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Marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression

 

 

24 March 2021

 President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic made a statement on the occasion of marking the Day of Remembrance of the victims of the NATO aggression.

 "Your Holiness, distinguished Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, distinguished Speakers of the National Assemblies of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, distinguished Prime Ministers of the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, distinguished Ministers of both Governments, dear guests and friends, representatives of the Serbian People from Montenegro, North Macedonia, Croatia, thank you for the fact that we are all together tonight and that the Serbian spirit is unbreakable and invincible.

 One child a day and a little more than that. That is the most difficult, sickening and painful number of the NATO aggression from 1999. Killed, stopped, guilty of nothing, having committed no sin, without the right to defence, without the right to justice and without the right to life.

 No one has ever been held accountable for this crime, a crime greater than a crime. No one, for the 2,500 killed civilians, but also soldiers and policemen who were only guilty of guarding, protecting themselves and their homes. No one has ever been held accountable for more than 6,000 persons injured.

 Even today, 22 years after the aggression, it is not possible to explain that, there is no universal justification, despite all the work done to that end, there is no reason, it makes no sense, and only names remain, as eternal as sin.

 Miljana Milic, fifteen years old,

Vladimir Milic, twelve years old,

Miomir Mladenovic, fourteen years old,

Dragan Dimic, three years old,

Julijana Brudar, ten years,

Olivera Maksimovic, twelve years old,

Miroslav Knezevic, thirteen years old,

Dajana Pavlovic, five years old,

Stevan Pavlovic, eight years old,

Marko Simic, two years old,

Milica Rakic, three years old,

Ivan Ivancic, seven years old,

Marko Ivanovic, three years old...

 And the list goes on, eighty nine names, not only Serbian ones...

 The senselessness of sheer killing did not choose. Sixteen children, aged two to seventeen, from the Ahmetaj and Hasani families, were killed in a convoy returning home to Prizren.

 In one headline in the West, this was simply explained as a "tragic mistake". The deaths of Marko Roglic, Milan Ignjatovic, Gordana Nikolic, Irena Mitic, Milica Stojanovic, Bojana Tosovic, Branimir Stanijanovic, our Sanja Milenkovic...could not expect or get even such an explanation.

 Those deaths were not tragic, for those who caused them, much less a mistake. It was just an excuse, a miserable excuse.

 They were a result of intent and a clear decision, as a severe judgment against one country, its people, its children.

 And that is why today we will refrain from speculation in giving a name to everything that happened during the spring of 1999. Because a crime happened, a heinous and terrible one. And it was an aggression, not a bombing, not an intervention, not a campaign, not an operation. An aggression is what happened. An attack on a sovereign country, without a decision of the United Nations, without a sufficient reason that would justify attacking the then Yugoslavia or a neighbouring or NATO country.

 No one was attacked by Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at that time. They attacked us, with one goal. To defeat us, to keep killing us, and in the end to take away a part of our territory.

 And no matter how much we analyze things today, no matter how harsh and critical we are towards ourselves, our policy and leadership at the time, it is clear that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia were left with almost no choice then. The choice was horrible, either the loss of territory and people on the one hand, or the complete disappearance of the Serbian state, morals, honour, Serbian spirit, names and surnames. And we could not help but lose. Nineteen big ones attacked one small country, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They attacked both Serbia and Montenegro. And even when they don't talk about it today, in one of the two independent countries, those are the facts. And that small country, and that small nation, to all nineteen of them so great and powerful, held a lesson in what matters most - honour, morals and love for freedom that a nation can have.

 Yes, justice, lest we forget justice. All those nineteen great ones today still silently talk about their military success, avoid answering questions, while - can you imagine, one small, only numerically small Serbian people, that small but magnificent nation, with sadness, tears in their eyes, proudly remembers their resistance and struggle against the nineteen cruel and arrogant ones.

 We lost a lot, we lost our fathers, brothers, spouses, children, but the honour and Serbian heart are still there, to protect Serbia, which is eternal and indestructible.

 We lost children, we lost people, we lost control over a large part of the territory, we lost billions because of the destroyed infrastructure and economy.

 And all that was left for us was the body of a tortured, destroyed country, a country in disintegration, mutilated, looted, wounded, deserted, and guilty, condemned for everything that happened not only in the 1990s, but throughout history.

 A country that, even ten years after the aggression, did not have the strength to stand up, rise to its feet, and do anything but be silent, or bow its head and obediently apologize, for everything, even for its dead, even for its murdered children.

 Today, it is no longer that failed, tortured, devastated, mutilated Serbia.

 Today, it is Serbia, which has found its strength and its pride again.

 Serbia, which calls things by their real names.

 Serbia, which turned its back on war and defeats, and started working. 

Serbia, which rose to stand on its own feet and has a voice of its own.

Serbia, which, even when they don't believe it, they listen to. Which is capable, which is growing, and is no longer part of the problem. Serbia, which is and will be, at least we will do our best to this end, the very solution that enables the entire region to live in peace and understanding.

And that Serbia, today, when there are still many more bombs in the world than vaccines, sends not bombs, but precisely those vaccines to the region. Today, it is ready to produce them as well, and in just a few months we will do just that, but not only for ourselves, but also for others, for the entire Balkans.

We are ready, and we are willing to help.

We are not ready to be and we will not be silent, nor be humiliated again.

We draw the right to that not only from the victims we had, but also from the fact that we stopped looking at others only a long time ago, and looking for fault and guilt only in them, and not sometimes in ourselves as well.

We looked at each other and admitted. Every loss, every defeat and every crime that someone committed in our name, every failure and every wrong policy.

And we are no longer doing anything that could endanger anyone.

We continue to work and work, and grow more and more, gaining strength with only one goal - to be the best in economy and education, health, in culture, science, sports...

And we want to be safe, on our own. We want our army to be much stronger than it was in 1999. So that we never again face a situation that someone is killing our children, destroying the country, or expelling our people.

We want to remain free, to decide our own destiny, and for no one to take everything away from us ever again, and give us nothing.

