The head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija suggested on Thursday that the Balkans adopt the slogan “The Balkans for the Balkan people.”
However, he continued, “this does not mean isolationism, but rather establishing links with the West and the East, for the benefit of citizens.”
Speaking at a panel at the conference “New International Reality – Challenges and Perspectives”, organized by the Foundation for Strategic Dialogue in Belgrade, Djuric asserted that “no country is capable of solving its strategic problems alone , without intensive cooperation with others.
Djuric also believes that “everything must be done to support the initiative proposed to regional leaders by President Aleksandar Vucic, aimed at removing all economic barriers between the Balkan countries.”
“If we manage to remove these barriers, we will succeed in attracting more and more investors to this region, creating new jobs and tackling the social causes of the conflicts and tensions that have marked it. If we are economically stronger, we will be more capable of pursuing a more autonomous policy,” he is convinced.
According to him, the EU, as the most important economic and political factor in the Balkans, must more strongly support cooperation and integration processes in the region.
“The first principle of cooperation must be the strengthening of economic ties, we must talk about strengthening infrastructural connections, because without this we cannot talk about stronger economic integration. Serbia is ready, not only in terms of political but also financial, to support infrastructure relations between the Balkan countries,” said Djuric.
He stressed that infrastructure projects are supported not only by the EU, but also by Russia and many other countries. Djuric also believed that countries in the region should define strategic directions for cooperation and said it was “important to network societies – while Serbia is ready to support cooperation of social organizations and especially young people “.
“I think this is necessary for a better understanding and rapprochement of the states and people of the Balkans,” Djuric said, adding that countries in the region should “absolutely respect each other” and that “relations should be based on the principles of the founding principles”. acts of the UN, international law and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also for the rights of people who remain outside the borders of their State of origin.
He spoke about Kosovo and Metohija and said that Serbia’s orientation towards EU membership and other forms of international political and security integration did not prevent the negative act of the unilateral declaration independence of Pristina.
According to him, this led to a further deterioration of relations between the peoples of the Balkans.
“The consequence is permanently tense relations between Serbs and Albanians, which we want to overcome through the (Belgrade-Pristina) dialogue to which we are attached,” Djuric said, adding that 16 years after the arrival of international forces in Kosovo- Metohija, there was an economic and political failure to govern there.
According to the Serbian official, it is necessary to discuss new models of cooperation, “because the closure and creation of new borders in Europe, whose nations have chosen to fight for greater cooperation, go against the principles of European integration.