening text messages to a U.S. Embassy consular assistant in Belgrade, Serbia, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. On April 15, and again on May 12, the FBI in Chicago received emails from Gordon that were also threatening, the office said. Last Friday, Gordon’s wife went to the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to request a visa for entry into the United States and told embassy officials that Gordon had detailed plans to shoot Serbian citizens in Chicago, including diplomats, at places he believed Serbians routinely congregated, the office said. On Saturday, Gordon’s wife told the consulate chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade that Gordon was enraged upon learning that his wife would receive only a two-week guest visa and that he was going to kill the U.S. ambassador, his wife, their two daughters and another State Department employee, according to the criminal complaint. Gordon was arrested by federal agents at his home.


Newsline: Serbian diplomat passes away in Turkey, body sent home

A funeral ceremony was held at the capital’s Esenboğa Airport yesterday for the Serbian Embassy’s Minister Counselor Milorad Sekulic, 58, who lost his life on Dec. 31. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu attended the ceremony after which Sekulic’s body was sent to Belgrade on board a plane provided by the Turkish General Staff. Sekulic lost his life on Dec. 31 following a short illness, the Serbian Embassy said in a brief statement. A ceremony for Sekulic will be held today in Belgrade at the Serbian Foreign Ministry, while a book of condolences will be available at the Serbian Embassy in Ankara today and Jan. 4.


Newsline: Serbian government dismisses talk of “Kosovo’s embassy”

Kosovo authorities – will certainly not have “an embassy” in Belgrade, a Serbian government official has said. Government’s General Secretary Veljko Odalović also asserted that the country’s bid to join the EU was “not taking it farther away from Kosovo and Metohija”. “It will certainly not be an embassy, nor will it be an office of a state,” Odalović told Serbia’s public broadcaster RTS. He commented on the issue after interpretations of last week’s Brussels talks between Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci surfaced to claim that the exchange of liaison officers would mean that “Kosovo will have its diplomatic representation in Belgrade”. Speaking for RTS, Odalović stressed that offices may be opened – “not in state premises, but rather in premises of some European organization”.


Newsline: Bulgarian Embassy in Belgrade Receives Bomb Threat

Bulgaria’s embassy in Serbia’s capital Belgrade received a bomb threat, according to media reports. A man who identified himself as Boban Zdravkovic called the Bulgarian consul in Belgrade, threatening to throw a bomb at the embassy due to Bulgaria’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state. Zdravkovic also threatened the embassies of Albania, Macedonia and the US. Serbian police forces have launched an investigation into the case, stepping up security measures near diplomatic missions in Belgrade. It is yet to be determined whether the man who placed the calls is a mentally unstable person or a potential terrorist.