Jeremić discusses UNGA bid, Kosovo, and EU

Serbian FM Vuk Jeremić told B92 late on Monday that a country's presidency over the UN General Assembly meant that its foreign policy was being "affirmed".

Source: B92

Serbia recently officially nominated Jeremić for the world organization's general assembly president.

Asked whether it was likely that he would be elected - given that "the most powerful countries such as the U.S., Britain and France have had complaints about him" - the minister said that "the voting will show":

"This is an important issue, that is not a personal decision. The candidature was submitted in agreement with top state officials. This is not the candidature of Vuk Jeremić, but of the state of Serbia. We believe that there is reason to be optimistic."

"In the past several years, Serbia has won its place in the international community, leading a multi-dimensional policy turned toward the word. There are those who disagree with us, but there are none who disrespect Serbia. The voting will show how much support Serbia has, and I believe we will have the world's majority support. That would be a success, and confirmation that the foreign policy - which I hope will be continued after the elections, regardless who comes to power - has been the right one," Jeremić explained.

Commenting on the news that Montenegro will support his bid, while Croatia would not, the minister said he welcomed support from every country, and that it was customary for regional countries to back each other. Croatia's position, he said, was not official, and was "not known to him".

Asked whether he would continue as Serbia's foreign minister if elected UN GA president, Jeremić said that while this was technically possible, it would in fact be decided by the Serbian citizens in parliamentary elections expected to take place in May - before the vote at the UN.

The conditions set for Serbia to fulfill in its negotiations with Priština have not been met, while March is approaching, and Jeremić commented by stating that the issue of Priština's representation can be solved only through dialogue. As for cooperation with EULEX, it was never an issue as long as it was taking place within the framework of UN Resolution 1244, he said.

"If Priština continues to be inflexible in its positions, and if more concessions are demanded from Belgrade - in other words, the removal of Resolution 1244 - the answer to that will be, 'no'," Jeremić stated.

"I believe there is room to find solutions. Success is possible, but far from guaranteed," the minister noted.

Should the EU fail to make Serbia a candidate for membership in March, he continued, "it certainly won't be the end of the world", while the country sees reforms that will allow it to become part of a broader European space as its priority.

Speaking about a meeting planned for Tuesday with his Croatian counterpart Vesna Pusić, who will take part in an informal ministerial gathering, Jeremić said that Serbia "experienced some very difficult moments with the previous Croatian government", and expressed his hope that the new government, sworn in recently, "will be easier to cooperate with".

The Serbian minister said he would discuss "all open issues between the two countries" when he meets with Pusić.


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