And that nothing today, and I will repeat it as much as necessary, is the idea of some great, powerful ones, but also those who serve them, the idea that "Kosovo" should recognize us, so that we could recognize "Kosovo".

 We do not need that recognition. And Serbia will not allow you to walk over our victims, our history, our past, but also to walk over our future. You will get the answer of reasonable, kind and responsible people. We need a compromise. We need all the obligations that we and Pristina have assumed to be fulfilled, but only we have fulfilled them so far.

 And this is not our whim. It is not a phantasmagoria about a Serbian world that we want to create.

 Even today, when they threaten us with the formation of a Greater Albania, when they say that the Community of Serb Municipalities is not going to happen, it is ours to be calm, to take care of our people in Kosovo and Metohija, but to send a clear message to all those great, powerful ones that we are not as weak as we were, that we will be able to preserve what is our own, not touching anything that belongs to anyone else. After all, Serbia is not and will not be but a handful of oats that every crow from the whole wide world can eat. As for those who used the strength and power of the nineteen arrogant and cruel ones, I only ask them not to threaten us. Please, please, don't threaten us. They should not think that Serbia is broken and that it will not have the strength to respond. Please, please, our Albanian neighbours, do not threaten us. And we ask all others, who have demonstrated their cruelty towards Serbia, not to help you in that. That is all we are asking and nothing more.

 And we will respond to calls for peace, calls for compromise, and always with good will, because we do not want to have children killed again. And we do not want the children of others to suffer again. But do not underestimate Serbia, and do not look at Serbia with the same eyes as you did in 1999.

 Today, Serbia is much stronger, much more powerful. Today, Serbia is a united country of togetherness, not a divided one. Today, Serbia is incomparably stronger and better in every aspect than it was in 1999, from the economy to our army. And we will never threaten anyone, we just ask you and request from you to respect us and nothing more.

 Today, we are building roads that will connect us, among ourselves, with the region and with the world. Until the end of the year, we will work on eight motorways, on eight routes in the entire Balkans, not only Serbia, eight roads of peace and cooperation.

 Only a crazy person would trade this for war, for dead children, for demolition and new loss. And yes, we want to have the closest relations with everyone who took part in the aggression against our beautiful Serbia, we have forgiven a long time ago, but no, we will never forget. And don't ask us to. That one day, every year, we will remind both ourselves and you. The nineteen of you, the most powerful, strongest, greatest in terms of might and force, but not so much when it comes to honour and morality. We will keep remind you and ourselves, just so it would never happen again. Not to us only, but to none other freedom-loving people in the world.

 And if we have an offer, today it reads as follows: we are ready to make the whole Balkans a winner, for everyone to win, as long as no one tries to make Serbs the only losers.

 And the path to this goal is not difficult at all.

 We just need to respect and understand each other and not try to humiliate each other.

 And not to touch into what everyone paid the highest and bloodies price for. Freedom. And we, Serbs, know the price of freedom.

 Into our right to have it, to keep it and to remember all the victims who are part of it.

 And our defeats, our lives and our children are built into ours. And the lives of our heroic pilots, and our giants from Kosare and Pastrik, and our children, innocent, completely innocent, and only guilty of living in Serbia.

 This is too high a price to be quiet about it.

 Because that would mean that we are ready for another defeat, for another humiliation.

 And we are not.

 And when all go quiet, we will keep repeating.

 A child a day, and a little more. This was how much you killed us. In an aggression that even you did not understand why you carried it out.

 And we will keep repeating this, just so it does not happen to us again.

 With special reverence, we are fulfilling our obligation to pay tribute to all innocent Serbian victims who laid their lives on the altar of the homeland, both civilians and our heroic soldiers and policemen, the heroes of Kosare, Prizren, Mitrovica.

 Today, for us Serbs, life in Kosovo and Metohija is like Via Dolorosa, using their last strength on the road to Golgotha, but we would not be Serbs if we were not capable to "exist in a terrible place".

 And today, tonight, I can conclude with one important sentence. On the soil of Europe, there was, and today is stronger than ever, an indomitable, unwavering, unconquerable and never conquered Serbia.

 May eternal glory be to all the victims of the NATO aggression and let us all exclaim together - long live free and proud Serbia", President Vucic said.

Source:www.predsednik.rs

Photo:www.predsednik.rs

 


Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija

 Commemorating Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija

 President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic participated today in the commemoration of the Remembrance Day of 17 March 2004 - Pogrom in Kosovo and Metohija. He said that exactly 17 years ago, a pogrom took place in Kosovo and Metohija, and that pogrom surpassed all other crimes.

 "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest, these words of Elie Wiesel, a camp survivor and Nobel laureate, make it forever incumbent upon us not to remain silent against crime, regardless of who and for what reason committed it", President Vucic stated and added that we remembered and learned every lesson in which we were losers, each one in which we were silent to our own victims, and each one when we were ready to forget.    

 "Serbia is no longer weak today, nor is it a country of losers, it does not threaten, but it does not forget either, it is ready for talks, but not for humiliation. Serbia, just like everyone else, has the right to take care of its people, their safety and well-being. The right to life is a fundamental human right and we will always defend it", President Vucic said.

 President Vucic said that pogrom surpasses all other crimes, because it is not only an act, but an intention, a policy, a premediated attempt to forcibly cleanse persons belonging to other peoples and faiths from a region or a country.

 "We have no right to remain silent to that", said the President of Serbia, emphasizing that we have an obligation to be winners without blood spilled and war, to be the best in the economy, healthcare, sports, education and everything else that implies development and progress.

 "We also wish others to work on themselves and be successful, because we are aware that crime is a tool for losers that winners do not need, as they remember, but forgive and move on, while the losers keep spinning in the same vicious circle. We Serbs do not want to be that anymore, we want a future in which we will remember, but from which we will not return. We know what happened and we call it by its real name", President Vucic concluded.

 

Photo: Dimitrije Goll 


La République de Serbie au Mois de la Francophonie

La République de Serbie en qualité de membre associé à l'OIF, de concert avec toute la communauté francophone dans le monde entier, célèbre le Mois de la Francophonie. Pour tous les amateurs de la culture serbe et de la langue française, le Ministère de la Culture et de l'Information de la République de Serbie a préparé un vaste programme et L’Ambassade de la République de Serbie à Republique d`Indonsie vous invite à découvrir la diversité et la richesse de la culture serbe en français.

