Friday, December 5, 2008

UNITED KINGDOM FULLY SUPPORTS BOSNIA'S BID TO EU MEMBERSHIP

LONDON, UK (December 5,2008) - The United Kingdom has reaffirmed its support to Bosnia'S aspirations to the membership of the European Union following the visit of Bosnian State Presidency member Dr.Haris Silajdzic to the UK.

Dr.Silajdzic met UK Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint in London yesterday to discuss developments in the political situation in Bosnia.

During the meeting Ms.Flint and Dr. Silajdzic discussed progress on key reforms, and the challenges Bosnia continues to face, according to a FCO announcement.

But Flint also expressed concerns at the lack of progress in key areas and urged politicians on all sides to uphold the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement and to engage constructively with each other in order to achieve further reform progress.

Bosnia signed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU on June 16 this year which is one of the first steps in the process towards membership of the European Union.

This year’s Commission Progress Report released last month which examines Bosnia’s work on key pre‑accession reforms, states that Bosnia “has made limited progress in addressing political criteria in line with the EU Partnership.”

These political criteria include democracy and rule of law, public administration reform, reform of the judicial system and protection of human rights and minorities.

Dr Silajdzic endorsed the initiative of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of UK and Czech Republic, related to the engagement of the EU member countries in Bosnia. During his meeting with UK Minister for EU Caroline Flint, Dr Silajdzic stressed that it was particularly important to reinforce engagement of international community in the period ahead, when discussions about the new Bosnian Constitution will be intensified.
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CROATIAN COMPANY ACCUSED OF STEALING ELECTRIC POWER FROM BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 5,2008) - A delegate in the Bosnian State Parliament's House of People Slobodan Saraba requested from the Bosnian government yesterday to take urgent measures to stop Croatian power company HEP from "stealing further the electric power from the Trebisnjica hydro power station".

Saraba then concerted that the debt for "unlawfully taken" power amounts to 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours, and accused Croatia for incurring damages in excess of 200 million Bosnian Marks. He wants immediate action from the government to prevent this threat to Bosnia's power system.

In Jume 2008,Ante Colak, a member of the FBIH entity parliament, has also accused the Croatian power company HEP on more than one occasion of threatening the energy sovereignty of Bosnia, because of the fact that HEP is refusing to pay a concession fee of 20 million Bosnian Marks for using the water from the Busko Blato artificial lake (for its hydro power stations on the Cetina).

Colak claims that HEP earns around 55 million Bosnian Marks a year on the water from that reservoir, but pays only 1.6 million Bosnian Marks. He accuses the HDZBiH Party of conspiring with HEP, and refusing to raise the issue of an adequate fee.
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FOREIGN INVESTORS CALL FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BOSNIA'S INVESTMENT ENVIROMENT

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 5,2008) - Foreign investors complained yesterday of long procedures and excess paperwork when registering a business or taking out building and work permits in Bosnia. They also named taxes as one of the areas that need to be reformed to improve Bosnia's investment environment, representatives of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) said.

The White Book 2008, presented yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo by the FIC, lists 25 obstacles and proposals to the government for improving conditions to foreign investors in Bosnia.

The FIC members greated changes made at local level, they warned of the urgent reform in three crucial areas mentioned. They are not satisfied with implementation of their proposals from last year’s issue of the White Book.
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BOSNIA JOINS ADRIATIC CHARTER GROUP

HELSINKI, Finland (December 5,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Alkalaj signed in Helsinki yesterday Bosnia’s membership in the Adriatic Charter Group, an association formed to aid the efforts of its members to join the NATO.

Foreign ministers of Macedonia, Croatia and Albania were also present at the ceremony, together with the US assistant secretary of state for Europe.

Minister Alkalaj thanked the representatives of the Adriatic Charter member countries for the partnership, and underlined its importance for Bosnia.

Alkalaj said Bosnia’s membership is poof that Bosnia’s progress has been recognized. Gratitude was also expressed to the United States for the guidelines in meeting conditions for a full membership in the NATO.

The Adriatic Charter is an association formed by Albania, Croatia and Macedonia for the purpose of aiding their efforts to join NATO.The Charter was signed in 2003 under the aegis of the United States.
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BOSNIA REMOVES TAX ON IPA FUNDS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 5,2008) - The Bosnian State Parliament's House of People adopted yesterday amendments to the VAT Act that exempt the EU’s pre-accession funds (IPA) from the value added tax (VAT).

Cancelling VAT charges on these funds was a condition set by the European Commission (EC) for the implementation of 50 million Euros worth of projects from 2007.

The total sum of IPA funds for Bosnia is 440 million Euros by 2011. The EC Delegation to Bosnia welcomed the move.
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BOSNIAN PRIVATE SECTOR CONTINUES TO GROW

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 5,2008) - The latest study from the World Bank has confirmed the ongoing trend of growth in the Bosnian private sector, but it has also identified serious structural and operating limitations including problems with financial solvency, lacking availability of capital and an inadequate solution of the working status of one part of employees.

In the study assessing the investment climate in Bosnia, the problem of ineffective administration that creates business bottlenecks, and the lack of fast market mechanisms that would make troubled companies undergo restructuring or shut down are identified. The study was introduced today at a roundtable in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.
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Thursday, December 4, 2008

BOSNIA MAKES PROGRESS TOWARDS NATO MEMBERSHIP

BRUSSELS, EU (December 4,2008) - Bosnia has made progress in the process of association with the NATO, but the Alliance is deeply concerned about the "irresponsible political rhetoric and actions" that are a threat to the country and its Euro-Atlantic ambitions, the foreign ministers of NATO member countries have agreed in Brussels after a two-day meeting.

NATO urges political leaders in Bosnia to assume a “more responsible approach” and speed up the implementation of recent agreements, such as the one about the distribution of military property.
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BOSNIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS TO VISIT BELARUS

MINSK, Belarus (December 4,2008) - An official parliamentary delegation of Bosnia led by Chairman of the Bosnian State Parliament's House of Representatives Niko Lozancic is to visit Belarus on December 7-10,the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus said.

The delegation is to meet with the Chairmen of the House of Representatives and the Council of Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, top officials of the Minsk City Council, the Foreign Ministry.

The members of the delegation are to visit several Belarusian enterprises, including Kristall distillery and Minsk Tractor Works.
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SWEDEN REJECTS PARDON REQUEST FROM SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL BILJANA PLAVSIC

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (December 4,2008) - Sweden’s Justice Ministry has denied a second pardon request from the convicted Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic, the former fascist leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia, to have her 11-year-jail sentence ended.

"The government has today rejected Biljana Plavsic's pardon request," it said in a brief statement.

A justice ministry spokeswoman said the government would not disclose the reasons for its decision.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague sentenced Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic, now 78, in February 2003 for crimes against humanity committed during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

Sweden agreed to house Plavsic in one of its prisons in response to a request from the tribunal. She was transferred in June 2003 and is an inmate at the Hinseberg women's prison.

Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic had requested an early release based on her advancing age, failing health and "poor prison conditions".

Swedish news agency TT said a recent psychiatric evaluation had shown that she was in poor health and that she has had a hard time adapting to life behind bars.

She is also significantly older than the other inmates "and has reportedly received threats," the agency said.

Given the gravity of her crimes, "any act of mercy would be big mistake and an insult to the victims and families of the victims," a member of the Bosnian Syaye Presidency Zeljko Komsic, said in a letter to the Swedish government.

"One should especially bear in mind that some 60,000 people of Bosnian origin now live in Sweden, most of whom were forced to leave their homeland because of (Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic's) engagement in the war," Komsic said.

Sweden's government denied Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic's first pardon request in April 2007.

Serbian fascist Biljana Plavsic was indicted and tried by The Hague Tribunal. In 2002, she plea bargained and was convicted to a shamefully low sentence of 11 years in jail for crimes against humanity.

As part of Serbian war criminal Biljana Plavsic’s plea deal, she laid the blame for the genocide committed against the Bosnian people during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia on the late former Yugoslav president,Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic, and on former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
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ITALIAN GENERAL STEFANO CASTAGNOTTO TAKES COMMAND OF EUFOR

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 4,2008) - Italy's Major General Stefano Castagnotto took today command of the European Union's peacekeeping force in Bosnia (EUFOR) .

"I am reaffirming today the dedication of EUFOR to do our best in assisting the citizens of Bosnia in their journey toward a brighter future," Castagnotto said during a handover ceremony in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

He replaced Ignacio Martin Villalain of Spain.

EUFOR took over from NATO-led peacekeepers in 2004 and carries out military tasks under the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

The EU launched its Althea peacekeeping mission in Bosnia with a military force of 7,000 in 2004 to oversee the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords.

