"Obama commended us, Putin's like family" - Nikolic
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic stated in New York that this year's session of the UN General Assembly was "special for many reasons."Source: Tanjug
He "underscored that the world's top officials qualified Serbia's role as positive because the country is a factor of stability and peace in the region."
In an interview for Tanjug, Nikolic especially stressed that he was "encouraged by the stands concerning Serbia which a number of heads of state and governments voiced during the meeting."
"It is obvious that the region is the subject of attention of many countries and organizations throughout the world and that Serbia's role was qualified as highly positive," the Serbian president said and added that it is clear Serbia is a factor of stability and has made the greatest contribution to peace and safety in the region.
He added he was "proud" because world leaders "no longer single out individuals in Serbia but say that Serbia is doing a good job - the government and the president and parliament that is aligning legislation with EU's legislation and praise is coming from the east, west, north and south, and is not bloc or organization-oriented."
"Nobody's trying to make us be only theirs and forget other friendships and what is perhaps the most important... are our old friends, Africa, Asia, Latin America. If a person can live to see something nice, it is it to represent Serbia at the end of this 2015," said Nikolic.
Asked "what concrete effect Serbia will have after his meetings with presidents of the U.S., Russia, and Croatia, and the German chancellor," he said:
"It's useful to talk. If you ask the Croatian president, it was very useful that we talked, but I would not comment on that now, because it would look as if I was meddling in the campaign. Croatia is in an election campaign and many ugly words at the expense of Serbia can be expected, because they always win elections that way. It's much more important to me how they'll react to our behavior and what common future is predicted for us by Russia, the U.S., Germany, and that is something that can encourage us."
"Chancellor Merkel said it openly, during a reception in front of many people and very loudly so that everyone hears it, that Serbia made no mistakes in this and that the fault is on the other side, the responsibility for that fabricated conflict with Croatia was certainly on the other side," Nikolic said, in reference to last week's closure of the border by Croatia and Serbian countermeasures.
Speaking about his conversation with Barack Obama, he said:
"President Obama told me he was fully satisfied with what Serbia is doing and that he knows we're a factor of stability in the Balkans. He especially emphasized me as a man whose victory led to new relations, and said, 'If you have any problem you can call me, I will help you solve it'."
As for his encounter with Vladimir Putin, Nikolic said:
"The conversation with President Putin was largely friendly and familial because we find common ground very easily, and mostly Russia would never ask for anything from Serbia, it is always Serbia that asks for something from Russia, and luckily, Russia is a real backbone and real support to Serbia."
As the most important impression from the talks in New York, Nikolic listed concern of almost all officials he had a chance to meet both in terms of the migrant crisis and relations as a whole, especially between the EU and the U.S. and Russia.
"I believe that the world is facing a milestone, particularly Europe due to the migrant crisis," Nikolic said and added that he thinks principles are shaken and many small countries do not feel entirely sovereign within their borders.
He noted that the year to come will also be a year of major challenges, and expressed the hope that everyone appreciates this fact, especially major forces on whose stand the fate of others depends.