La Serbie au Mois de La Francophonie (communications.rs)

La Serbie au Mois de La Francophonie (communications.rs)

La Serbie au Mois de La Francophonie (communications.rs)


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selakovic: Fight against all forms of crime is a priority of the Serbian Government

8 March 2021

  Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selakovic said today that the fight against all forms of crime was a top priority of the Serbian Government and an integral part of the EU accession process.

 "It is also our moral duty, in order to leave a better world for the generations to come", Selakovic said participating via video-link at the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Kyoto.    

 Minister Selakovic emphasized that Serbia, in its Second Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment from 2019, identified as its goal to eliminate cybercrime, human trafficking, terrorism and irregular migration.

 The Serbian Foreign Minister pointed out that our country had established in a timely manner a normative and institutional framework that regulates prevention of abuse in this area, as well as that the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Cybercrime, a special court department and a special police unit were established. 

 The Minister underlined that, in the field of the fight against corruption, Serbia was guided by the postulates set out in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption.

 Selakovic pointed out the efforts made by the Anti-Corruption Agency, as an independent state body, to protect the public interest, build individual and institutional integrity, strengthen transparency and accountability of the public administration.

 "We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism, including extremism and radicalism, and call for them to be fully eradicated, while implementing the relevant UN resolutions and conventions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy", the Head of Serbian diplomacy underscored. 

 In order to combat these complex phenomena efficiently and successfully, Selakovic said, it was of vital importance to build capacities of our societies and states, while exchanging experiences at the regional and global levels.

 Minister Selakovic thanked Japanese Ambassador Hikihara for the skill he showed in conducting the talks on harmonizing and adopting the Kyoto Declaration, which, as he stressed, was an important indicator of the commitment to creating and maintaining the institutional framework for crime prevention as one of the main preconditions for promoting sustainable development goals.

 "Back in 1970 when Japan hosted this event for the first time, we demonstrated strong political will to draw attention to the problem. Today, it is incumbent upon us to reaffirm this willingness and resolve and translate it into concrete steps", the Serbian Foreign Minister said. 


Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana elected as the new Patriarch of Serbia

18 February 2021

 The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected His Eminence Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, PhD, as the new Serbian Patriarch, in its convocation in Memorial Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade on 18 February 2021.

 Immediately after the election a thanksgiving service was officiated and Many Years was chanted to the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Porfirije. Bells at Saint Sava Cathedral in the Vracar district of Belgrade rang a few minutes before 4:00 pm indicating that the 46th Patriarch of Serbia was elected.

 Newly-elected Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch Porfirije (Peric) was born on 22 July 1961 in Becej, to father Radivoje and Mother Radojka. He was baptized as Prvoslav. He finished primary school in Curug, and the “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” Grammar School in Novi Sad. He was ordained a monk according to the rite of small schime by his spiritual father, then hieromonk Dr. Irinej (Bulovic), at Decani Monastery on Sunday of St. Thomas in 1985.

 He graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade in 1986, when the then Bishop of Raska-Prizren Diocese, future Serbian Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory, ordained him a hierodeacon at the monastery of Holy Trinity in Musutiste.

 He attended postgraduate studies in Athens from 1986 until 1990. That year, upon the blessing of Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa, he joined the monastery of Holy Archangels in Kovilj, where he was ordained as hieromonk and became its abbot.

 Many young monks and novices came to the monastery following him. These were the years when the Kovilj Monastery became a spiritual center for many young people: intellectuals, artists, popular actors and rock musicians, especially from Novi Sad and Belgrade. Since then abbot Porfirije has particularly dealt with drug-addicted patients. In 2005, he formed for this purpose a therapeutic community called “The Land of the Living”, which is recognized as the most successful drug-addiction therapy project and, under the leadership of Bishop Porfirije, it has more than a hundred residents in camps throughout Serbia today.

 During the ordinary meeting of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade on 14 May 1999 he was elected as Bishop of Jegar, Vicar of the Diocese of Backa.

 He defended his PhD thesis Possibility of knowability of God in St. Paul’s understanding according to the interpretation of Saint John Chrysostom at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Athens in 2004.

 He became a lecturer at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology - Department of Pastoral Psychology - succeeding famous psychiatrist, academician Dr. Vladeta Jerotic. His lectures have been attended not only by students of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, but other Belgrade faculties as well.

 Together with a group of experts: psychologists, doctors, criminologists, sociologists, Bishop Porfirije founded a civic association that deals with the resocialization of victims of destructive religious sects and cults.

 Bishop Porfirije has not been just president of the Steering Board for a decade, but a real spiritus movens of the Humanitarian Fund “Privrednik”, which has provided scholarships for a great number of gifted, but poor pupils and students, regardless of their nationality or religious affiliation.

 In 2005, the National Assembly elected him as representative of all Churches and religious communities, to be a member of the Council of the Republic Broadcasting Agency, and in 2008 the RBA elected him its president. As President of the Council of the Republic Broadcasting Agency, Bishop Porfirije supported the long-term interests of society and citizens, unaffected by political influences.

 Since then, church radio stations have been heard in the broadcasting spectrum of Serbia. He has made a key contribution to launching of a series of radio and television shows dealing with religious topics.

 In 2010, The Holy Assembly of Bishops entrusted him to establish military chaplaincy in the Serbian Armed Forces. The fruits of his labour in that field include not only the suitable legal regulations, but also the selection of military chaplains, the organization and equipping of churches at barracks and performance of the first religious services.

 His expert theological works Bishop Porfirije published in magazines both in Serbia and abroad. He participated in a large number of scientific conferences and symposia across the globe.

 Bishop Porfirije, as one of the most prominent contemporary Serbian clergymen and intellectuals, has an extremely wide circle of friends, not only in the Homeland, and he fosters personal friendship and close cooperation with priests and representatives of other Churches and religious communities.