It currently has 2,125 troops from 26 countries, of which 21 are members of the European bloc. Spain provides the largest contingent with 376 soldiers, followed by Italy which has 248. Turkey has 242 soldiers while Poland has contributed 204.
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BOSNIA TRIPLES STATE GUARANTIES FOR BANK DEPOSITS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 4,2008) - The Bosnian State Parliament adopted a law today that will almost triple the state's current guarantee for bank deposits to 10,256 Euros.

The measure was designed to recover public trust in domestic banks, Bosnian officials said.

The Bosnian Central Bank proposed in October an increase in state guarantees for deposits of up to 7,700 Euros, but the government has since decided to raise the figure.

The bank has undertaken a series of measures to avert panic among citizens, many of whom lost their bank savings during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia. At least 200 million Euros in deposits has never been returned to the public.

Amid the global financial crisis, some of Bosnia's biggest commercial banks were hit in October by an unusual increase of euro cash withdrawals.

But the situation appears to have calmed since.According to the International Monetary Fund, Bosnia is likely to be spared the worst of the global crisis because of the country's stable financial system.

The Bosnian economy is still recovering from the devastating war, with almost a third of the workforce unemployed and the average monthly wage at about 400 Euros.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BOSNIA TO SIGN THE CONVENTION ON BAN OF CLUSTER AMMUNITION

OSLO, Norway (December 3,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Alkalaj shall lead Bosnian delegation for the signing ceremony of the Convention for Ban of Cluster Ammunition which is to be held in Oslo, Norway, today.

Bosnia with this document obliges itself for a full ban of production, transport, use and storage of cluster ammunition.
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SKELETAL REMAINS OF 1000 GENOCIDE VICTIMS UNEARTHED IN EASTERN BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 3,2008) - Bosnian forensic experts said yesterday they have unearthed about 1,000 skeletal remains of genocide victims in a mass grave in the eastern Bosnian village of Kamenica.

Documents recovered from the grave in this village dubbed "Death Valley" showed the victims were from Srebrenica, Bosnian forensic experts said.

The genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor overran the then U.N.-protected eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, mass murdering some 10,000 Bosnian civilians in Europe’s single worst atrocity since World War II.

The genocide victims were initially buried in a dozen mass graves. But after the release of satellite pictures showing large portions of freshly disturbed ground, the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor moved them to other locations in order to cover up the crimes.

The body parts of the genocide victims were separated during reburial using bulldozers, and forensic experts have sometimes found parts of a single person buried in three different so-called secondary graves.

"Almost 90 percent of all remains had traces of bullet shots and some victims were blindfolded with rope-tied hands," said Vedo Tuco, standing on the edge of a muddy grave where white-clad forensic pathologists marked and cleaned up bones.

Experts had hoped to complete the exhumations Wednesday but say the work which started two months ago will finish next week.

Tuco said some of the remains were of 14-to-15-year-old boys. The genocide victims were mass murdered at three locations near Srebrenica and transferred to the village of Kamenica from the original graves three months after the execution, he added.

"There is a complete chaos in this mass grave. Some of the remains that we found here will probably be re-associated with the bodies that we had exhumed from other mass graves discovered in this village," Tuco said.

There are 12 mass graves in a strip of land about 7-km (four miles) long, located beside the sole road in this remote and almost deserted village, mainly on Muslim land. Mass graves unearthed earlier yielded around 3,000 body parts of the genocide victims.

"They probably thought that nobody would ever return here and discover the crime," Tuco said. He said another mass grave has been located in the village but digging will likely start in the spring because of bad winter weather.

About 5,800 genocide victims from this part of Bosnia have been identified through DNA analysis but they can be reburied only after 70 percent of the bodily remains have been identified.

"The identification of the bodies we found here will probably take a long time because they are so dismembered and in bad shape," Tuco said.
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BOSNIAN STATE PROSECUTOR INDICTS SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS JOVO JANDRIC AND SLOBODAN PEKEZ

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 3,2008) - The Bosnian State Prosecutor has indicted two former members of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS) Serbian war criminals Jovo Jandric, 54, and Slobodan Pekez, 51, for murdering and wounding dozens of Bosnian civilians during the 1992-95 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

"The accused are suspected of taking part in the killings and intentional infliction of physical and psychological pain, physical injuries, and robbery," the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. "They are suspected of committing war crimes against the civilian population."

Two Serbian war criminals are accused of illegally forcing the Bosnian population out of their homes in a village near the Bosnian town of Jajce in September 1992, detaining Bosnian men, women, and children and taking valuables.

"Then they took them to the place...where they ordered them to get in line by the edge of an abyss...and fired bursts at them from machine guns," the statement said.

Along with other members of the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor's forces, the two Serbian war criminals murdered 23 Bosnian civilians and wounded several more, the statement added.
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SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL RATKO MLADIC CAN FACE TRIAL EVEN AFTER 2011

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 3,2008) - Former commander of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic could face trial at the Hague-based UN war crimes tribunal even after 2011, when the tribunal is scheduled to close, UN judge Fausto Pocar said yesterday.

Addressing a conference on war crimes trials in Belgrade, Pocar said that 2011 did not have to mark the end of the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

"The UN Security Council can extend the mandate of the court and I believe that they will do so," said Pocar, who was president of the ICTY until last month.

Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic has been charged by the ICTY with genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and other crimes against Bosnian civilians,committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The ICTY was set up by the UN Security Council in 1993 as a temporary court designed to deal with the atrocities of the Balkan wars.The tribunal is expected to shut down in the next few years.
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IBISEVIC PLEDGES FUTURE TO HOFFENHEIM

HOFFENHEIM, Germany (December 3,2008) - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim hitman Vedad Ibisevic insists he will stay with the club next season.The 24-year-old has scored 17 goals in 15 games to fire the Bundesliga new team to the top of the table.

That form has reportedly attracted the interest of some of Europe's top clubs, including Bayern Munich and Manchester United, but the Bosnia international claims he will not be moving in the summer.

"The enquiries from other clubs make me a bit proud," Ibisevic, whose contract runs until 2010, told the Bild newspaper.

"But I will definitively stay with Hoffenheim next season," Ibisevic said.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NATO TROOPS RAID HOME OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL RADOVAN KARADZIC'S WIFE

PALE, Bosnia (December 2,2008) - NATO troops searched home of former leader and creator of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "RS" and one of the masterminds of the genocide against the Bosnian people,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife today for evidence of contacts to the network that has helped former commander of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic evade arrest.

NATO spokesman Derek Chappell said family members were questioned at their home in Pale, near the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Soldiers were seen carrying out suitcases and boxes from the house. Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife and daughter were among those at home.

Former fascist leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia Radovan Karadzic has been in the custody of the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague since July.

"Even though Radovan Karadzic is at The Hague awaiting trial, we believe there are connections between the organized support networks of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic," Chappell said.

"The purpose of (the) operation is to search for information, evidence about this connection," he said, adding that the investigators were "pleased with the result."

The house of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife was frequently raided over the course of a decade while Serbian fascist was still hiding from justice. It was believed that a support network that included his family financed and facilitated his years of hiding. He was finally arrested in Belgrade, where he lived under a false identity and practiced "alternative medicine".

Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic (who is originally from Montenegro) was arrested in July this year after 13 years of hiding from justice. The Prosecution at The Hague considers him guilty of genocide, expulsions, deportation, and inhumane acts against Bosnian civilians committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The U.N. tribunal believes Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic is hiding somewhere in the genocidal Serbia.


In this video image NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia secure the area outside the home of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife Ljiljana during a raid and interview with his family members over suspected links with war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic.Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic have been charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and other crimes against Bosnian civilians,committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.


In this video image NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia, secure the area outside the home of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic's wife Ljiljana, right on doorstep, during a raid and interview with family members over suspected links with war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic, in Pale, some 20 kilometers east of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008.Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic have been charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with genocide, extermination, murder, deportation, inhumane acts, and other crimes against Bosnian civilians,committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.
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NO HIV-RELATED DEATHS IN BOSNIA IN 2008

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 2,2008) - There were no death cases in Bosnia from AIDS in 2008. 156 Bosnian citizens infected with HIV have been registered so far of whom 98 have AIDS.

This was said yesterday at the press-conference of the FBIH Entity Ministry of Health in Sarajevo on the occasion of December 1st, World AIDS Day.

Heterosexual way of transmitting HIV is still dominant in Bosnia. The high percentage of persons with risk behaviour such as drugs consumers and promiscuous people is troublesome.

More than 42.000 students were included in education on HIV prevention in the FBIH entity during this year, and around 90.000 young people were involved into preventive activities.

According to the last year’s data, 33 million people are infected with HIV in the world, out of which 30, 8 million adults and around 2 million children.

There were 2, 7 million newly infected people in the world during the last year, out of which 370.000 children, 2 million people died of AIDS, out of which 270.000 children.
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TRIAL OF FLORENCE HARTMANN TO START ON FEBRUARY 5,2009

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (December 2,2008) - Under a decision made by judge Carmel Aguis, Chamber Chairman of the Tribunal at The Hague, the trial of Florence Hartmann, former spokeswoman of the Hague Prosecution, is due to start on February 5, 2009.

