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B92 - News - Serbia boycotts U.S.-Balkans Summit

B92 - News - Serbia boycotts U.S.-Balkans Summit

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Serbia boycotts U.S.-Balkans Summit

14 March 2011 | 12:14 | Source: Danas, Tanjug
BELGRADE -- U.S. State Department official Thomas Countryman has stated that Belgrade is sending a wrong message by boycotting a conference.

The gathering is to be held between political leaders and businessmen of the Western Balkan countries and the current and potential partners from the U.S., and Serbia has opted not to participate of attendance of Kosovo Albanian representatives.

MFA Political Director and leader of Belgrade's team in Kosovo talks Borko Stefanović told B92 on Monday in Belgrade that the Baltimore meeting would have Hashim Thaci participate, with Kosovo represented as "the republic of Kosovo".

Meanwhile, Belgrade-based daily Danas quotes Countryman as saying that the boycott puts politics before economy and diminishes what was once looked upon as sincere effort of Belgrade and Washington to build better economic relations.

He pointed out that boycotting the conference, as well as discouraging Serbian businessmen from participating in it together with several hundreds of businessmen and investors from the U.S. and the Western Balkans, is disappointing, not as a political issue, but rather as an economic issue at the time when the U.S. are trying to build economic and business ties with Serbia.

On behalf of the U.S. Administration, the government of the Federal State of Maryland will organize in Baltimore on March 23-24 a summit between the political leaders and business people from the Western Balkan countries and the current and potential partners from the U.S.

The newspaper writes that while the conference will be attended by many regional leaders,they will not include President Boris Tadić or Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković, "and the presence of other participants from Serbia is also very uncertain".

The American hosts are disappointed, although not particularly surprised with Belgrade decision not to attend, since, in accordance with the Serbian authorities' custom to boycott any international event the list of which includes the Kosovo representatives, the organizers of the Business Summit in Maryland were also made clear that they should not count on the participation on Serbia's representatives in Baltimore, the paper writes.
Politics - Most relevant news Monday, 14 March 2011

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All news for 14. March 2011

Archive: Monday, 14 March 2011
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