Belgrade/Washington, 26 Feb 2015 – First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who is also Chairman of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), met in Washington today with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Dacic said at a joint press conference before the meeting that Serbia attaches great importance to bilateral relations with the United States, especially in times when it is chairing such an important international organisation as the OSCE.
As a chair country, we will be faithful and true to the principles on which the OSCE is based, since the former Yugoslavia was one of the founders, Dacic stated.
He said that the Serbian Chairmanship will make every effort to have good communication with the 57 OSCE member states on the area from Vladivostok to Vancouver and to coordinate its work with the most important political factors.
Dacic said that at the meeting with the US Secretary of State, they will not only discuss the work of the OSCE, but also bilateral relations between Serbia and the United States.
It is a great satisfaction for me that our bilateral relations in recent years have been moving upward. It is very important to restore the strategic partnership that the United States and Serbia had a long time ago, 100 years ago, Dacic underlined and recalled that our bilateral diplomatic relations were established more than 130 years ago.
In this context, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia expressed his hope that Kerry will participate in the OSCE Ministerial Council, which will be held in Belgrade in December this year.
Dacic pointed out that Serbia is a factor of peace and stability in the region, that it strives to solve all outstanding issues with its neighbours through agreement and that it will invest maximum political capacity to respond to a very significant role of the OSCE Chairmanship, especially at a time when the eyes of the whole world are fixed on the capacity of this organisation on the ground in Ukraine.
Kerry wish welcomed to Dacic at the time, he said, when Serbia takes over more and more important role in many respects, first assuming the presidency of the OSCE, in a very important moment with regards to the Minsk agreement and the efforts that are being made in order to implement it, under the chairperson’s guidance of Dacic.
We will demand accountability in the process, trying to stabilise the east of Ukraine and to see if we can move in another direction, the US Secretary of State said.
He pointed out that the OSCE and its observers are critical to determine whether the two sides adhere to the Minsk agreement.
Kerry commented on Serbia's path towards the EU and said that it is very important that our country has taken steps toward joining the EU.
We surely would like to work on this association with Serbia, Kerry stated.
In this context, he pointed out that one of the most important issues is that Serbia has exhibited very good leadership, especially in dialogue with Pristina, by reaching the agreement and moving towards greater stability.
We know that there are complications and that these are difficult questions, but we acknowledge Serbia’s achievements, especially after the successful outcome of the last meeting and the steps that have been taken, Kerry concluded.