Starović: Belgrade will be the focal point of world diplomacy on Monday and Tuesday

09. Oct 2021.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nemanja Starović, stated today that Belgrade will be the focal point of world diplomacy in the coming days, due to the organization of the gathering on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Starović said on the Radio-Television of Serbia that more than 100 state delegations will come to the solemn conference, and that the first delegations of the countries participating in the summit will arrive in Belgrade today.

He emphasized that the Belgrade conference on Monday and Tuesday will be one of the largest multilateral political gatherings on the planet in 2021, together with the session of the UN General Assembly at the end of September in New York.

"We will also have the opportunity to host the president of Ghana and the prime minister of Algeria, the special envoy of the prime minister of India, the foreign ministers of Indonesia and Lebanon, who are also special presidential envoys, and on top of that, more than 40 foreign ministers", Starović said.

He spoke about the important role that Yugoslavia had in founding the Non-Aligned Movement and stated that the upcoming conference in Belgrade is a confirmation of the growth of Serbia's authority and reputation at the international level.

"Our current policy, the main course of our foreign policy, which is based on military neutrality and political independence, is something that is recognized internationally and highly valued, because it shows that we manifest the fundamental principles of the Non-Aligned Movement in an active way in our foreign policy practice", said Starović.

He says that the organization of the summit is demanding, especially during the coronavirus pandemic and that several thousand people are involved, that there are a number of public health procedures that will have to be followed in order to protect the delegates at the conference, as well as the local population.

He stated that the organization, apart from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also includes other state bodies, the Executive Committee, which carried out all the actions, and which was chaired by President Aleksandar Vučić together with Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as well as the MoI, the Ministry of Defense, the City of Belgrade and other institutions.

Asked about warnings from Ankara due to the Paris-Athens agreement on strategic military partnership, as well as the sale of French weapons to Greece which threatens to disrupt relations within NATO, Starović said that this is something we are following closely, because it is happening in our wider region.

"This is something that greatly concerns us, but fortunately we are not part of that conflict and we do not want to be, but we are worried about the accelerated militarization that we are seeing in the Aegean region", Starović said.

He believes that all this indicates significantly different relations and changes that are happening among the Western allies, and states that not so long ago, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about the need to redefine those security relations and said that NATO is in a state of brain death.

He emphasized that all this leads to the world becoming a less safe place than it was before and that we are witnessing a competition between great powers, and even regional powers.

"Everyone is concerned, above all, for their own security, and in all of that, it is up to us to look after our own interests, to jealously guard our independence", Starović said.