 He speaks Greek, English, German and uses the Russian language, while his style of communication is always adapted to his interlocutors.

 He was enthroned as the Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana on 13 July 2014 in the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Zagreb. The solemn Hierarchal Liturgy was served by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, accompanied by a large number of archbishops of the Serbian Church and other sister Churches, as well as priests and monks, and pious people.

 

Source: SPC/Serbian Orthodox Church

  


STATEHOOD DAY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA- SRETENJE, FEBRUARY 15th

 

On the occasion of the Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia, February 15th-SRETENJE, the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia has the honour to present video material prepared by the Ministry of Foreigna Affairs of the Republic of Serbia that infroduces in depth the historical significance of this day for Serbia and its natiion. The link is::

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh6idN_HKsQ&ab_channel=MFAoftheRepublicofSerbia


President Vucic: Serbia is ready for dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, but will refuse being humiliated

President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army Aleksandar Vucic attended a demonstration of capabilities of one part of Serbian Army units in the "Rastko Nemanjić" barracks in Pancevo. On this occasion, President Vucic stated that Serbia was ready to continue the EU-facilitated dialogue with Pristina at any point, while respecting also the position of the United States as well as the positions of Russia and China.    

 The President said that he would rather put his "head on the chopping block" than sign any document with a recognition and reminded that he had already once refused to do so in Washington, where there were two versions of the agreement.

 He stated that he immediately had his delegation leave the meeting, that he told the U.S. delegation that Serbia would not sign such an agreement, while conveying that Serbia would always endeavour to hold peaceful talks in order to preserve peace, but that it would not take any humiliation.

 The Serbian President thanked the U.S. President Joe Biden for the letter of congratulations on the occasion of the upcoming Statehood Day, in which, in addition to the usual emphasis on commitment to promoting economic cooperation, regional stability and democratic values, he unequivocally called for mutual recognition of Serbia and "Kosovo" as a result.

 Mutual recognition between Serbia and "Kosovo" is not part of any act of any world organization, the President pointed out and reiterated that Serbia was ready to continue the EU-facilitated dialogue with Pristina at any point, while respecting also the position of the United States as well as the positions of Russia and China.

 According to the president, the situation is difficult and will only be increasingly difficult.

 "As I told you three days ago, I can see it and I expect it, I can see the situation slowly tightening, because the conflicts between them at the global level have been increasing and intensifying, and then we have to pay the price", the President said.

 President Vucic said that said that it was up to our state to continue strengthening the country in the economic sense.

 The President added that the role of the army was very important in the highly complex security and political conditions of the modern world, and that was why Serbia needed to do everything it could to deter any potential aggressor and attacks on citizens and the country.

 "The policy of strengthening the armed forces will continue at a faster pace", the President emphasized, adding that the goal was for the Serbian Army to play a stabilizing role with regard to the political developments in the region.

 According to him, it should be clear to everyone that Serbia was not a punching bag and that not everyone could attack and threaten it like it was the case in the past.

 Vucic said that he was pleased with what he saw and that a lot had been done in the previous period, pointing out that the salaries of military personnel would be significantly increased as of April.

 President Vucic also stated that investments in the Serbian Army would continue, whom he told that he expected the Army to continue to be the guardian of our country, its integrity and freedom.

 "We expect you to be the guardians of our country, its integrity and freedom, the defenders of our people, the guardians of the homeland, the protectors of the interests of the state of Serbia and to be a deterrent factor for every aggressor and anyone who might consider attacking Serbia", Vucic said.

 The military exercise called "Spearhead" demostrated the capabilities of the 72nd Special Operations Brigade, and the event, which the President of Serbia and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Army assessed as very good, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojsa Stefanovic and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilovic.

 Photo: Presidency of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

 Belgrade,

7 February 2021


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selakovic speaks for Politika: The year of rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy

26 January 2021

 Serbia's foreign policy positions are naturally being adjusted to the new developments at the international level, but our foreign policy priorities have not changed in a long time. Our top and most important interest is to preserve good-neighbourly relations and stability and peace in the region and, in the same context, to find a peaceful and just solution to the problems in Kosovo and Metohija, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said in an interview with Politika daily.

 Another lasting interest of ours is full membership of the European Union, because this is the type of society we strive for. At the bilateral level, our goal is to strengthen ties with traditional friends, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China, but also to build new partner relations with the United States. One of the most important tasks of our foreign policy is to improve the position and protect the rights and identity of our people in the region, as well as to provide various types of support to Serbs in the diaspora. All these are very important and more often than not complementary goals, Nikola Selakovic pointed out.

 What kind of relations do you expect Serbia to have with the new U.S. administration?

 It is too early to speculate about this in public. The new presidential administration in Washington is currently preoccupied with internal issues and this will be the case for some time. There are people in the team of President Joseph Biden who have dealt with our region, and it is likely that the Balkans and Serbia will be the focus of the U.S. foreign policy at some point. I will remind you that President Vucic and President Biden not so long ago had very substantive talks in Belgrade, after which our President stated that he had the opportunity to talk to someone extremely well acquainted with the situation in this part of the world and an extraordinarily prepared interlocutor. Taking their personal relationship into account, but also the importance of enhancing the ties between Serbia and the United States, we have reason to expect that a meeting between the two presidents will be organized in the foreseeable future. I am sure that the nature and dynamics of the relations between Serbia and the United States will be influenced by the fact that Ambassador Marko Djuric now represents us in Washington, whose presence at President Biden's inauguration ceremony is an important signal and, I believe, a harbinger of positive developments in bilateral relations between our two countries.

 How would you describe our country's relations with Moscow, Brussels and Beijing?

 Russia is our traditional friend and that friendship goes beyond merely political ties. These are deep spiritual, cultural and civilizational bonds, and it is only natural that we have a mutual interest in improving those ties, even though they are at a very high level. We have a relationship with the People's Republic of China which is, in addition to the sincere iron-clad friendship between our peoples and high political representatives, based on deep trust and mutual support. Full membership of the European Union is Serbia's strategic orientation that all our friends are aware of, but our country does not forget its friendships, but strengthens and promotes them instead, and approaches all with honesty and no ulterior motives. In this context, we do not seek any preferential treatment, but only the right to freely and independently make decisions about our future and relations with all who respect us.  

