Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service Statements
Monday, 08 July 2019. PDF Print E-mail
Minister Dacic on the non-arrival of a delegation from Pristina to a meeting in Sarajevo
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First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic today participated at the South-East European Cooperation Process meeting in Sarajevo.

The Serbian Foreign Minister stated that he did not understand why the Pristina delegation did not attend the meeting since the terms for their participation had been stipulated in the Brussels Agreement.

"There is no reason for them not to attend unless Bosnia and Herzegovina changed the usual procedures. However, I do not believe that they made any changes compared to the practice in the past years", Minister Dacic said adding that Serbia was not against participation of the so-called Kosovo.

"Still, it should be clear that this issue is status-neutral and that EU devised a way for their participation. They pushed hard to find a solution for Kosovo participation and ultimately found it. If that solution is not working, it should be seen how it can work in the future", he added. He recalled that the method of Kosovo participation in regional initiatives had been defined under the Brussels Agreement.

"Within this initiative, all participants have to agree before a decision is made and at the Ministerial Meeting in Bucharest in 2014, Serbia agreed to Kosovo's participation in this organization. A list of organizations in which Kosovo will be able to participate in a specially designated manner has been compiled. Let me recall that it involves an asterisk and a footnote. I do not see what the problem is now, the Minister enquired.

"When a decision on regional representation was made, then President Jahjaga said that the asterisk was fine but that it would melt away in time. That is the reason why. Some are of the view that the asterisk has melted," Dacic said. However, he emphasized that a new agreement has not been reached. "We either have it or we don't", the Minister said, noting that this was not the first time that Pristina acted in this way.

He added that it had been agreed not to mention the states but participants instead in order to enable Kosovo to participate and that Serbia should not cross the line in view of the fact that the problem had not been resolved yet.

According to him, the plate in the front of him says Belgrade and not Ivica Dacic, there are no flags in conference rooms and he therefore was not able to understand why Pristina decided not to participate in today's meeting. He recalled that the agreement had been reached that after Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo should take over the chairmanship of the initiative.

"If they do not wish to hold the SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office under the terms they accepted when they joined the initiative how can they expect us to participate in the meeting next year? The only question here is – what is the purpose of our agreements if we are not going to honor them, if we behave as though we never agreed on them or did it just to stabilize the situation and enable it to function.

This question has to do more with their position towards Bosnia and Herzegovina because they have not recognized Kosovo and do not accept their passports. What happened today once again indicated that the solution to the question of Kosovo and Metohija should be reached as soon as possible since there will be problems in the future", the Serbian Foreign Minister concluded.