The trial will start with "a pre-trial conference" and the presentation of introductory arguments.

In August 2008 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, charged Hartmann with contempt of Court, because she disclosed allegedly confidential data pertaining to the Appellate Chamber's decisions in the case of Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic, in her book "Peace and Punishment", published in 2007, and an article on "Hidden Key Documents on Genocide" of 2008.

Hartmann has rejected the charges, arguing that she has not revealed confidential information, but only information she had gathered through her work as a journalist, and that her indictment represents a blow by the Office of the Prosecutor against free speech and transparency. She has pledged to fight the charges.

Hartmann is the first person without roots in the former Yugoslavia, and the first former ICTY official to be indicted by the Tribunal. As she points out, her book was published a year ago, making the delay in the issuing of her indictment peculiar. The charges refer to a case that is no longer actual, and cannot be motivated by any desire to ensure the proper functioning of the proceedings.

The indictment appears, indeed, to be an attempt to muzzle a whistleblower who has revealed information about the internal politics and incompetence within the Tribunal, and a warning to other former Tribunal officials who might be tempted to reveal more such information.

The ICTY is a highly flawed institution with a very patchy record; badly organised, filled with many incompetent apparatchiks alongside some committed professionals, riven with internal factionalism and corrupted by political pressures both external and self-induced, it has failed to deliver justice to the peoples of the former Yugoslavia.

The biggest criticism of it has been its failure to indict most of the principal Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian war-criminals, a failure that, on the basis of my eyewitness experience, is attributed in large part to the poor strategy of del Ponte as Chief Prosecutor.

But a perhaps even more shameful failing on the Tribunal’s part was the one about which Florence writes: the decision of the judges in the Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic case to allow the genocidal Serbia, when submitting to the Tribunal the minutes of the ‘Supreme Defence Council’ of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to censor parts of it in the version that was made public.

As Florence argues, it was thanks to the Tribunal’s collusion with Serbia in the suppression of this crucial piece of evidence, that Bosnia was not able to draw upon the latter in its case against Serbia for genocide at the International Court of Justice, leading to Serbia’s unjustified acquittal.

Far from punishing the perpetrators of genocide in Bosnia, the Tribunal has helped to shield them.To date, only one individual, a lowly deputy corps commander of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), has been successfully prosecuted for a genocide-related offence by the ICTY, while not a single official from genocidal Serbia has yet been convicted of any war-crime in Bosnia whatsoever).

The Tribunal may or may not have a legal case against Hartmann. What is certain, however, is that Hartmann was acting in the public interest in revealing the information she did. The people of the former Yugoslavia have a right to know why they have not received much in the way of justice from the ICTY, while the citizens of the world have a right to know why this UN court, funded by their taxes, has produced such poor results. Public interest would best be served if more former Tribunal officials showed as much principle and courage as Florence, and came forward with more insider information so that we can better understand this whole, sorry story. This would help to ensure that other international courts could avoid the ICTY’s mistakes.

Florence Hartmann is a brave, principled and committed individual who has done more than anyone to reveal the extent to which the international community and the international courts have betrayed the cause of justice for Bosnia, and her accusations of Western complicity in Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic’s evasion of arrest for thirteen years have been essentially vindicated.

Earlier this year, former Hague Tribunal insider has added her comments to claims that former leader and creator of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "RS" and one of the masterminds of the genocide against the Bosnian people,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić enjoyed support from Britain,the United States,Russia and France.Hartmann told the Belgrade daily Blic that the UN war crimes court's prosecution on several occasions gave the U.S. exact locations where Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic was hiding. But, Hartmann says, "they did nothing".

"Information about the fugitives' whereabouts was abundant, however, it would always turn out that one of the three countries – the U.S., Britain or France – would block arrests," she said.

Also,according to Hartmann,Great Britain, USA and France purposefully left free former leader of the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic who is also wanted for genocide committed during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

In March 2000, Hartmann says, the ICTY chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte asked Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, whether the U.S. had a secret agreement with Serbian war criminal Karadzic. Clark in turn accused the French president Chirac of cutting a pact with (Serbian war criminals) Karadzic and Mladic to win the release of two French pilots held by the genocidal Serbian fascist formations for three months in 1995.

During the course of her appearance at the Court, on November 14, Hartmann refused to enter her plea so the Court recorded that "the indictee pleaded not guilty to both counts contained in the indictment".

As per the Tribunal's decision, the Prosecution and Defence are due to submit, to the Chamber, "their lists of witnesses", who will testify at the trial, as well as subjects on which they will speak, indicating also to which counts their statements would refer.

Both parties announced earlier that they would need "a day or a day and a half" for the presentation of evidence, including statements by witnesses and introduction of material evidence.
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IS BOSNIA A FUTURE MEMBER OF OPEC ?

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 2,2008) - Is Bosnia a future member of OPEC? A renowned Austrian geologist claims the country is resting on some 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

At the beginning of the 1990’s, an American company, Emaco, researched Bosnia’s oil feasibility. The research was cited by a geology professor from Austria, Siegfried Tischler, who claims that Bosnia is resting on as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil.

The research was conducted near the towns of Drenica and Tuzla. Tischler allegedly heard about Bosnia’s oil back in 1999 from American reporters at a conference in Venezuela. The geologists claims that oil in Bosnia can be found literally everywhere.

"Wherever they drilled deep enough they found oil. The art of exploitation has almost nothing to do with science. It is all about luck, intuition and experience. I don’t have any documents about oil in Bosnia, but even a first-year geology student can tell from a map where oil can be located and draw up a drilling plan. I would love to come over there and show you what I mean," Tischler told Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz. He believes that the panic about the price of oil is unfounded and that there is oil in great amounts at many other locations in the world.

Professor Tischler is currently a guest professor at the Graz University and the RIAU University in Indonesia. He is an opponent of the fossil theory of the origin of oil. After he earned his doctor’s degree, he worked on five continents as a scientist, lecturer, a mine director and a mineral researcher.
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BOSNIA AND AUSTRIA SIGNED DOUBLE TAXATION AVOIDANCE AGREEMENT

VIENNA, Austria (December 2,2008) - The Bosnian Finance Minister Dragan Vrankic and the Austrian Finance Minister Wilhelm Molterer signed the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in the Austrian capital Vienna yesterday.

The agreement refers to income and property taxes. With that agreement the relations between two friendly countries that have collaborated very well will definitely get stronger further, particularly in the light of Austria being the leading foreign investor in Bosnia, the Bosnian Finance Ministry has announced.

In the period 1994 – 2007 Austria invested 1.3 billion Euros in Bosnia.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

BOSNIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM IRAQ

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 1,2008) - The Bosnian State Presidency has decided to withdraw the Bosnian military contingent from Iraq by mid-December.

Nebojsa Radmanovic, Chairman of the Bosnian State Presidency, told the press that nearly 90 Bosnian troops were expected to return home on Dec. 15 after the end of the involvement in the U.S.-led western aggression against Iraq.

Bosnia has sent eight rotations of 36 de-mining experts since June 2005, who were deployed close to the Iraqi city of Falluja to clear unexploded ordnance and ammunition.

In August, Bosnia also deployed a 50-strong infantry troops to Iraq to help provide security at U.S. forces' Camp Victory in capital Baghdad.
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BOSNIAN STATE PRESIDENCY MEMBER HARIS SILAJDZIC ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE "FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT" IN QATAR

DOHA, Qatar (December 1,2008) - A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic is in visit to Doha, Qatar, where he attends the International Conference “Financing for Development” (Monterrey Consensus).

Organizer of the conference is the United Nations and it is hosted by Qatar Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalif Al-Thani.

Main topics of the conference are global financial crisis, rising prices of energy products, food production crisis, climate change and finding measures to overcome them.

Silajdzic addressed the conference yesterday and stated that if the crisis takes over the region, Bosnia can expect to feel its consequences as well. He added that justice, righteousness and respect of peace and stability are basis of good economy. He stated that, Bosnia is a country rich with natural resorces but that it was struck with injustice in recent history which unfortunately slowed down its development.

Silajdzic met with Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalif Al-Thani and talked about improvement of cooperation between Bosnia and Qatar with special accent on economic cooperation.

He talked about investments and credit lines with Qatar's Minister for International Cooperation Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah and Minister of Economy and Trade Fahad Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Abdulrahman Al Thani.

They mostly discussed possibilities of investing in infrastructure, agriculture and energy. It was agreed for the Qatar delegation to visit Bosnia in 2009, the Bosnian State Presidency said in a press release.
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MONTENEGRIN PRIME MINISTER MILO DJUKANOVIC VISITS BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 1,2008) - Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic led today in Sarajevo delegation of Montenegro in talks with representatives of the Bosnian government led by the Prime Minister Nikola Spiric, in the first visit to our country since Montenegro declared independence two and a half years ago.

