Dacic: Serbia will continue to play a constructive role

24. Jan 2023.
Our commitment is to do everything we can, taking into account national and state interests, to continue along the European path and to align our policies with EU policies, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic said.

After separate meetings in Brussels with the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, the EU Special Representative for the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, David McAllister, the Minister said that both Borrell and Lajcak emphasized the very constructive and responsible role of President Vucic when it comes to the latest talks in Belgrade about the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

"Both Borrell and Lajcak emphasized the responsible approach of Serbia, as well as the desire to no longer deal with resolving the weekly conflicts that have been taking place in Kosovo and Metohija, in our opinion solely by Kurti’s fault, but to try to reach an agreement that would provide stronger guarantees and enable peace and stability in the region", Dacic said.

As he stated, senior Brussels officials repeated what President Vucic had said, that is, that we were ready to work on the foundations and implementation of this plan, and that he clearly noted to them what the red lines were, namely Kosovo's membership in the UN, as well as the formation of the community of Serb municipalities (CSM), which should not be a matter of dispute.

"I told Borrell that it was in this same building where we met that I signed the Brussels Agreement at the request of Catherine Ashton and all other international factors, that it was them who came up with the community of Serb municipalities and that ten years after that it was absolutely unacceptable for us that anyone could talk about not being able to form the CSM", the head of Serbian diplomacy said.

He stated that, "what is heard from Pristina" was still very negatively assessed, but that, despite this, our role would continue to be constructive, and that we needed peace and stability and to protect national and state interests in this way.

When asked by journalists what were the next steps in the continuation of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Dacic said that it remained to be seen whether it was possible to form the community of Serb municipalities, and that this, as he assessed, was a question for Pristina.

He recalled the statement of President Vucic, who said that Serbia expected the dialogue to continue and that it would play a constructive role.

"This was evaluated here at all official meetings in the EU as a positive role and approach of Belgrade," Dacic said.

Speaking about the harmonization of the foreign policy with EU policy, Dacic reiterated that this was not about Serbia's values regarding the relations between Russia and Ukraine, “but about the implications that the issue of our territorial integrity and sovereignty has when it comes to our position in other international organizations and institutions, that is, our relations with countries that support Serbia's position regarding Kosovo's membership in the United Nations, and one of those countries is Russia".

As for mutual relations, Dacic specified that the general conclusion was that operational cooperation should be enhanced and that positive examples in relations with the EU should be emphasized.

"This means that we should try to say everything that we disagree on in such a way as not to create a negative impression of the European Union", he added, noting that it was concluded that in relations with the EU, we should talk more about all the advantages and perspectives and what was actually being offered to our citizens.

Dacic also stated that the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, positively evaluated the harmonization of Serbia's visa policy with the EU's visa policy, as well as that she noted that she would visit Belgrade soon and cooperate with the Ministry of the Interior.

Source: TANJUG