"We respect sovereignty of others; you do the same"
President Aleksandar Vucic has said that Serbia respects the territorial integrity of all countries in the region and has no claims towards any territory.Source: Tanjug
Therefore, Vucic said, speaking in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) on Tuesday, he expects other countries to act in the same way.
Vucic also pointed out that those politicians who think the territorial integrity of Serbia can be violated, and that it was possible to only damage Serbia are mistaken.
Asked how he commented on BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik's statement about "the redrawing of borders" - while the journalist also remarked that Vucic "supports Dodik's position" - the Serbian president replied that the reporter should not make statements about whether he supports someone or not.
"If you ask me what Serbia thinks about changing the borders in the Balkans, we consider it very important that everyone respects the territorial integrity of Serbia, while Serbia respects the territorial integrity of everyone else. So it has been and I hope that so it will remain," Vucic said.
He added that he considered as inappropriate the statements made by some politicians from Bosnia-Herzegovina who have been undermining the territorial integrity of Serbia in the belief that it is possible to damage only Serbia.
"I think this is a bad message and that nobody should violate anyone's territorial integrity in any way," Vucic said. He added that Serbia has no pretensions toward Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, or Macedonia.
When it comes to cooperation with Milorad Dodik, a former president of the Serb Republic (RS) - the Serb entity in BiH - Vucic said that this cooperation is in the interests of the RS, BiH and Serbia, and that he believes in can improve in the future.
"I don't think anyone's had problems because of their good cooperation with Serbia, on the contrary," Vucic said.
Speaking about (Serbia's) border with BiH, Vucic recalled that principles had been agreed in Sarajevo that should have been used to settle the contentious three percent of that border, which is very important for BiH and Serbia - but that no agreement has been reached yet.
"There was (Croat representative) Covic there, at the time there was (Serb representative) Ivanic, too, and both of them can confirm that I did everything that we agreed on, from A to Z - but this was not enough because there was some kind of a change of position (in Sarajevo)," Vucic said, adding that more work needs to be done to arrive at a solution.
Asked by reporters "why his representative did not appear at the signing of a protocol on the border between Serbia, BiH and Montenegro," Vucic replied that it was probably because of the contentious three percent of the border, and added: "How can they appear if we did not agree on those three percent."
Reporters then said this was "not about that part of the border" - prompting the Serbian president to conclude, "Then I don't know what this is about."