Spiric said after the meeting, that there are no open issues between the two countries, but improvement of cooperation is needed in all areas and especially in the field of economy.

The representatives of the two governments signed yesterday four interstates agreements.

The Bosnian Minister of Civil Affairs Sredoje Novic and Minister of Interior and Public Authority of Montenegro Jusuf Kalamperovic signed the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, then the Agreement in the Cooperation in the are of Culture and Agreement on Cooperation in Education, while Kalamperovic and the Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic signed the Agreement on Readmission.

The Montenegrin Ambassador to Bosnia Ramiz Basic stated that this visit comes within development of neighborly cooperation.

However, they will also touch some political issues, primarily during Djukanovic’s meeting with the Bosnian State Presidency members and the Bosnian State Parliament's chairs of both houses.
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BOSNIA HOSTED REGIONAL MEETING OF MINISTERS OF SECURITY AND INTERIOR AFFAIRS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 1,2008) - Bosnia hosted the 3rd informal meeting of ministers of security and ministers of interior from countries of the southeastern Europe, which is held from November 28 to 29 in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in the organization of the Bosnian Ministry of Security.

The focus of this meeting was cooperation of countries of the region in segment of security and internal affairs.

The meeting, asides the Bosnian Minister of Security, was attended by interior ministers of Croatia, Montenegro,Macedonia and Serbia, stated the Bosnian Ministry of Security release.
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THE BANKER NAMED UNICREDIT BANK THE BEST BANK IN BOSNIA IN 2008

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 1,2008) - The heads of the Italian banking group Unicredit, which has headquarters in Banja Luka and Mostar, announced in a press conference that, in the face of the financial crisis, Unicredit plans to strengthen its activities in Bosnia, and does not plan to raise interests considerably.

Board member Federico Ghizzoni also announced that the British magazine The Banker has named Unicredit bank the best bank in Bosnia in 2008. He said the bank would continue to support strongly the development of the Bosnian economy, primarily through the funding of industry and project financing.

Unicredit bank has more than 800,000 clients in Bosnia and assets of almost 326 million Bosnian Marks. Unicredit banka Banja Luka is the market leader with assets of 416 million Bosnian Marks and market share of 20.9 per cent.

Ghizzoni expects interest rates to start dropping in the second half of 2009. Unicredit’s average interest on home loans is 9 percent.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BOSNIA CELEBRATES STATEHOOD DAY

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Bosnian authorities organised a series of events to mark Statehood Day yesterday.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic sent his greetings to all Bosnian citizens on the occasion of November 25, the Bosnian Statehood Day.

”I want us to mark this national holiday in dignity, remembering all those who gave their lives for foundation of the Bosnian state. The duty of us all who love this country is to remember the victims who fell for its freedom, independence and sovereignty, to build a modern, multiethnic and multicultural state for all its citizens without discrimination on any basis”, stated Silajdzic in his greetings.

On the occasion of November 25th,the Bosnian Statehood Day, flowers were laid and tribute was paid to the Bosnian soldiers killed during the World War II on Tuesday in front of the Eternal Flame in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Zeljko Komsic, representatives of the City and Canton Sarajevo, SABNOR members, members of the Democratic Youth Movement, SDA Party and citizens of Sarajevo laid the flowers.

Bosnian State Presidency member Zeljko Komsic delivered the following speech on the occasion of the Bosnian Statehood Day:

"Councilors of ZAVNOBIH, dear comrades, ladies and gentlemen, Your Excellencies, dear friends, respected officials…

On today’s day, exactly 65 yaers ago, at the first session of ZAVNOBIH held in Mrkonjic Grad, 173 councilors from Bosnia took part in the session.

Out of 173 afore mentioned councilors, 8 are still alive. Unfortunately, for health reasons following councilors are not attending this ceremony: Boro Popovic, Ibro Sator, Rade Hamovic and Enver Redzic. However, we have the honour to host other councilors, including: Krstan Bijeljac, Oskar Danon, Ljubo Babic and Mile Perkovic. I would kindly ask you to greet them.

I extend my sincere greetings to you all and congratulate you the National Day.

Celebrating this national holiday, when 65 years ago in Mrkonjic Grad, in Europe besieged by fascism, in the middle of seized territory, a landmark occurred in the history of our country, let us recall this important historic date, as a foundation stone, upon which modern, democratic Bosnia rests.

I will not repeat this time the legendary ‘3 and’ or ‘nor 3’ from the ZAVNOBIH session, but I will remind you that it was the session of the Council of Bosnia's antifascists from all the peoples living in Bosnia. It is true that antifascist movement was led by communists, but the fact is that most antifascist and patriots were not members of Communist party of Yugoslavia.

I would like to point out that we are talking about the event which not only confirms the continuity of the Bosnian statehood, in the only right way. And that is- every citizen of Bosnia is equal in his rights and way of life, regardless of the part of Bosnia he lives in, and regardless of the fact whether or not he belongs to ‘majority or minority’ in that part of our homeland. Or, to put it simplier-Bosnia, every part of it, even the smallest one, belongs to every Bosnian citizen.

In its history which is thousands of years old, its peoples have demonstrated, although they suffered and lived through numerous blows dealt by various enemies and policies, that peace, tolerance, and co-existence become something of a genetic code, to put it that way.

I would like to send out the message to our friends from international community, to those, who, as opposed to us from Bosnia, all this might not strike them as something close and familiar.

I am aware of the fact that, those who do not wish well to our country, tell stories to you who are not from here, trying to convince you of something, present you with the so-called historical facts, that almost ‘the natural condition’ of this country is conflict, lack of tolerance, and the only way to peace and stability is division, separation, ethnic disintegration, to the stories that Bosnia should be wiped off the face of political world map.

However, if that is the way things are, don’t you think that this country would have disintegrated before, and that history would have waited for its present enemies to complete their task?

Bosnia has neither disintegrated nor separated before the forces of that time, including Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Ustasas’ NDH, cetnik military movement, before neighbouring fascists at the end of the 20th century. Those were forces too strong for such a small country, but small Bosnia still exists. I think that all things said lead to a irrefutable conclusion!

Conflicts and wars in Bosnia have always been bloody and fierce, but according to historical parameters, they lasted shortly, and most importantly, they were always imported, started beyond the boundaries of Bosnia.

Dear friends…

There is no doubt that ZAVNOBIH is a foundation stone of modern Bosnian statehood, but also that it is a model which points to the way we cannot only live together, but equitably and happily, something that no country can live without.

If we live in the same country, if we are the citizens of the same country, than the minimum of civilized behaviour, historical recollection and civic culture implies to celebrate today’s date as the common national holiday of all its citizens and peoples.

As for the appropriate mode of celebrating the National Day, that is, the reason for not celebrating it in certain parts of Bosnia, I would like to repeat the following:

The date of signing the Dayton Peace Agreement I consider as an important date in the recent history of Bosnia, which should be celebrated in a dignified manner, but 25th November, the date of celebration of ZAVNOBIH, and reaching decisions, I personally find of utmost importance, as a crucial landmark, and the sole National Day of Bosnia.

It is the task of this generation to path the way towards the common future, and that is free, democratic and prosperous Bosnia.

Our only future is Bosnia as the unity of equal and egalitarian peoples, a society composed of equal and egalitarian citizens where there would not be those with fewer or no rights, and those with more rights.

Finally, what we must remember on today’s path to European Union is that we must learn from the rest of Europe, take advice, learn from its experience, of course, not haphazardly, and never fail to remember that we can and must do for ourselves mostly by our own forces.

With the wish to remain adamant in building and strengthening of our country, as a country of well-being, security, and common well-being, I would like once again to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the Bosnian National Day!

Thank you!"

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CROATIAN PRESIDENT STJEPAN MESIC VISITED TUZLA

TUZLA, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - The President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic visited the northeastern Bosnian city of Tuzla yesterday due to marking the Bosnian Statehood Day.

Croatian President Mesic was welcomed by the initiators and organizers of his visit, University in Tuzla Rector Dzemo Tufekcic and Tuzla Canton Prime Minister Enes Mujic.
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MOLDOVA TO HOST CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING

CHISINAU, Moldova (November 26,2008) - Moldova is to host the summit of heads of governments of the Central European Initiative (CEI) on 28 November due to its holding the chairmanship of this organization starting from 1 January 2008.

Delegations from about 20 countries and representatives of different international and regional organisations are to participate in the summit. The summit's agenda includes discussions related to cooperation for Europe's future, the coordination of the CEI's activities within regional political priorities, the development of the CEI-EU dialogue.

The main objectives of Moldova's chairmanship were to carry out the CEI reform, adopted by the CEI heads of governments within the Sofia summit in 2007, to ease the transfer of experience between the EU member and non member states, to implement joint projects, to foster CEI cooperation with other regional bodies.