 Could Serbia pursue a different foreign policy than the one it is pursuing at the moment?

 It is always possible to have a different policy, just look at the foreign policy of Serbia ten, twenty or thirty years ago, examine the results at that time and you will realize how irretrievably expensive that policy turned out to be. Whether a policy is right, at either foreign or domestic level, is measured through its results and effect on the lives of citizens and the fate of the entire state.

Our foreign policy priorities are not being defined on a whim, but are instead the result of a serious and deep examination of our complex position and strategic thinking about ways to improve it. Today, Serbia has a better international reputation and credibility than two decades ago, and the main reason for that is that our results have shown how serious and responsible we are as a country. That kind of credibility is not achieved by trickery, but only by hard and well-thought-out work on oneself. And I need to emphasize on this occasion as well that the main inspiration for such an attitude towards politics, the state and its future comes from none other than President Aleksandar Vucic. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to see the level of appreciation and respect President Vucic enjoys beyond the borders of our country.

 When can we expect the vacant posts of Serbian ambassadors and consuls across the globe to be filled?

 That is one of the main tasks for 2021. This will be a year of reinvigoration and I believe also rejuvenation of Serbian diplomacy. Our country, given its size, has a fairly extensive diplomatic network, which provides it with great opportunities for deepening political and economic relations with countries in all parts of the world. But we need more fresh and energetic staff, people who will be the most honourable representatives of a modern and dynamic Serbia. There are such people in Serbia, and we do need a serious rejuvenation, in order to avoid wide generation gaps in our personnel, and to lay the foundations of a modern career diplomacy.

 How would you describe your relationship with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic?

 President Vucic and I are, in addition to having close and friendly relations, by virtue of the work we do and our constitutional competencies, the closest collaborators in the realization of Serbia's foreign policy goals. This allows me to talk to him often, and on many occasions learn a lot of new and important things. President Vucic is a man who inspires people around him with his strategic and visionary approach to politics, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to be part of his closest team of associates over the years, and to have had him as a kind of political mentor. In any case, his vision of Serbia as a modern, progressive and prosperous state, which independently and on its own will decides on its destiny, is my wish as well and key motivation for political engagement. For only such Serbia is a country that its own citizens, as well as Serbs beyond our borders, can confidently rely on, while also being an inspiration to the entire region.

 Source: Politika


Open Call for the Co-Financing of Projects for the Translation of Representative Works of Serbian Literature into Foreign Languages in 2021

The Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia has announced a competition for co-financing projects in the field of translation of representative works of Serbian literature abroad in 2021, which will be open from January 19 to March 9, 2021. The text of the competition and the accompanying application forms can be found at the following link: https://www.kultura.gov.rs/konkurs/30/600690372a8d5

 

 


President Vucic: Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of growth

 

 Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic pointed out that Serbia is the first in Europe in terms of economic growth, which will be officially confirmed at the end of March, and that this was possible owing to the reform measures taken since 2014 and the rapid opening of the country after the first wave of corona virus.

 The President pointed out that Serbia had a growth of 5.2 percent in the first quarter, while the Eurozone was at minus 3.2 percent, in the second quarter Serbia was at minus 6.3 percent, while the Eurozone was at minus 14.7 percent, and in the third quarter, when the Eurozone was at minus 4.3 percent, Serbia's figure was only minus 1.4 percent.

Vucic stated that Montenegro, for example, recorded as much as 26 percent minus in the third quarter.

 Furthermore, the President emphasized that hospitals were built and renovated in our country, and that two hospitals were built from the ground up in just four months.

 He said that the state made significant efforts to procure respirators, masks, gloves, protective suits, medicines, everything that was needed, and pointed out that work was being done on 10 general hospitals throughout Serbia, adding that all these were major achievements that were only possible owing to the success of the 2014 reforms, the enactment of the Labor Law, which yielded excellent results, and also through fiscal consolidation measures.

 "These are unprecedented results for Serbia. Was Serbia ever before the first in Europe in terms of growth rate? We will get the results on 31 March that will confirm that Serbia is number one in Europe. All that was possible thanks to people who believed in difficult changes", Vucic said.

 According to the President, this year, as many as six highways will be built in Serbia at the same time, and in this regard, he noted that Bulgaria has announced that the highway from our border to Sofia will be completed by the end of the year, after which it will be possible to use motorway to travel to Istanbul, which is very important to ensure that our country is on a transport route.

 President Vucic emphasized that in 2020, the so-called year of corona, our country had a net inflow of foreign direct investment amounting to EUR 2.9 billion net, and three billion gross, which means that many foreign companies such as Toyota Tires, Boysen, ZTF and Brose have invested in Serbia even in this year of crisis.

 The President said that Serbia has the highest average wages in the region, amounting to 511 or 512 euros, and that in February, due to the January increase, the average wage will be 535 or 536 euros, and that only in Belgrade in the last seven years the average wage increased by 180 euros or 40 percent.

 That President said that Serbia was fourth in the region in terms of salaries before, and that today we are officially the first, and that the difference in relation to other countries will only increase faster. He also pointed out that the employment rate is growing in Serbia as well as that our public debt increased less than in most European countries. This is illustrated by the data that in Italy the public debt surged to 156 percent, in Germany to 87 percent, in France to 114 percent, in Croatia to 88 percent, while in Serbia it is at 57 percent.

 The Serbian President announced that by Sretenje, 15 February, an additional package of assistance to the economy will be earmarked, and as he explained, it will be a new capital injection for companies, the trade, entrepreneurs, small, medium and large enterprises which, as he said, concerns 1,052,000 people within that system.

 Vucic specified that it will most likely be help in the form of two or three payments amounting to half a minimum wage each, and that there will also be sectoral aid for tourism, hotel owners, travel agencies, guides, for bus carriers, through another half minimum wage payment.

