FM: No changes in Serbia’s foreign policy

BELGRADE -- New Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić has said that there will be no changes in the country’s foreign policy.

Ivan Mrkić (Tanjug)
Ivan Mrkić (Tanjug)

He explained that a foundation for the foreign policy would remain preservation of territorial integrity and sovereignty and that the priority was full-fledged EU membership.

“The essence of our foreign policy is well-known,” the new minister told Tanjug.

“We know what our foundations and priorities are and we point out our pathway toward the EU membership and that is not any different that in the previous period,” he explained.

According to him, in countries with stable democracy, such as Serbia, is not common to have great changes in the foreign policy.

“We will continue with the foreign policy like until now. It is clear from Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and PM Ivica Dačić’s positions too, when they talked about the foreign policy, that there is no U-turn there,” the foreign minister stressed.

“It is certain that there would be some slight modifications due to the fact that we have a new president, new parliament and new government and there will be some novelties there,” Mrkić added.

When asked about the future relations with Moscow and Washington, he said that Serbia “has exceptionally good relations with Russia” while it wanted to deepen and improve the existing solid partnership with the U.S.

“We have a strategic partnership and Russia is an important partner and friend to Serbia that helps preserve out territorial integrity,” the FM underscored.

On the other hand, Belgrade will try to make the relations with the U.S. fruitful for both sides.

“We will more easily perceive the room for improvement of relations after we meet with the U.S. representatives, which we are planning to do, and we will know more in the next days or weeks,” Mrkić said.

Commenting on future contacts with the EU officials aimed at speeding up Serbia’s EU integration process, he said that a constant communication with the EU already existed.

“There will be meetings with the top representatives in Brussels, all of that is being arranged and we will have, just like until now, an intensive and maybe even a more intensive communication,” Mrkić stressed.

He noted that Brussels was aware that Serbia was making an effort to fulfill all the conditions in order to start the EU accession talks.

He added that the European Commission would decide on it in October.

“Until then, we will try to do everything that is in our interest to fulfill the conditions and get a favorable decision,” the minister said.

When it comes to regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, Mrkić said that the EU “does not see any serious obstacle” in Serbia’s bilateral relations.

“A lot has already been done and I am sure that we will improve those relations in the future period,” he added.

“I expect that there will be intensive communication with colleagues from the neighboring countries in the future period and that we will be seeing each other at numerous meetings,” the foreign minister concluded.