According tot he meeting's agenda, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin is to greet the participants in the opening of the summit.

The Central European Initiative was founded in 1989 as a forum of intergovernmental political, economic and cultural cooperation. At present, the CEI's main goal is to support the developing countries to join the EU.

Moldova became the 17th CEI member in 1996, during the summit in Graz, Austria. At present, the CEI has 18 member states: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary.
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BOSNIAN ALUMINUM PRODUCER ALUMINIJ MOSTAR TO CUT OUTPUT

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Bosnia's aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar will cut production and jobs in 2009 because of low prices for the metal and high electricity prices, the company's general manager said.

Bosnia's largest exporter did not give details of the planned cuts but said government policy had forced it to buy electricity under commercial prices instead of more favourable local prices.

It said in a statement it had lost 24.5 million Euros (30.86 million US Dollars) in 2008 due to high electricity prices.

General Manager Mijo Brajkovic said the price of aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had fallen almost 50 percent in past months, "resulting in about 15 million US Dollars less in revenues per month".

"Because of all of this, Aluminij has found itself in a very difficult situation and will be forced to reduce production in 2009, fire workers and file a lawsuit against all relevant institutions which brought it into inferior position compared with other electricity consumers," he said in the statement.

Aluminij had previously said it expects 2008 output to rise to 140,000 tonnes of metal from 121,750 tonnes in 2007, after it completed the modernisation of its anode plant in September. It has a 970-strong workforce.

Brajkovic said the policy was also jeopardising the sale of Aluminij to a consortium led by Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore GLEN.UL.

The fall in metals prices due to the global financial crisis poses a threat to the Bosnian economy in 2009 as metals account for around 40 percent of its total exports.

Bosnia's largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal Zenica, a unit of ArcelorMittal, has said it has selectively cut deliveries to some markets to accommodate current demand. But it has not announced output or job cuts.

Ljubija iron ore mines in the northwest of the country, also part of ArcelorMittal, has said it expected a 20 percent fall in 2008 output to 1.2 million tonnes from a planned 1.5 million.
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HEAD OF EU POLICE MISSION VISITED BOSNIAN STATE INVESTIATION AND PROTECTION AGENCY

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Stefan Feller, Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM), met yesterday with Mirko Lujic, Head of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), who informed him about the present situation and cooperation of SIPA with other law enforcement agencies in Bosnia.

The two top police officials discussed ways to improve the fight against organized crime in Bosnia, and stressed the importance of a smooth information and intelligence exchange amongst the Bosnian law enforcement agencies.

In order to improve the cooperation amongst Bosnia's police agencies the Heads of EUPM and SIPA suggested that the representatives of the various Bosnian law enforcement agencies, police agencies and prosecutor’s offices alike, should hold a series of meetings.

The Head of EUPM said that he would strongly support activities aiming to create the necessary pre-conditions for the further development of the Agency, especially as far as human and technical resources are concerned.

One of the ways to achieve this is to amend the existing law regulations in order to allow SIPA to recruit more new employees, particularly junior and senior inspectors and senior inspector. SIPA is still not at its full strength, currently reaching 68 percent of its full capacity.

The working meeting was also attended by the Deputy Director of SIPA Sead Lisak and EUPM's Chief Adviser to SIPA Brian Donley.
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BOSNIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH TO SLOW DOWN TO 4,5 PER CENT

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - In its 2008 Transition Report released yesterday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has made an assessment that in the current year the Bosnian GDP growth rate would drop to six per cent (from 6.8 per cent in 2007), and further to 4.5 per cent in the following year.

The EBRD expects slower economic growth in all other transitional countries in the southeastern Europe, as a result of the global economic crisis and instability in the financial market.

The bank urges all the countries in which is has invested to make the stabilization of their banking systems a priority.

EBRD’s economist Peter Sanfey said they are still convinced in mid-term growth perspective for Bosnia, but reminded that there are numerous reform tasks before the Bosnian government, such as public administration reform, improving the business climate and maintaining macroeconomic stability.
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BOSNIAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES BOOST THEIR PRESENCE ABROAD

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - The value of construction work completed by Bosnian companies abroad has increased in the third quarter of 2008 by impressive 72.1 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2007, while in the first nine months of this year it went up by 47.7 per cent.

However, data from the Bosnian National Statistics Agency also show that the value of new building contracts in the third quarter of 2008 dropped by 42.9 percent, while in the first nine months it was up by 15.3 percent. African countries accounted for the biggest share of completed construction work (59 percent).
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

YUGOSLAV ARMY PARTICIPATED IN THE SIEGE OF THE BOSNIAN CAPITAL SARAJEVO

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (November 25,2008) - Elite Yugoslav Army units participated in the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo in 1993,former high-ranking VJ officer Borivoje Tešić told the trial of former Chief of General Staff of the Yugoslav Army (Vojska Jugoslavije "VJ") Serbian war criminal Momčilo Perišić before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Tešić confirmed yesterday that he had led a special VJ unit, some 100 strong, in the region around the Sarajevo suburb of Vogošća in late December 1993.

At the time, Tešić was an operative officer in the VJ’s Guards Brigade.

He also confirmed that the VJ’s 72nd Special Brigade had also been active in Vogošća, adding that he had received orders from then Special Corps Chief-of-Staff Ljubiša Stanimirović to assist in the evacuation of the brigade’s members and the recovery of the corpses of eight special unit members.

Tešić said that as commander of the Special Corps, Miodrag Panić had not had the authority to order such a maneuver, which was why he had presumed that the orders had come from VJ HQ in Belgrade,Serbia.

Serbian war criminal Momčilo Perišić was VJ commander-in-chief at the time. Tešić also told the court that VJ officers had sent reports on a daily basis to the VJ’s Special Corps Operations Center.

Most of the witness’s testimony has been closed to the public, because of the confidentiality of the documents in question.

Serbian war criminal Momčilo Perišić is accused of providing logistical and financial support to supporting the genocidal paramilitary fascist forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia and Croatia, as well as of playing a major role in a four-year siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo that left about 12,000 Bosnian civilians dead, the bombing of the Croatian capital Zagreb that killed seven Croatian civilians and injured 194 and participation in the Srebrenica genocide, where over 10,000 Bosnian civilians were mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggressor in July 1995.
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SECRETARY GENERAL OF MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE MET WITH HEAD OF BOSNIAN HAJJ MISSION

HOLY CITY OF MAKKAH, Saudi Arabia (November 25,2008) - Secretary General of Muslim World League (MWL) Dr Abdullah Al-Turki received here yesterday Head of the Bosnian Hajj Mission Sheikh Mursal Mahmoud Tawfeeq.

Speaking on the occasion, Tawfeeq highlighted the great efforts being exerted by the Saudi Government to ensure the comfort of the pilgrims.

He noted that the Bosnian Muslims have benefited from the Islamic centers established by the Kingdom in Bosnia and so many of Bosnian students study at the schools and institutes established by Saudi Arabia in the country.
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BOSNIA BECAME ASSOCIATED TO THE SEVENTH EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK RESEARCH PROGRAMME (FP7)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 25,2008) - Yesterday, Bosnia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Commission which will allow full access to the EC's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) which runs from 2007 to 2013.

This "associated status" will allow Bosnia to participate in all calls for proposals and compete on an equal footing with the EU Member States and the other associated countries for research co-operation and support actions funded under FP7, as of 1 January 2009.

This agreement is an important step in Bosnia's integration into the European Research Area and in the pre-accession process for European Union membership. Bosnia is the 12th country associated to FP7.

The status of FP7 associated country will provide all scientific entities from Bosnia – researchers, universities, associations or companies – with the possibility of participating in research cooperation with their counterparts across European Union and the rest of the world in order to build up their scientific excellence, including in scientific fields crucial to facilitate the implementation of EU legislation and standards.

With Bosnia and Herzegovina, all Western Balkan countries are now associated to FP7 which will increase the research opportunities in the Region and support the regional competitiveness.

“I am pleased to see that with Bosnia's association to the FP7, we have all the Balkan countries on board to participate in the European Research Area”, said Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

“Research cooperation with Europe's scientific community is a tool that can smooth the way for the integration process of candidate and potential candidate countries into the European Union. In addition to forging links with scientists and companies across Europe, Bosnia will have new opportunities to work with its regional partners in addressing common challenges."

Commissioner Potočnik signed the Memorandum on behalf of the European Commission at a ceremony held in Brussels yesterday, with the Bosnian Minister for Civil Affairs Sredoje Novic, who represented Bosnia.

The FP7 supports scientific research in the EU and the broader European Research Area with a budget of almost 55 billion Euros over a time span of 7 years (2007-2013). It allows for funding of collaborative research in strategic areas such as health; energy; climate change, information technologies, nanotechnology or transport. FP7 also stimulates the mobility of researchers through Marie-Curie grants and has special programmes to support capacity building such as research infrastructure, research for small and medium sized enterprises and Science in Society.