 The President added that efforts will be made to extend the guarantee schemes as well, which proved to be excellent, amounting to 1.5 billion, and this time, through the same system, two more portions amounting to 500 million each could be provided.

 Vucic said that the first agreements with DFC worth 300 to 400 million dollars are expected in seven days.

 He also stated that the state will endeavour to help pensioners further, in addition to increasing pensions by 5.9 percent in January, which will be reflected in their first checks in February, and added that pensioners should by March receive symbolic aid in the form of packages with vitamin C, D and zinc, which, as the President said, are small things, but they reflect the state's care and efforts made to protect health.

 The President announced that negotiations on the procurement of the Chinese vaccine would be completed in the next seven to eight days, after the first quantities of the Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines have arrived in Serbia, and pointed out that the Chinese vaccine was of exceptional quality, but probably the most expensive, which is why he wrote to the Chinese President and asked for a discount for our country.

Vucic thanked the Americans for deciding to sell the vaccine to our country and noted that no one in the region other than Serbia has received it, except for the small quantity that Albania got.

 He pointed out that our state relied on itself and its own capacities, and that our state leadership anticipated that vaccines within the European COVAX plan would arrive late.

 The President rejected the claims about bad results of Serbia in the fight against the corona virus and stated that our country has recorded the lowest corona virus mortality rate in the region.

 He presented statistical information indicating that Slovenia had 144 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, North Macedonia 126, Bosnia and Herzegovina 123, Bulgaria 115, Montenegro 115, Hungary 110, Croatia 107, Romania 85, and Serbia 51.

 "The mortality rate in the region is as follows: Bulgaria 3.9, Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.7, Hungary 3.11, North Macedonia 3.03, Romania 2.48. Slovenia 2.15, Croatia 1.99, Montenegro 1.4, and Serbia 1.0. This can be seen in the graphs and is no fabrication", the President stressed.

 He said that the state will fight for vaccines, and that only Serbia, in the Western Balkans, received significant quantities of vaccines, other than a smaller quantity that Albania received, and added that in one day since the registration for vaccination opened, as many as 63,000 persons have registered.

 President Vucic expressed his belief that the year ahead will be better than the previous one as well as that the corona virus will be defeated through vaccination of citizens.

 Belgrade,

12 January 2021


A telegram of condolences to the President of the Republic of Indonesia on the occasion of the plane crash in the Java Sea, January 9, 2021

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic sent a telegram of condolences to the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo following the passenger airplane crashing into the Java Sea. The condolence message reads as follows:

 "It is with great sadness that I received the news about the crash of the passenger plane into the Java Sea which claimed dozens of lives.

On behalf of the people of Serbia and on my own behalf, I extend the expressions of deepest condolences to the Indonesian Government and people, and to the families who lost their loved ones", reads the telegram from President Vucic.

Belgrade, 9 January 2021

 


Every Serb in the diaspora is potentially a lobbyist (extract from the Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selakovic)

 

 Our compatriots living abroad are one of the great potentials that the state has not recognized in the right way so far, which is why a different approach is needed to the issue of how to strengthen our diaspora and use the good will of people who are potential lobbyists for the interests of Serbia and the Serbian people, Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said.

 "When it comes to Serbs in the diaspora, and especially in the region, this issue has been a kind of an unattended crop which requires a lot of work, and even when a lot is done at once this is not apparent immediately ", Minister Selakovic stated in an interview with Tanjug.

 He emphasized that the appointment of the Director of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region for the first time after almost seven years since this body was formed within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows that it is one of the priorities of the Ministry he is at the helm of.

 Selaković notes that intensive efforts have been long underway on forming a plan to make the diaspora more visible both outside the borders of Serbia and in the mother country itself.

 "Every person in the diaspora is a potential lobbyist for the interests of our country and people, and we need to find the right way to use that", he said.

 That much can be done in that regar Selakovic illustrates with the fact that only in Switzerland, in 24 cities, there are Serbian cultural and artistic associations which amounts to more than 3,000 young people who get together in order to preserve our tradition, culture, the Serbian language and history.

 "If they were able to set up such associations in 24 cities, it speaks volumes about the enthusiasm of these people. There is so much enthusiasm, energy and love in these people. We need to explore ways to help them and use their good will and potential", the Minister points out.

 He also cites the example of an emigrant family in Canada, the Varaklic family from southwestern Serbia, who sends Christmas packages for children in the Raska region every year. He adds that they have so far donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-governmental organizations for those needs alone, but he says that we do not see that here.

 "The state does not recognize this, and these are people who gained success as entrepreneurs working in a distant country, who can be serious lobbyists for Serbia, for Serbian interests, someone who represents us in the best possible way", Minister Selakovic said.

 Minister Selakovic also pointed out that Arnaud Gouillon has been appointed as head of the Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region and described him as a man of extraordinary energy, great love for the Serbian people, which he showed in his engagement towards Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, where they were seriously endangered.

 "By doing so, he showed and set an example to many of our compatriots of what an individual can do. And when one such individual focuses energy, enthusiasm and love for people, on work done within the state administration system, I think that the preconditions have been created for such activities to yield good results", Minister Selakovic said.

 Source: Tanjug

 


INTERVIEW OF THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA, NIKOLA SELAKOVIC (NEWS AGENCY TANJUG)

2 January 2021

Minister Selakovic: New ambassadors will be appointed this year, but the goals remain the same

This year, Serbia could finally have Ambassadors and Consuls General appointed to about a third of the currently vacant positions in the country's diplomatic and consular missions in the world, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic is convinced that most of these positions will be filled, as he points out, by the best possible people.

"In the next year, I am convinced that the majority of these vacancies will be filled", Selakovic told Tanjug, emphasizing that the work is being done gradually, because the state wants to show that is has a quality staff who will represent Serbia's interests in the best possible way.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy reminded that in a number of diplomatic missions, the four-year mandate of Ambassadors and Consuls General has already expired, so that the procedure for appointing new ones will follow, after their recall.

One of the "vacant" spots is the post of the Serbian Ambassador to China.

