First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic participated in the OSCE Mediterranean Conference, held in Palermo.
Major themes of this year’s Conference were flows of migrants and refugees through the Mediterranean and the related security challenges. Discussions also focused on the possibilities of a joint approach to the issue of the migration crisis.
“I underlined that, in the European perspective, Serbia had an unusual approach, and that we were very well prepared. Although Serbia was transited by more than 900,000 migrants, no incidents were recorded. The Balkan route is closed, but some thousands of migrants are still in our country.
I further highlighted that Serbia is a country with the largest number of registered refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Europe.
I pointed out that out of the total number of IDPs displaced from Kosovo and Metohija, over the past 18 years, since the beginning of the international community presence in Kosovo and Metohija, only 1.9% returned to their homes”, stated Minister Dacic.
The Serbian Foreign Minister had a series of bilateral meetings on the fringes of the Mediterranean Conference.
Minister Dacic had talks with Foreign Ministers of Italy, Moldova, Malta, and the Interior Minister of San Marino.
Minister Dacic and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano discussed the relations between the two countries, cooperation in international organizations and particularly in the UN Security Council, which will be presided over by Italy next month.
“This is very important for Serbia, since unprincipled attempts are underway to modify the format of Security Council sessions on Kosovo. Although Western countries are endeavouring to change the format of Security Council sessions devoted to Kosovo, either by way of the Council meeting in closed session, meaning the Council will discuss solely behind closed doors, or by reducing their frequency to less than quarterly intervals. For this reason, we consider it highly important to have the understanding of the Italian Presidency.”
It is very important to Serbia – as long as UNSC resolution 1244 and the UN Mission in Kosovo and Metohija are in place, that the problems existing in Kosovo and Metohija be discussed regularly and as provided for under that Resolution at the Security Council sessions”, concluded the Serbian Foreign Minister.