The associated countries to date are Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania.
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IMF: GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS WILL NOT SLOW DOWN BOSNIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 25,2008) - In a statement for the media after a meeting with Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal asserted yesterday that Bosnia is well-positioned macroeconomically to respond to the challenges of the global financial crisis.

Economic growth has been high and inflation rate low in the past period, Portugal said, and welcomed the start of operations of the Fiscal Council. He also underlined the importance of adopting entity and national budgets by the end of this year.

Both sides agreed in their assessment that the global financial crisis will not slow down Bosnia’s economic growth dramatically. An IMF monitoring team will visit Bosnia to help with the crisis management.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

NATO AND EU CONCERNED ABOUT POLITICAL SITUATION IN BOSNIA

BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 24,2008) - The North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the European Union met on 24 November 2008 to discuss the spouyheastern Europe, in particular the political situation in Bosnia.

“We are concerned about the situation in Bosnia, and about the rhetoric,” EU foreign policy Chief Javier Solana said after the meeting.

NATO leaders have called on Bosnia’s three most influential political parties, which signed an agreement over some of the most hotly contested issues in the country, to put the deal into practice.

“It is important that there is agreement and that the agreement is implemented,” NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said.

“We have the text now and implementation is important,” he added.

Leaders of the three most influential political parties in Bosnia agreed at the beginning of November, on the basic principles of how to resolve some of the key issues, including those required for the transition of the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) into the Office of the EU Special Representative (EUSR), and to push ahead with the country’s European Union accession.

President of the the largest Bosnian political party "SDA" Sulejman Tihic,President of the largest political party of the Croatians living in Bosnia "HDZ" Dragan Covic and President of the largest political party of the Serbians living in Bosnia "SNSD" and leader of the genocidal Serbian fascist creature in Bosnia "RS" Milorad Dodik met on November 8 near the northern Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac with the aim of reaching an agreement over the several highly disputed issues.

In only two hours, they reached a general agreement on a process of future constitutional changes, questions that would be covered in 2011 census, as well as regulation of the status of the Brcko District and state property.

But much of the debate following the agreement has been almost as heated as the debate preceding it. The agreement was made possible because two parties from the ruling coalition – the SBIH Party, and the HDZ1990 Party – were not invited to the meeting. Both parties are junior partners in the ruling coalition at the state level.

HDZ1990 President Bozo Ljubic said the agreement on the process of future constitutional changes is “unacceptable”. He accused the three parties of trying to establish “a monopoly” in representing the three main ethnic groups in Bosnia, as well as full control over the most lucrative public companies.

a member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic from the SBIH Party went further and accused Tihic and SDA of betraying Bosnian national interests and yielding before Serbian fascists. Silajdzic stressed that only the agreement on the legalisation of the status of the Brcko District is acceptable, and rejected all other agreed items.
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THY BUYS 49% STAKE IN B&H AIRLINES

SARAJEVO ,Bosnia (November 24,2008) - The Bosnian government approved yesterday the sale of a 49 percent stake in the Bosnian national carrier B&H Airlines to Turkish Airlines (THY).

THY Chairman Candan Karlıtekin said yesterday they are still continuing talks with their Bosnian counterparts to finalize the sale, adding that a deal with B&H Airlines on the transfer of shares will be signed soon.

Previously, Karlıtekin had said they expected to get a voice in the European aviation market with the B&H Airlines agreement. He noted again yesterday that they will have an airline company in Europe, stressing that, although B&H Airlines is a small company, this step was nevertheless important for bringing THY closer to its goal of having an effective presence in the global market.

Karlıtekin noted that B&H Airlines had significant market potential despite its small size.

"The company has a 14 percent market share in Bosnia and we expect to increase this threefold with the new investments that we plan to make," he said.

THY will have three representatives on the B&H Airlines executive board and they do not plan to go beyond the 49 percent share they are currently working on. THY aims to increase flights between the southeastern European countries, as well as flights to London's Heathrow Airport, the largest airport in England.
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CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE YOUTH FORUM STARTS IN MOLDOVA

CHISINAU, Moldova (November 24,2008) - Representatives from 12 countries have gathered together for the eighth Youth Forum of the Central European Initiative (CEI). The event is hosted by Moldova, which has been holding the CEI presidency since 1 January 2009.

Moldovan Education and Youth Minister Larisa Savga said that the Forum's goal is to consolidate the Youth trough mobility, which offers equal chances to students and teachers to study in the European countries. In the context, Savga said that the education system of Moldova, which joined the Bologna Process in May 2005, meets the European standards.

Savga said that the academic changes are underway in Moldova and noted that over 300 scholarships to study abroad were offered to Moldovan students in 2008, but this number is much higher due to the higher mobility between education institutions.

The participants in the Forum are to sign today the final declaration on the promotion of opportunities for schools to ensure better conditions for teaching and learning foreign languages, to participate in the European educational exchange and mobility programmes, to facilitate transition between educational systems and to promote the free movement of young people in Europe.

The CEI is composed of 18 states: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Hungary.
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TIGHT SECURITY IN MOSTAR AMID CLASHES

MOSTAR, Bosnia (November 24,2008) - Local police deployed additional troops to prevent the latest in a series of clashes among Bosnian youths and Croatians living in Bosnia in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar.

Dozens of teenagers gathered on Sunday night on each side of Mostar’s main Boulevard, the thoroughfare which passes through the centre of town, which was the wartime front line between the Croatian fascist aggressor and the Bosnian Army. Alerted by members of the general public, local police swiftly deployed and prevented an incident.

Up to five persons were briefly detained, police officials told media today.

Ethnic tensions among youths in Mostar soared after a brawl broke out during a local soccer match last week. Throughout the week these tensions triggered a series of smaller incidents and escalated in a major fight on Friday afternoon, which involved a few dozen youths.

One Bosnian teenager was slightly injured in the clash. On that occasion, police arrested one and identified four more suspects. Because of the soaring tensions, police maintained a reinforced presence in the city throughout the weekend, ready to prevent any further violence.

Police officials also complained that the city school administration was aware of the brewing tensions but did nothing to prevent it or alert the police in time.

Bosnians and Croatians living in Bosnia fought bitterly for a year during the 1992-1995 Croatian aggression against Bosnia. Mostar was heavily damaged during this conflict.

The international community has invested extra efforts in normalising the situation in the city.
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EUROPEAN BANK FOR REONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT TO MAINTAIN STRONG PRESENCE IN BOSNIA

TUZLA, Bosnia (November 24,2008) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will maintain strong presence in Bosnia, and continue to endorse banks, microfunding organizations, the financial sector and all the other elements of the Bosnian economy, the head of the bank’s country office Giulio Moreno has announced.

However, he has also said, EBRD’s capacities are limited, and the Bosnian government need to take appropriate measures. Speaking at a Tuzla conference about the effects of the global financial conference, Moreno said that the Bosnian authorities have several typical steps at their disposal in times of crisis, and one of them are tax benefits on new investments.

All the other measures boosting the purchasing power are also a part of that. He expects big problems in Bosnia’s real economy, and not so much in banking and financial sectors.

The EBRD is owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions. Despite its public sector shareholders, it invests mainly in private enterprises, usually together with commercial partners.

EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies to support privatization, restructuring state-owned firms and improvement of municipal services.

The following countries are members and recipients of investments : Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

UNITED STATES STRONGLY SUPPORTS BOSNIA'S EURO-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION

BRUSSELS, Belgium (October 21,2008) - - A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic talked to the US Deputy State Secretary Daniel Fried yesterday in Brussels. Fried repeated the strong support of the United States to Bosnia's Euro-Atlantic integration and expressed his interest in reform process in the country.

Silajdzic expressed concern due to attempts to legalize results of genocide and "ethnic cleansing" through ethnic census in Bosnia, and pointed out that EUROSTAT and UNDP principles do not request ethnic category in the census.

Silajdzic also pointed out his attitude that the solving the issue on state property should not go into direction of the legalization of illegal circulation of the state property.

He pointed out that the status of the state property was confirmed by the Agreement on the succession issues of ex Yugoslavia, according to which the right of ownership of the state property belongs to the Bosnian state since the Independence Day, and that transmission of the ownership to the entities has no basis; it was announced yesterday from the Bosnian Presidency member Silajdzic’s cabinet.
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883 REMAINS OF GENOCIDE VICTIMS FROM SREBRENICA EXHUMED

ZVORNIK, Bosnia (October 21,2008) - - Bosnian forensic expert team from Tuzla has exhumed 50 complete and 883 partial remains of the genocide victims from mass graves Kamenica 11 and 12.

According to Murat Husic, head of the expert team, these are remains of the Bosnian civilians from Srebrenica mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian fascist aggresor in July 1995.

