Dacic says that fighting to preserve its territorial integrity remains Serbia's priority
Dacic stressed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' activities related to the process around Kosovo and Metohija are primary and that, despite the efforts so far, he is not satisfied with the progress of this process over the past year
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia hosted a New Year's reception, where Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that the fight to preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity would remain the national priority this year, as it was in 2019.
Dacic stressed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' activities related to the process around Kosovo and Metohija are primary and that, despite the efforts so far, he is not satisfied with the progress of this process over the past year.
"There was no real dialogue due to Pristina's refusal to cancel the decision to impose taxes on goods from central Serbia. It is incomprehensible that this anti-civilizational measure has persisted for more than a year, despite demands from all over the world to abolish it. We hope this will change this year, that taxes will be abolished as soon as possible in order to continue the dialogue in which Serbia is interested and sees as the only way to reach a compromise and long-term solution," Dacic said.
The minister also recalled that in 2019, five more UN member states revoked their earlier decisions to recognize so-called Kosovo and that the total number of countries doing this has reached 17.
"In the United Nations today, more member-states don't than do recognize Kosovo. Such ratio in the international community, in an even more pronounced form, was also demonstrated during Pristina's new attempt to become a member of Interpol in Chile in October, when it withdrew its candidacy in the face of even more opponents to that membership," Dacic said and stressed that the Republic of Serbia is ready to continue the dialogue regarding Kosovo and Metohija and to find a compromise solution for Kosovo and Metohija.
"The situation in Kosovo and Metohija represents the greatest political and security challenge for Serbia. Serbia and NATO have obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Military Technical Agreement, and implementation of those obligations is imperative for both sides. We expect NATO to understand and support our priorities, especially in regard to Kosovo and Metohija. The NATO-led KFOR mission is of particular importance to the Serb community in Kosovo and Metohija. We believe that, unfortunately, the security situation in the Province requires if not greater, then at least a non-diminished KFOR presence. Serbia strongly opposes the transformation of the so-called 'Kosovo Security Force' into the so-called ' Kosovo Army' because that violates UNSCR 1244 and threatens regional and wider stability," he said.
Dacic also said that the key foreign policy priority remains European integration and Serbia's accession to the EU as a full member, and therefore the implementation of the reform process in accordance with the highest standards set before it.
"During 2019, the institutions of the European Union were formed, and it is extremely positive that the new Commission still has the enlargement commissioner. Serbia expresses its full support to Oliver Varhelyi in the hope that he will, together with EU member states, succeed in enabling a faster dynamic of the accession process. We also welcome the election of the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell," said Dacic.