"We are working hard to find the best possible solution for our new Ambassador to China and as we appointed one of the best people in the state system as Ambassador to the United States, who, I am sure, will perform his duties in the best possible way, I am convinced that it will be the same for the Ambassador in Beijing", Selakovic said.

The Minister, who took over the foreign policy sector in the Government a little over two months ago, points out that circumstances in the world, as well as Serbia's position in it, have changed, but that Serbia's foreign policy goals do not change: the country remains strategically committed to European integration and, while pursuing the EU path, it will also strengthen traditional friendships with Russia and China, as well as promote and strengthen new partner relations with the United States.

"Relations in the region, good-neighborly relations, regional cooperation are also important for Serbia, because this fits into the set of requirements on the European path. But, even regardless of the European path, it is always important who you live next to, who you live with, what your neighbors are like and what the relations are like in the neighborhood", Minister Selakovic said.

He also points out that the issue of Kosovo and Metohija is of inestimable importance, it being the main national and state issue for Serbia and the Serbian people.

"When I say that circumstances are changing, but not the goals - the EU and European integration was our goal seven years ago as well, but look at what our room for maneuver was then, in terms of economic aspects, and look at it today. Circumstances changed, and then you adjust your actions to these changed circumstances, to the best extent possible", Minister Selakovic said.

He reminds that foreign policy priorities for 2021 were also outlined by the President of the Republic, and that maintaining peace and stability in the region is the absolute priority.

"Only in a peaceful and stable region of the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe can Serbia thrive economically, culturally and scientifically - in every respect. Peace and stability in the region  are “sine qua non” without which there is no development and progress. Serbia has acted, is acting and will act as a factor that stabilizes the entire region and maintains peace in the region, showing that it is the region that benefits everyone the most", Minister Selakovic said.

Relations in the region have always been complex, and the region, Minister Selakovic noted, is to our great regret, burdened with issues that we cannot have a bearing on, and which concern the past.

Serbia's approach is to seek room to influence what is happening today and what will happen in the future.

In this context, he states that the so-called "mini-Schengen" initiative for market unification of the region, which originated from Aleksandar Vucic and was met with a positive response from the Prime Ministers of Albania and North Macedonia, is one of the opportunities to do much more for the region.

"To show how much more we can do if we act together and if we seek our common denominators, and not what separates and divides us ", Selakovic points out.

When it comes to relations with the United States, Selakovic said that one should not expect the great powers to change their positions the way we would like, want or imagine, but that it is important that the Ambassador in Washington, Marko Djuric, also emphasized that his task, among other things, will be to make efforts to change the climate in bilateral relations with the United States - the most important country in the world, as our lacking communication with them in the past seriously affected the position of the Serbian people and Serbia.

"I am convinced that Djuric will work seriously on that, together with President Vucic, Prime Minister Brnabic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and contribute to a large extent to changing that climate", Minister Selakovic said.

He points out that it is extremely important for Serbia to promote its partner relations with the United States to a higher level.

"This is a country with which we cooperate closely in many areas and a country with which we must strive, and not give up in doing so, to find what we have in common, our common ground and good examples of our cooperation in the past, and to create space for such cooperation in the future as well", Minister Selakovic concluded.

 

Source: Tanjug


Address by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic on the Occasion of the Upcoming New 2021 (Announcement)

 

29 December 2020

President Vucic: Serbia to remain on the course of a winning policy of stability

 Preservation of peace, taking care of the health and better living standard are key for Serbia in 2021, underlined President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic, convinced that even though the completion of this ambitious and by no means easy task will be anything but straightforward, best results can be achieved by working in concert with the Government, while ensuring security and a future of certainty for the citizens.

 The President said that Serbia has set for itself great and ambitious goals for the next year, notwithstanding the complex international and regional circumstances, and that it will endeavour to fully preserve peace and stability in the region and the country, while safeguarding the vital national and state interests.

 "Serbia will remain on the course of a winning policy - the policy of stability", President Vucic said and stressed that our country remains on the European integration path and that it will carefully foster its friendship with Russia and China, while building a friendship with the United States as well.

 According to the President, Serbia will continue to pursue a winning policy, with the country itself as a top priority, i.e., a policy that will enable Serbia to continue being one of the top three countries in Europe in terms of growth rate in the next two years.

 A precondition for that, the President noted, is to crack down on criminal groups, but also to ensure even bigger investments in the police and army forces.

 "Serbia is the country that recorded the highest growth in Europe in 2020", the President pointed out at the annual press conference and added that he expects to conclude a new arrangement with the IMF, as well as that Serbia, by the end of next year or early 2022, will raise its credit rating to an "investment" one, which will put our country's rating on par with the most developed EU countries.

 As the greatest success in 2020, Vucic noted that Serbia will end the year with the highest growth rate in Europe, which, as he said, is expected to be from minus 0.75 percent to minus one.

 "I am proud to be the President of a country that is the European champion in terms of GDP",  Vucic pointed out and added that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also pleased with Serbia's success.

 According to President Vucic, this result will encourage Serbia to accelerate its European path, while continuing friendships with those who did not turn their backs on Serbia when it was at its darkest hour, namely Russia and China.

 The President pointed out that the activities to attract foreign investors will continue, then that work will be done on investments in agriculture, primarily the food industry, new machinery, and digitalization of agriculture.

 President Vucic also emphasized that the goal is for salaries in the public sector to average between 560 and 570 euros by the end of the year. Only in Belgrade, the average salary would be around 700 euros.  

 President Vucic reminded that the salaries of health care workers will increase by five percent from January 1, while the salaries of others in the public sector will increase by 3.5 percent and an additional 1.5 percent as of April 1, while corporal, private first class and non-commissioned officer army ranks will get an increase of an additional 10 percent. He noted that the minimum wage will be increased by 6.6 percent and so will pensions from January 1, by 5.9 percent, with the plan that the average pension amounts to 270 euros by the end of 2021. The President especially pointed out investments in health care, reminding that two new covid hospitals have been opened and that the renovation and construction of health facilities continues throughout Serbia, while stressing that Serbia is by far the first in the region in terms of hospitalized persons per 100,000 citizens, which is why it has recorded a low mortality rate , and also that Serbia this year has been among the top three countries in the region according to the number of PCR tests performed.

