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21. November 2013.

Bujanovac - Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Paula Thiede, said that a constructive approach to the talks held between representatives of the Albanians in South Serbia and the Government of Serbia was apparent. 

"We are satisfied with the constructive approach to the talks held between the political leaders of the Albanians and the Serbian government, which is represented by Professor Zoran Stankovic, President of the  Coordination Body," Mrs. Thiede said.  

"Of course,  problems still exist, but the only way to overcome them is through talks," she added.  

"We appreciate the attention that the highest levels of the government dedicated to the region," said Mrs.Thiede,  adding that this was shown by the meetings held between representatives of the Albanians and  the Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and the first Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, as well as by the "recent arrival in South Serbia of Health Minister, Slavica Djukic- Dejanovic, which produced concrete and visible results when it comes to health care in the region".

When asked whether the events regarding the elections in Kosovo and Metohija could, in any way, reflect on the situation in South Serbia, either positively or negatively, Mrs. Thiede responded that "the future of South Serbia is in Serbia".

"Things that are happening in the region, which is next to ours, are really  irrelevant for this part of the country," she said.  

She is of the view that "local leaders will be able to make progress for all the citizens who live here through concrete and focused cooperation with the Government of Serbia and the Coordination Body.”   

“The playing of political games and failure to focus on solving specific problems won’t result in making any progress," she said.  

When asked when she expected the issue of media laws would be brought to an end, Mrs. Thiede said that "as far as I’m aware, the Ministry of Culture and Information is working hard on incorporating the comments of state institutions and public debates into media laws". 

"I know that the Ministry wants and works hard on ensuring that the draft law reaches the Government soon as possible. However, the numerous comments make that job a huge one, so that it still has to be completed, "said Mrs. Thiede.

 "The OSCE Mission to Serbia will continue observing developments in South Serbia and will provide all the necessary assistance," she added.   

Source: Jugpress and Coordination Body