Minister Dacic holds a press conference following the news about the killing of two Serbian hostages in Libya

daccich 20_02_2016First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic held today a special news conference on the premises of the Serbian Government, following reports that the two Serbian Embassy officers who had been kidnapped in Libya were killed. The two nationals of the Republic of Serbia, Jovica Stepic, a driver, and Sladjana Stankovic, an administrative officer, were kidnapped in November 2015.

According to the latest information, the officers were killed in U.S. airstrikes on the bases of the Islamic State in Libya; the official confirmation by the Libyan authorities and identification of bodieswereyetto follow, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic stated today.

“Unfortunately, according to the information received yesterday afternoon, several foreign nationals were killed in the airstrike, including the two officers working in the Serbian Embassy”, Minister Dacic said at the press conference.

“The information has not as yet been confirmed by the Libyan authorities. We are waiting for post mortem examinations to be performed in order to have a positive identification of the bodies”, stated Dacic.

Dacic referred to the statement released by the Pentagon last night that the U.S. forces had carried out an air campaign against Libya, hitting targets posing a threat to the United States.

According to Minister Dacic, U.S. air raids killed more than 40 people, most of whom were Tunisians situated in Libya, whereas the target was an IS camp suspected of “holding foreign nationals”.

“We were informed of the exact location by our Security Information Agency”, said Dacic.

The Serbian Foreign Minister stated that he had informed the families of the respective Embassy staff members that their loved ones had been killed, and that Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had also talked to them. Transportation of the remains to Serbia and funerals would be organized in the coming days, while the commemorative meetingwould be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.