Serbia's new president formally inaugurated

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić said Monday at his inauguration that Serbia's "European path" was the path to future economic prosperity.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug

The country's new leader said in his speech during the ceremony in Belgrade that he would help to continue on this path and that he will work with everyone in the world in the interest of the state.

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"I will build friendships around the world, because Serbia does not have the right to have enemies. Serbia's European path is the path to the future, the path of economic prosperity, and I will help Serbia to continue on this path," Nikolić said.

The Serbian president emphasized that when it comes to policy towards the region, he will not allow different views on certain events from the past to threaten the common future.

He also emphasized that all differences and problems should be resolved by peaceful and democratic means, above all through dialogue.

Nikolić said that he would uphold Serbia's Constitution, respect and protect the territorial integrity of the state, and try to unite all political forces in the country to establish and implement a common policy towards Kosovo and Metohija.

The president also stressed that he would cooperate with the future government, but that he would also monitor and criticize its work.

I will ask it to fight fiercely against crime and corruption, and I will participate in this fight, and I will not rest until the persons accountable for the plundering privatizations carried out in Serbia are found, Nikolić said.

Promising that he would devote his time, strength, knowledge and energy to the development of Serbia and welfare of its citizens, Nikolić said that this is his obligation and debt to all citizens who live hard, who do not see a clear perspective for themselves and their children and who expect from him, and future governments, to change the situation in the country and ensure a better life.

Nikolić said that he will therefore start and finish any conversation with any official from the world by asking their investors to invest capital in Serbia, adding that he is ready to help the country provide better conditions for those who have money and are able to offer jobs.

We will start comprehensive reforms with ourselves. We will have to work hard, but also save more, Nikolić said, and announced that the expenses of his office, though not large, will be reduced and that other institutions and state bodies will have to follow suit.

We are facing difficult times in which we must show more responsibility, diligence and a clear plan to show everyone that Serbia has a solution and the potential and wants to move forward, the president said.

Nikolić thanked former President Boris Tadić, noting that he served as president in a very difficult period.

Nikolić gave special thanks to EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule, who is attending the inauguration, for always being with Serbia, adding that he hopes Fule will continue to do so in the future, too.

The ceremony at the Presidency in Belgrade was attended by some 1,200 guests.

The only leaders from the region attending were Serb Republic (RS) President Milorad Dodik and Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović.

Nikolić's cabinet said earlier in the day that representatives of "almost all countries" that Serbia has bilateral relations with were expected to be present at the ceremony.

Nikolić took part in the presidential elections as candidate of the Serb Progressive Party (SNS), beating Democratic Party candidate Boris Tadić in the second round of voting on May 20.

On May 31, he was officially sworn in in front of the Serbian parliament, starting his five-year term as the country's president.

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