World Bulletin/News Desk
In his address before the UN General Assembly, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic expressed his hopes for the opening of accession talks with the EU in January 2014, and that negotiations would not last "too long."
"Serbia is looking forward to EU membership," said the Serbian President, expressing the hope that he will in the next session of the UN General Assembly on the progress of these negotiations.
However, he referred to the agreement the EU mediated between Belgrade and Pristina this spring. The fulfilment of the obligations from this agreement is a main precondition for Serbia and Kosovo to move towards the EU.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
The agreement, Nikolic said, does not mean that Serbia will accept Kosovo as a UN member country "in any circumstances."
Noting that Serbia supports the activities of the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and that the mission should maintain a neutral approach, Nikolic has appealed that the mandate of United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) remain unchanged with the same number of its members in order to strengthen its activities.
The president requested the support of the UN in finding the truth regarding the kidnapping and killings of Kosovo Serbs.
Nikolic has reiterated his stance on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), stating that its activities did not help the process of reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia and that it discredited the idea of international criminal justice.
Referring to the requirement that the ICTY has previously refused, Nikolic again asked the UN and the ICTY to allow Serbian convicts to serve their sentence in Serbia, primarily for their easy re-socialization.
"We do not want to go into the essence of the judgments and we do not try to relativize the crimes these individuals have committed," said Nikolic, explaining that Serbian authorities would like to see them living in the community after serving their sentences.
He said that "Serbia in its history has never led an aggression," and that the weapons made in the country were used "only for defense."
Speaking about the fight against terrorism, Nikolic said that Serbia "as a victim of terrorism very well understands the needs of regional and wider cooperation in the field of anti-terrorist activities."
"In addition, Serbia has never been a threat to anyone and did not possess weapons for mass destruction," said Nikolic, referring to the threat of terrorism in the world.
"Symbolically and substantively, we have shown that we want to reconcile with the people who live near us. These acts, I am convinced, will significantly contribute to reconciliation and correct the harms of the past," he said.
Nikolic expressed Serbia's readiness to continue its activities and participation in peacekeeping missions according to the UN charters.
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan's main islands.
Leaflets threatening Jews with deportation carry the seal of ‘Donetsk People's Republic’ together with a number of Russian symbols.
"The dam will contribute share in efforts to extricate Ethiopia from poverty and will also benefit the people of Sudan," Hussein Yassin Hamad, the governor of the Blue Nile State.
Diyala has been the site of growing activities by pro-government militias.
Another strong earthquake hits Solomon islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Hamdeen Sabahi has submitted his candidacy application after collecting the required number of written endorsements from eligible voters.
A 26-year-old male suspect was arrested shortly afterwards and is being questioned at a police station in Antrim.
Elections are expected to be held in 83 more municipalities, including the capital Tripoli, later. Dates, however, has not yet been set for the vote.
The survey showed 47 percent saw a risk to national independence - the highest level in the poll's history dating back to 1991 - as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
Captain Dopani Firmin, the 'anti-balaka' Christian militia chief in Boda, said "it's our right to kill Muslims."
Last week U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renewed his appeals for sustained human rights monitoring in Western Sahara and warned against unfair exploitation of the region's natural resources.
Critics of Putin say that Kremlin-controlled Russian media have fuelled unjustified fear of the new Kiev leadership in the east of Ukraine, where ousted president Viktor Yanukovich had his power base.
Al-Qaeda group is active in several Yemeni provinces, staging sporadic attacks on army and police targets.
After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search has been narrowed to a small area around the location in which one of four acoustic signals believed to be from the plane's black box recorders was detected.
Relations between Russia and the NATO military alliance are at their worst since the Cold War following Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
Egypt's Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip has only been open for 12 days so far this year.