Minister Dacic attends Conference of SEE Foreign Ministers in Berlin

aspen24110155First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic visited Berlin, where he participated in the Aspen Institute Annual SEE Foreign Ministers’ Conference.

“Western Balkan themes are currently not the focus of European and world attention. We primarily dealt with the migrant crisis, fight against terrorism with a view to their possible impact on destabilizing the situation in the Balkans.

As regards the migrant crisis, the European Union has not yet cup up with a common position on actions taken by countries concerning borders. Does the EU support the closing of borders or a free flow of migrants? It is an issue with which we, Serbia and Macedonia, will have to deal with alone, if all other countries happen to close their borders.

We will protect our interests while having a civilized attitude towards migrants, but we cannot allow Serbia to be turned into a “collective centre” for migrants who will not be able to move from there to Western Europe.

Discussions centred also on European integration; there were animated discussions, and I had to react to the statements of Hashim Thachi and Dmitri Bushati, who attacked Serbia for conducting, as they say, an “aggressive” campaign against Kosovo’s admission to UNESCO.

I reacted because I believe that Kosovo should first decide whether it wishes to implement the Brussels agreement and the reached arrangements at all, because suspension of the Brussels agreement is not an option. What they are doing is flouting the commitments agreed with the international community’s facilitation, which destabilizes the situation in the region. On the other hand, Serbia overtly responded that it did not conduct an aggressive campaign, but only drew attention to an illegal situation where Kosovo attempted – without consulting with Serbia – to become a member of various international organizations, and in this way ultimately integrate into the United Nations system, although it is not recognized by the UN.

We also underlined that Kosovo’s treatment of cultural and religious heritage, after the destruction of a series of churches and monasteries, certainly cannot be good references for its membership of such an international organization, which is supposed to preserve world cultural heritage.

As regards the theme of our today’s conference, we are all in words in favour of European integration, Serbia insists on opening the first negotiating chapters before the end of the year”, stated the Serbian Foreign Minister following today’s Conference.