Serbian president asks US senator to help with K. Albanians

President Aleksandar Vucic has told reporters in Belgrade that he asked US Senator Ron Johnson "to help stabilize the region."

Source: Tanjug,

Vucic said he asked the senator to help by asking Kosovo Albanians "to be prepared for genuine solutions, which mean compromise."

The conversation with Johnson was substantial, comprehensive, and frank, the president said, and added that they discussed four topics - bilateral relations, the situation in the region, relations between Belgrade and Pristina, and support for Serbia on the road to the EU.

"With regard to relations with Pristina, we hold different positions," Vucic noted, adding:

"The United States has recognized the unilateral proclamation of independence (of Kosovo), we talked about it, and our hope is, on the tenth anniversary of the proclamation, that things will be settled by compromise."

"Serbia is ready for that, but compromise takes two and it cannot be such that one party is satisfied and the other dissatisfied," he said.

Vucic added that during conversation on Sunday with the Republican senator, he received "strong support from Washington for Serbia's EU integration."

"The key question is how relations between Belgrade and Pristina will be resolved," he has been quoted as saying, and adding that Johnson will travel to Pristina tomorrow (Monday), recalling at the same time that the United States has "strong influence on what the Albanians call the creation of Kosovo's independence."

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Johnson said that any agreement must be just to both sides, and take into account everyone's future.

According to Tanjug, he reiterated that the past cannot be forgotten, but that the Balkan nations should forgive, however hard it may be, in order to "move toward a prosperous future."

"Long-term friendship"

First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreing Minister Ivica Dacic and US Senator Ron Johnson met on Sunday in Belgrade and discussed "the long-term friendship between the United States and Serbia and the importance of these relations for both countries and the region," the Serbian government announced.

Dacic and Johnson spoke about "ways to strengthen bilateral ties, especially in the light of marking 100 years since the then US President Woodrow Wilson,ordered the Serbian flag to be raised over the White House."

They also "exchanged views on the situation in the region and the importance of the role of the Republic of Serbia in the promotion of peace and security, both for the region and for Europe."

Johnson "expressed the interest of the United States to help Belgrade find a long-term solution to relations with Pristina," and "suggested that the past be left to the past, not to forget, but to forgive, and to focus on the future."

Johnson at the same time "urged both parties to use a historic opportunity to progress in the normalization of their relationship."

Dacic "confirmed Serbia's readiness to invest in finding a lasting solution that will be in the mutual interest and in the interest of stability in the region," according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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