FM: Western countries are "behind everything"
Ivica Dacic ha said in the wake of the UNESCO Executive Board vote that Serbia "after all" has the support of the world's largest countries.Source: Tanjug
According to the foreign minister, the government would continue to fight for the preservation of the Serbian heritage in Kosovo.
"If you look at it, the 14 countries that voted against the admission of Kosovo have three billion people, namely Russia, China, India, Brazil, Spain, Nigeria...It is true that all countries in the world are equal, but surely it can only make us feel good that we have the support of the largest countries in the world," Dacic said at the Palace of Serbia on Thursday, while taking reporters' questions.
On the other hand, he stressed that Serbia "is not glad" that cannot find "a point to reset of relations" with its Western partners, who, he said, were "actually behind everything."
"It devalues the (Kosovo) dialogue in Brussels. This is very bad, because Serbia wants to be a strategic partner to everyone, to respect other's interests, but also must defend its own, which we will continue to do," the minister said.
He pointed out that yesterday's decision of the Executive Board of UNESCO represented only the first phase and not the end of Serbia's struggle for its cultural and historical heritage in Kosovo.
According to him only 27 out of 55 countries voted in favor of recommending Kosovo's membership - but the vote that will take place at the UNESCO the General Conference will require a two-thirds majority.
"We will continue with our activities. We must behave rationally, present to everyone in the world our views, so that everyone knows what this is about and have data about it, because this is not about the status of Kosovo but about our Serbian cultural, religious, historical heritage, which has the status of world heritage protected by UNESCO and which is in danger," said Dacic.
If in spite of everything, all the destroyed Serbian monasteries and churches, Kosovo joins UNESCO - "it will be a political decision," said the Serbian foreign minister.
When asked "whether Kosovo will seek membership in other international organizations such as the Council of Europe," Dacic said this was possible and reiterated that "Western countries are behind everything."
"It is possible that this is the next move. They're been thinking about it for a year. But it is not Kosovo that's on the other side, so we would be fighting Kosovo about UNESCO. This is about the countries that support them (Pristina). They organize everything, put pressure on other countries, and get angry when we ask our friends to remain principled when it comes to Serbia. That is not fair, but hypocritical," he concluded.
Asked about "Kosovo's possible membership in the United Nations," Dacic said this is impossible because the Security Council makes the decision.
"As long as our friends hold the position that it would be unprincipled, Kosovo cannot be a member of the UN and that is why we constantly invite them to dialogue, because whatever they do, they cannot complete their independence," said Dacic.
He added that is why conversation is needed between Pristina and Belgrade - "but Kosovo Albanians do not want it."
"They only wish to put pressure on Belgrade, which is not possible with this government of Serbia," Dacic said.
Dacic was at the Palace of Serbia for the opening of an exhibition on the occasion of the 70 years of the United Nations, when he said the recommendation of the Executive Board of UNESCO yesterday was "an absolutely unacceptable violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations" and that it could lead to creating a dangerous precedent.
"Serbia will use all diplomatic means to oppose such abuse of an organization and the UN system as a political instrument of affirmation of an illegal and unilateral declaration of independence of a territorial unit of a UN member state (Serbia), whose sovereignty and territorial integrity is guaranteed by the still valid and legally binding UN Security Council resolution 1244," stressed Dacic.
He emphasized that UN's principles must be respected in full measure, because that is the only way to preserve the existing system of international relations based on the UN Charter, and for international law to preserve its universal validity.
"By standing against this, Serbia defends international law, the UN Charter and the supreme authority of the Security Council to preserve international peace and security, but also the moral integrity and accountability of UNESCO toward cultural heritage," Dacic concluded.