Exhumation from mass grave “Kamenica 11” shall continue while “Kamenica 12” will be closed.

According to the number of revealed genocide victims’ remains, these are the largest mass graves recovered in this part of Bosnia so far.
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BOSNIA NEEDS A THOROUGH POLICE REFORM

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 21,2008) - - The Bosnian State Parliament's House of Representatives o Wednesday discussed the current security situation in Bosnia, requested by the Bosnian Ministry of Security.

The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic stated yesterday that the information sent to the parliament is a cross section and review of all events related to security issues and that it showed realistically the security situation in Bosnia.

He reminded that this information is comprised of individual agencies which deliver it to the ministry of security, starting from SIPA, Border Poice, OSA, Immigration Service, entity and cantonal police directions.

Minister Sadovic stated that the police system in Bosnia is divided and poorly connected and that it has a lot of problems in the fight against organized crime exactly due to these facts.

He added that the similar case is with corruption. Fight against corruption is a fight which takes place through various police agencies, different prosecutions and according to the strategy for the fight against organized crime, there are 26 different institutions in this country which deal with corruption.
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MAJOR INTERNATIONAL POWERS URGE BOSNIA TO FOCUS ON EU MEMBERSHIP

BRUSSELS, Belgium (October 21,2008) - - The international powers that have supervised post-civil war Bosnia for 13 years told the country’s politicians yesterday "to stop their divisive rhetoric and focus on the long-term goal of European Union membership".

After two days of talks in Brussels, the EU, Russia, the US and other countries decided political conditions were not yet calm enough in Bosnia to permit the transfer of controls to EU authorities from the international high representative who has held the job since 1995.

The big powers agreed unanimously that the International Community’s High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and a major political supporter of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "RS" ,Slovakian fascist clown Miroslav Lajcak, should still remain in place until Bosnia’s politicians fulfil two conditions set by the powers in February. These concern the apportionment of state property among the different levels of Bosnian government.

Bosnia secured an important breakthrough in June, when it signed a pre-accession accord with the EU, but ethnic rivalries intensified once more in the build-up to local elections last month. The EU deems Bosnia as worthy in principle of joining the EU, but as nowhere near that objective in practice.

Under the Dayton accords that ended the 1992-95 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia, the country acquired one of Europe’s most complicated constitutional structures, with a weak state government.
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UNITED NATIONS EXTENDS EUROPEAN UNION'S PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN BOSNIA

NEW YORK, United Nations (October 21,2008) - - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to extend the European Union's peacekeeping force in Bosnia for a year, emphasizing the importance of the country's progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

Since 1995,the country has been under international administration, first under NATO and now under the EU.

The resolution was approved unanimously late yesterday, and welcomed the EU's intention to retain its 2,100-strong military presence, known as EUFOR, in the country.

The U.N. Security Council also reminded Bosnia's politicians that it is primarily their responsibility to implement the Dayton peace agreement that ended the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian agressions against Bosnia.

The council stressed that international willingness to provide political, military and economic aid to Bosnia will be determined by the compliance and active participation by Bosnia's political leaders in maintaining peace and rebuilding the country.

The resolution also emphasizes the importance of Bosnia's progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration, saying that its signing of a pre-membership agreement with the EU in marked a key step forward.
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BOSNIA ENCOURAGES MORE FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

OHRID, Macedonia (October 21,2008) - - There is considerable energy potential in Bosnia, but the resources are still not being used fully.Bosnia will encourage foreign investment in its energy sector and will continue to improve the environment for such investment,Chairman of the Bosnian State Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic asserted at the fifth regional economic forum in Ohrid,Macedonia.

Here is his entire speech:

"Esteemed Presiding,
Distinguished Presidents,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to greet you and to thank the organizer for inviting me to participate in this Forum. It is of a crucial importance for our European future and regional cooperation to exchange our views and experiences and encourage cooperation in all areas of importance to our peoples as well as mutually good relations trough these or similar gatherings.

Bosnia and Herzegovina achieved considerable recovery and economic prosperity in the past 13 years. Strong investment activity, financed by donations of the international community, has contributed to the high post-war GDP real growth rate. What encourages us is the fact that economic growth was also continued after the foreign help was reduced. In the period 2002 – 2007, the average economic growth was 5.2 % annually, which puts Bosnia and Herzegovina at the equal status with other states of the former Yugoslavia. In spite of this, Bosnia and Herzegovina is lagging behind its neighbors, concerning GDP per capita. The reasons for that greatly lie in the past war events, which left marks on its economy and population.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was successful in achieving macroeconomic stability. Domestic currency – Convertible Mark is stable, with the constant growth of foreign exchange reserves. The fiscal budget balance has been established, thanks to the successful tax reforms, and especially the introduction of value added tax. Fiscal discipline has been intensified due to establishment of the treasury business transactions and the public sector audit office. Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to establish a competitive banking sector with strong supervisory bodies.

Long lasting unemployment rate and high foreign trade deficit represent the main hindrance to the economic growth and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is due to the low rankings in competitiveness of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economy. We are aware that the competitive economy cannot be accomplished only by creating the stable macroeconomic environment. It is necessary to build the efficient institutions, mastering the contemporary technologies, developing corporative management, investing into research and development, together with the appropriate level of economic freedom and entrepreneur capacities. Building competitive economy represents a difficult, lasting and complex process that requires constant and persistent work, which is confirmed by experiences of developed countries. We must use all our creative energy in fostering competitive economy for our better future and the well-being for the generations to come.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is significantly lagging behind in building necessary infrastructure for joining the European integration and global market. Therefore, we are not surprised by the huge efforts put in by the European Union in investing infrastructure in order to ensure relatively equal conditions for development of all regions. The road infrastructure of Bosnia and Herzegovina has become an impediment for a greater scope of foreign trade cooperation with the neighborhood and the world. That is why our entities’ governments put in efforts to fix the situation in that field using concessions and our own resources. I would like to use this opportunity to express our readiness to build major regional road routes, trough joint ventures that would contribute to the faster development of the entire region.

Looking towards the future, the key challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina and its economic development is in utilization of the electric power potentials through building new power generating plants, in order to resolve the growing needs in power supply in the country, and increase the export scope within the regional market. Entities’ governments have been undertaking the numerous initiatives and steps on attracting and engaging foreign capital for modernization the existing ones, as well as in building new capacities. The encouraging fact is that there is a great interest of foreign investors for investing in the power sector. That also represents a challenge for the countries of our region to start building more electric power capacities, through joint ventures. Bosnia and Herzegovina is open for that way of cooperation.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are about to face the years of high uncertainty, caused by the world financial crisis. It is sure that the economic crisis will not avoid this region. There is no doubt that the international financial crisis will indirectly influence the countries of the whole region and reduce the prospects for continuation of high economic growth rates from the previous years. In regard with Bosnia and Herzegovina, it could be expected that the economic crisis will reflect to several key segments. First, banking credits will be more expensive which will reduce the scope of investments and liquidity in the economy, the scope of total demand for goods and services, and slow down the economic growth. Second, there is a justified fear of lowering direct foreign investments flow. Third, recession, which will probably take Europe and the Region, being our most important foreign trade partners, will have a detrimental effect on export, which is our crucial need. Fourth, it could be expected that the value of our diaspora remittances lowers, particularly due to the recession which may cause loosing the jobs for part of this population. Fifth, further privatization of the state capital in the companies will be slowed down, since this is not a very favorable time for their sale.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has the advantage of having the foreign debt, both public and private, relatively small, compared to the countries in the broader Region. Level of the bank credits is also moderate, and the credits are quite well secured. These are significant advantages for mitigation of the economic crisis consequences.

Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, entities’ respective governments and the Central bank have undertaken necessary measures for preservation of financial stability. However, the future time will certainly require undertaking numerous new measures. Before all, more attention and efforts should be put in the issues which contribute to improvement of competitive abilities of the economy, in order to increase export. It is necessary, as much as possible, to direct a part of public expenditures into production purposes, in order to mitigate negative effects of investment reduction. Economic crisis imposes the need for protection of socially vulnerable categories of the population which are the most sensitive to its consequences. In simple terms, it is necessary to realize a more productive production, lower spending, higher saving, and export more while importing less.

Global crisis should be resolved jointly with other players, to the extent possible, at the same time not neglecting our own interests. In times like these, great economic powers primarily preserve their own interests. In our reality, we must not allow ourselves to be a collateral damage of the world financial crisis.

Global financial crisis requires global responses. The time has shown that it is impossible to manage the 21st century economics with the 20th century instruments. Many rules of playing in the world financial market must be changed, in order to have the global financial system preserved from any imprudent moves.

Thank you!"
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BOSNIAN TRADE DEFICIT REACHES 8 BILLION BOSNIAN MARKS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 21,2008) - Official statistical data about Bosnia’s trade exchange were announced today at a press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

In October 2008, Bosnia's exports were worth 583 million Bosnian Marks, while its imports amounted to 1.543 billion Bosnian Marks. The export/import ratio was 37.8 per cent last month.

