Serbia as "ideal mediator in EU-Russia reconciliation"

Serbia, as the OSCE chair, is an ideal intermediary between the EU and Russia and a chance for their reconciliation, President Tomislav Nikolic has said.

Source: Tanjug

"We hold the OSCE presidency. If they really want to reconcile, Serbia is the ideal chairman. After us, there will not be a country that wants to join the EU and has good relations with Russia," Nikolic said as he took questions during a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Belgrade.

Nikolic pointed out that Serbia "never showed power but strength in international relations because it held its principle, both as the former Yugoslavia, and today."

"The principle is international law. And anyone who wants Serbia for a neutral mediator in talks and negotiations, has it," Nikolic said.

Asked "whether Serbia can contribute to calming passions" between Palestine and Israel, he said that "if all parties to conflicts in the world were to, in some way, rely on Serbia, we would not have time to sleep at night."

Citing as examples China and Japan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russia and Georgia, Macedonia and Greece, which he said are all friends of Serbia, Nikolic noted that his country has been "offering good services to each of them."

"With each of them we can make contacts that might lead to solving the problem," he said, and stressed that "the most difficult dispute" was the one between the EU and Russia.

He stressed that Serbia "expects to open (membership negotiations) chapters with the European Union and is making every effort for this process to start as soon as possible."

"Serbia expects the EU to recognize and give value to the progress Serbia has made in all areas," said Nikolic.

Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that Palestine has always been in favor to negotiations with Israel, "because it believes that this is the only way to settle the conflict."

He added that Palestine was asking for the settling of its territory to end in order to resume negotiations.

"In order to renew talks we only seek an end to settlement activities in our territory, and it is a legitimate requirements that the whole world respects, and does not accept the settlements," said the Palestinian leader.

He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that his country has been trying to talk to Palestine for six years, and that it wants to negotiate, was not true.

"For 60 years we have been giving the initiative for negotiations and we do not believe that there is any other way to achieve the goal," said Abbas, and emphasized that Palestine is in favor of negotiations with Israel because it believes that the conflict should be resolved peacefully.

"We reject any temporary solution and proposals to establish temporary borders. We demand implementation of the political, economic and security agreements between Israel and Palestine which Israel constantly violates," said Abbas, and added that Palestine was also demanding that all Palestinian prisoners be freed.


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