Don't question Montenegro's statehood - Dacic tells Serbs

The Serbs in Montenegro should not be reexamining its statehood, nor should they deal with closed issues, such as its independence or membership in NATO.

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

This has been stated by Ivica Dacic, Serbia's first deputy PM and foreign minister, who spoke for TV PinkM during his two-day visit to Montenegro this week.

Dacic added that the Serb House (in Podgorica) should be solely engaged in the preservation of the cultural identity of the Serb people (in Montenegro).

"We should not be dealing with high topics and then have the Serb people in Montenegro seen as a factor that is anti-state, in view of the independence of Montenegro, because then the front turns against the Serb people. Then we cannot discuss the basic topics which we are interested in - the language, the rights of the Serb people, representation in state bodies, etc.," he said.

The minister added that, as far as the rights of the Serb people were concerned, he "would like it if nobody was afraid to declare themselves here as a Serb."

"If somebody is going to be afraid of the consequences on their job, I would not like such an atmosphere to be created, it is not good. Just as I am against somebody in Serbia being in trouble because of something that happened in the past, now someone almost should be careful how they declare themselves. We now have people who come to Belgrade and declare themselves as Serbs, and then they go to Podgorica and declare themselves as Montenegrins," Dacic said.

He "stressed that everyone should declare themselves the way they want, and we should live as our ancestors did - that means helping each other," Tanjug reported, citing the interview.

As for the relations between Serbia and Montenegro, Dacic think there has been "a major breakthrough in the last five or six years."

"Especially since the change of authorities in 2012 (in Serbia) after (President) Boris Tadic. I think we have managed to find common interests and a common language, that is to, in some way, not spoil the traditionally good relations that exist between our two peoples and our two countries, which I consider to be brotherly, maybe it's better to say sisterly, because there are more emotions there somehow, and that, regardless of the fact that we have different views on some topics, we don't have any closer peoples and states than each other," Dacic said.

He stressed that the government in Serbia was trying to solve "the multi-decades" problem of Kosovo, but encounters external and internal resistance, and, according to him, one such thing are the statements of Metropolitan Amfilohije (criticizing President Vucic).

"All in all, we do not need such conflicts in such relations... What need has anyone now to talk this way in public - I think it gives rise to resistance to a peace policy led by Belgrade. This is not good and should be guarded against. I think Patriarch Irinej gave the best answer," Dacic said, referring to Irinej's subsequent praise of Vucic.

Dacic reiterated that the murder of Oliver Ivanovic in Kosovo was "a mindless terrorist act" and said the perpetrators, as well as those who gave the order, must be arrested no matter who they are.

He added that there are political factors "among both Albanians and Serbs, but also in the international community" whose interest is not in stability.

Dacic also said there was a risk of a security crisis in the region, against which the state authorities of Serbia will "despite everything" invest maximum efforts.


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