In the first ten months, exports totalled 5.729 billion Bosnian Marks – by 15.9 per cent more compared to the same period of 2007, while imports grew by 21.7 per cent, to 13.88 billion Bosnian Marks.

The export/import ratio was 41.3 per cent, and trade deficit reached 8.152 billion Bosnian Marks. Croatia was the main trade partner, accounting for 17 per cent of imports and 17.5 per cent of exports.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

U.S. JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF FIVE BOSNIAN CITIZENS HELD AT GUANTANAMO PRISON

WASHINGTON DC, USA (November 20,2008) - A US judge has ruled today that five Bosnian citizens of Algerian origin held in the US prison facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for almost seven years had been illegally detained and must be freed.

Richard Leon, a US district judge in Washington DC, said the US government had "failed to show by burden of proof" that the five men had allegedly planned to go to Afghanistan to fight US-led forces there.

However the judge did find that a sixth man,Bensayah Belkacem, seized alongside the other men in Bosnia in 2001, had been "legally detained".

Six Bosnian citizens of Algerian origin,Bensayah Belkacem, Mustafa Adir, Saber Lahmar, Mohammed Nehle, Lakdar Boumedien and Boudellah Hadz, known as the Algerian Group, were arrested in Bosnia in October 2001 under suspicion of planning possible attacks against US and British diplomatic missions in Bosnia.

Although the Bosnian Supreme Court ordered their release, after finding no evidence of their alleged involvement in terrorist activities, then premier Lagumdzija ordered their arrest again in January 2002 and handed them over to the US authorities.

The ruling follows the first hearings under a landmark US Supreme Court ruling in June, based on a case brought by lawyers for Lakhdar Boumediene, one of the Algerian men, that gave Guantanamo prisoners the legal right to challenge their continued detention.

The June ruling said that inmates in Guantanamo Bay had the right to know under what charges they were being held and what the evidence was against them.

Thursday's decision marks a fresh embarrassment over the camp for the Bush administration and comes after Barack Obama, the US president-elect, pledged to close the prison camp after taking office in January.
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BOSNIA WINS FRIENDLY AGAINST SLOVENIA 4:3

MARIBOR, Slovenia (November 20,2008) - Bosnia won yesterday a high-scoring encounter with Slovenia 4:3 (1:2). An early goal by the Bundesliga top scorer Vedad Ibisevic set the stage for a goal-rich friendly between Slovenia and Bosnia in Maribor,Slovenia.Zvjezdan Misimovic and Edin Dzeko also netted.

Ibišević set the tone early, scoring in the 2nd minute, and then drew a penalty about 15 minutes later, which Misimović converted for 2:0. A lapse in concentration let the Slovenians claw one back in the 27th, but Džeko and Ibišević scored again in the 53rd and 63rd minutes respectively. Slovenia’s top weapon, Milivoje Novakovič (Koln), eventually scored two more (one of them from the penalty spot) for the final 4:3.


Video: Slovenia - Bosnia 3:4 (1:2)

The big story of this game is the emergence of Ibišević. He’s had a fantastic season for Hoffenheim so far, but was never able to translate it to the international level. Yesterday he got a proper chance and made it count.
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BOSNIAN STATE PARLIAMENT'S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ADOPTS TWO DRAFT LAWS

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 20,2008) - The Bosnian State Parliament's House of Representatives on Wednesday’s session deliberated on several draft laws and sent them to the collegium’s commission for adjustment due to inexistence of entity majority for voting on them.

They adopted draft law on amendments to the law on classification of activities in Bosnia. This law will ensure implementation of the uniform standard of activities classification in all of Bosnia and ensure compatibility of the Bosnian statistics standards with those of the EU.

Delegates also adopted draft law on amendments to the law on criminal proceedings and supported principles of the draft law on juvenile delinquency and detention of children and juvenile delinquents with conclusion to organize a public debate on this draft law.
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CONFERENCE "BOSNIA TODAY" HELD IN SPAIN

GIRONA, Spain (November 20,2008) - A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic has received the award "Premio Liber Press Cataluna 2008“ in Girona, Spain, and which was consigned by the Catalonia Government president in Girona Enrico Vilert within the programme of the conference “Bosnia Today”.

Silajdzic in his addressing at the conference thanked to the representatives of the Liber Press for their true friendship towards Bosnia and expressed hope that this friendship will continue to strengthen.

He pointed out that Bosnia is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical society and pointed out that even though some in the international community are not doing enough to prevent ethnical segregation in the country he will continue pointing out to the richness of out country in its differences.

He also added that it is necessary for the Bosnian society to reintegrate since Europe aspires towards building of one such society as Bosnia is for hundreds of years.

Silajdzic also met with the president of Girona municipality Anna Pagans, and opened the exhibition “Long Road” by the author Miguel Ruiz, and which presented the pictures from the time of devastation of the Bosnian cities during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.
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BOSNIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN TRADE MLADEN ZIROJEVIC VISITS QATAR

DOHA, Qatar (November 20,2008) - The Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mladen Zirojevic from November 18 to 21 is in visit to Qatar, participating at the 8th Conference of signatories to the Vienna Convention and 20th Meeting of signatories to the Montreal Protocol on Substances Depleting the Ozone Layer.

"In spite all difficulties and hardships we had to endure in the post-war and reconstruction period Iin Bosnia, since 2000 we have taken serious activities on implementing the Montreal Protocol”, stated Minister Zirojevic.

"We ratified amendments of the protocol from London, Copenhagen and Montreal and we want to announce that we are preparing for ratification of the Beijing Amendment”, he added.

He underlined that Bosnia successfully implemented the program of customs strengthening so that Bosnian customs officers are trained in all aspects of border control and import registration that is, import of equipment containing Ozone Depleting Substance (DS).
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RECEPTION ORGANIZED ON THE OCCASSION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF PALESTINE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 20,2008) - On the occasion of the National Day of Palestine a reception was organized on Tuesday evening in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo hosted by Amir Saker Rostom, the Palestinian Ambassador to Bosnia.

Solemn reception, which gathered members of diplomatic core as well as numerous prominent personalities and politicians from Bosnia was the occasion for remembering the numerous events that marked modern history of the Palestinian people.

Ambassador Rostom pointed out in his statement for the Bosnian media that the national Day of Palestine is linked to the date when the Palestinian independence was proclaimed on November 15th 1988, and that this act indicates new phase in solving the Palestinian issue.

He said that this is the day when the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized numerous international resolutions which resulted in political turning point and persistence on finding out ideal political solutions.

Ambassador Rostum expressed his expectation that the new US administration will contribute in finding a just solution and make pressure on Israel to respect the agreed.

At the same time, he expressed his belief that the friendly countries, including EU countries and Russia will support the efforts on the plan of peaceful resolution of Middle East crisis.
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BOSNIA TO PARTICIPATE AT REGIONAL ECONOMIC FORUM IN MACEDONIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 20,2008) - The Bosnian State Presidency Chairman Nebojsa Radmanovic, on invitation of the Macedonian president Branko Crvenkovski shall participate at the 5th regional economic forum for the southeastern Europe (REF SEE), held from November 20 to 21 in Ohrid,Macedonia; stated the Bosnian Presidency press release.

The forum shall be attended by presidents of several countries from the region: Nebojsa Radmanovic - Bosnia, Georgi Parvano -, Bulgaria, Bamir Topi - Albania, Filip Vujanovic - Montenegro and Stjepan Mesic - Croatia.

Radmanovic shall address the presidential session of the forum and it is planned for him to hold number of bilateral meetings, among others, with the forum’s host, the Macedonian President Crvenkovski and with presidents of other states in the region.

This year’s topic of the forum is “Competitors and Partners on the Road towards EU”.
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IRD FOCUSES ON PROJECTS IN BOSNIA

SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 20,2008) - Daniel Florea from the Board of Directors of International Relief and Development (IRD), an American NGO (non-governmental organization),is currently in Bosnia to gather information about the needs of local communities. On the basis of that information, IRD will apply for funds to assist Bosnia.

Florea said Bosnia is a priority for the organization, which is why IRD’s office was opened in Bosnia more than a year ago. A reason is partly in the fact that IRD was founded by a Zenica-born Jasna Basaric Keys and her husband Arthur Keys, more than ten years ago. IRD’s budget in 2009 will be in excess of 700 million US Dollars.

IRD, a charitable, non-profit, non-governmental organization, focuses its operations in regions of the world that present social, political and technical challenges.

IRD works in collaboration with a wide range of organizations in the design and implementation of humanitarian relief and development aid programs, including U.S. government agencies, bilateral and international donor organizations, international finance organizations, faith-based organizations, advocacy groups, international and local NGOs, and U.S. corporations.
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