Serbian FM: EU continues to bury its head in sand

Serbian Foreign Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic says the European Union continues to bury its head in the sand.

Source: B92
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

This was his reaction to the reply that European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker to a letter Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic sent to top EU officials in early August.

In it, Vucic expressed concern over recent developments in the region, and pointed to a naked anti-Serbian policy, which is conducted primarily in Croatia, the Serbian government said on its website at the time.

"Junker did not reply to any of the specific questions that Vucic had raised, did not comment neither on the rehabilitation of the fascist Ustasha NDH (Independent State of Croatia) regime, nor on the release of war criminals from the last war, nor to the erecting of a monument to Ustasha terrorist Baresic, nor to the insults toward the Serbian state," Dacic said in a statement.

He added that Juncker "even failed to say what it is we have not done."

"I said it in advance that the EU is playing deaf and dumb when it comes to the anti-Serb policy. However, it is always ready to preach Serbia when it dislikes something in Serbia. It can no longer continue this way. We did not ask you (EU) about world peace, but about the anti-Serb policy of one of your member-states, which threatens peace and stability in the region. Honestly, I did not expect anything, and so I'm not disappointed. Today even the children don't believe fairy tales anymore. As I indicated yesterday (Tuesday), it's as if they were the Tibet lamas, and so the EU is declaring itself philosophically about the 'miserable handful' problem - the anti-Serb policy. They missed the topic," Dacic concluded.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic also reacted to Juncker's reply late on Wednesday to say that "it would have been better if they (EU) did not respond at all."

European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic confirmed that Juncker had replied to the letter sent by Vucic, and that he expressed concern about recent developments in relations between Serbia and Croatia.

Juncker called for a return to constructive bilateral engagement.

According to the spokesperson, Juncker stressed that good neighborly relations and regional cooperation as well as reconciliation are fundamental principles that must be respected by all candidates for EU membership and by potential candidates, but also by all member-states of the EU in the region.

"All open issues must be solved through constructive bilateral dialogue and mutual respect. It is in the interest of the whole region to return to that spirit and discourse," Serbia's state broadcaster RTS quoted from Juncker's letter earlier in the day.

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