Serbia to assist Bosnian citizens in Brazil during Olympics
Serbia's consular and diplomatic missions in Brazil will be assisting citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina during the upcoming Rio Olympics and Paralympics.Source: B92, Tanjug
The foreign ministers of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ivica Dacic and Igor Crnadak, announced this in Belgrade on Tuesday after meeting to discuss the details of a 2012 agreement on mutual representation and consular protection and services in third countries.
The Serbian authorities offered similar assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina citizens during the 2014 football World Cup, also held in Brazil, Dacic said.
The agreement is an indication of the two countries' readiness to cooperate to the benefit of their citizens and that it is not mere empty talk, Crnadak said.
"This is important for us for practical reasons because we have a delegation of athletes, reporters and tourists and it is important that they can be assisted in this way. Otherwise, we would have to do that from Sarajevo, which is much more difficult and more expensive," Crnadak said, according to Tanjug.
Ivica Dacic and Igor Crnadak agreed on Tuesday that the two countries "remain the nearest possible partners and good neighbors," the Serbian government said on its website.
Dacic told a joint news conference in Belgrade that his country "strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina and expressed a desire to develop cooperation between the two countries based on mutual interests."
He "underlined that all open issues should be solved through dialogue, and that Bosnia-Herzegovina is one of the key partners of Serbia and among the five most important foreign trade partners."
Crnadak said that once more the talks with Dacic were held in a good and friendly atmosphere and stressed that Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina remain the nearest possible partners and good neighbors.
"We have concluded today that we present the policy of compromise and dialogue, which should be our path," Crnadak said.
Serbia will not change its position on Kosovo and Metohija, Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday, commenting on a statement by Kosovo Minister for Dialogue Edita Tahiri that Serbia "would have to change its constitutional preamble on Kosovo."
"The constitution or the preamble is not what matters here, this is about us not recognizing a unilateral act of secession," Dacic told reporters, in reference to the ethnic Albanian declaration of independence made in 2008.
The international community may impose such an interpretation, but it will also have to provide an answer for other examples that will be or are already happening around the world, Dacic said.
"Once trouble starts knocking on their door, they will remember international law," he noted.
Responding to reporters' questions about visa liberalization for citizens of Kosovo travelling to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Crnadak said his country wanted to make life easier for all travelers, but that this did not mean a recognition of Kosovo would be considered.
"We want to simplify procedures because now, as minister, I have to sign each visa request," Crnadak said, adding that he had signed "a thousand" visa requests in 2015.
"There will be no scrapping of visas or a recognition of independence because there is no consensus on that," Crnadak said.
During the news conference Dacic also addressed other issues, including his future as a member of Serbia's cabinet.