 Speaking about tourism, the President said that, next year, efforts will be made on the development of the Danube basin region, from Apatin to Kladovo, that the Ovcar-Kablar Gorge will be developed, as well as our mountain centers.

 Discussing the field of culture and information, President Vucic said that the implementation of the media strategy and the completion of the reconstruction of the National Theater in Subotica are important for next year, and he announced investments in museums, especially emphasizing the relocation of the History Museum to the train station building. He also stated that the floor heating in the Church of Saint Sava will be completed next year.

 He pointed out that the state will continue to take care of our citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, that no one can forbid Serbia to help its people, and that Serbia will not give up on helping our people.

 As he emphasized, Serbia is ready to send medicines and vaccines to the Albanian population as well, and pointed out that in the upcoming period our country will pursue a policy of peace in the region and will endeavour to cooperate with Zagreb, Sarajevo, Podgorica and others.

 

 


Serbian Prime Minister the first PM in Europe to receive a Covid-19 vaccine

Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabic received today the first vaccine against the coronavirus made by Pfizer company, at the Torlak Institute of Virology, Vaccines and Sera.

 Brnabic, who is the first European Prime Minister to receive the vaccine, pointed out that this day may be the first since 6 March that we have a reason for a smile on our faces as it marks the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic in Serbia, but also in Europe and the world.

 As Prime Minister and as someone who leads the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team, I felt obliged to be the first to receive the vaccine, to show that we believe in it, as well as in our institutions - the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia and experts who worked round the clock to test the vaccine, she said.

 Underlining that it was an honour to do this for her country and be the first to pave the way for all citizens, the Prime Minister said that she agreed with President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic that the two of them receive different vaccines, so he will most likely receive the next one that arrives, most probably the one produced by China.

 At the moment we have the Pfizer-BioNTech consortium vaccine, and the vaccines from the Chinese Sinopharm are expected in the near future, as well as certain quantities of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

 She expressed her belief that at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of next year we will have the vaccine of the company AstraZeneca, and after that the vaccine manufactured by Moderna.

 As we promised, all vaccines licensed in their countries and approved by relevant international agencies will be available to our citizens, and of course they will be tested by all of our agencies and institutes as well, the Prime Minister pointed out.

 She said that prior to the vaccination of health care workers, Minister of Health Zlatibor Loncar will also receive a vaccine shot as we endeavour to serve as an example and show how confident we are in the vaccines and institutions.

 Brnabic pointed out that Serbia, not counting Great Britain, is the first country in Europe to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and the third to start a mass immunization and campaign for giving the vaccine - after Great Britain and Switzerland.

 We achieved something very important and we will not stop even for a moment until the immunization of the population is completed, the Prime Minister said.

 She specified that our country will receive another 16,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in January, as well as that together with other vaccines we will have a total of one million doses in January, and a total of approximately two million doses during the first quarter of next year.

 There is a dynamic on which Pfizer delivers vaccines and it varies depending on the production, and this is the case with deliveries to both Serbia and all other countries worldwide. We expected to receive 10,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech in December, however 4,807 doses arrived, the Prime Minister explained.

 Serbia demonstrated that it is able to fight and succeed if we all work as a team, Brnabic said and called on all not to see the beginning of vaccination as the end of the fight already, but to continue to apply all measures instead.

 This is to be certain and to be able to help our health care workers, and once the immunity is acquired we will be able to slowly start taking off the masks in 2021, but until then we should not see this as a victory but as the beginning of the end, the Prime Minister concluded.

 After the Prime Minister, vaccine shots were also administered to the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs and a member of the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team Darija Kisic Tepavcevic and to Predrag Kon who is also on the COVID-19 Crisis Response Team.

 Furthermore, vaccine shots were also given to Head of the MMA Department for the Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infections prof. Dr. Vesna Suljagic and academician Predrag Pesko, professor of Belgrade and Heidelberg universities and full member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

 The first quantities of the vaccine arrived in Serbia on 22 December, and today they will be administered to patrons of nursing homes in Belgrade and Novi Sad.

 Serbia is the first country in the region to receive a shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

 In addition to procuring the vaccine among the first countries in the world, even before EU countries, Serbia is one of the rare countries that managed to build and open two covid hospitals in record time. The hospitals with 930 beds in Batajnica and 500 beds in Krusevac are a major contribution to the expansion of capacities and strengthening the health care system in the fight against coronavirus and, as President Vucic said, represent a monument of the future, that will talk about the accomplishments the state made in a short time.

 Also, we recall that investments in health infrastructure have been large in Serbia, and since 2016, 80 health centers and clinics have been renovated, and works are underway on six large health centers. This way more than EUR 200 million was invested in the reconstruction, construction and equipping of hospitals and more than 300 million in the renovation of clinics and specialized hospitals, and many have already been completed, such as the University Children's Hospital Tiršova, and KBC Zemun nad KBC "Dragiša Mišović" hospitals.

 The absolute priority of the Serbian Government is the successful completion of health infrastructure projects that are underway, but great attention is also paid to health workers, whose salaries have, by 2020, been increased by 56.8% for specialist doctors, and 66.9% for nurses, while significant funding is invested in the education of health professionals, as well as in equipment and working conditions.

 Like other countries, Serbia has faced great challenges this year, most notably health challenges, and all factors in the state were focused on preventing the spread of the virus and safeguarding the lives and health of citizens. Serbia has faced these challenges better than many wealthier and more developed countries in Europe and the world.

 

Belgrade,

24 December 2020

 


Mandatory PCR test for foreigners entering Serbia as of 20 December 2020

Starts from 20 December 2020 it is mandatory for foreign citizens to have a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours to enter Republic of Serbia.

Citizens of Serbia, can enter Serbia, however, they will be required to stay in home isolation for 10 days if they do not have a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours. The quarantine can be interrupted once they provide a negative PCR test.

https://www.srbija.gov.rs/vest/en/164948/mandatory-pcr-test-for-foreigners-entering-serbia-as-of-20-december.php

 

 


STATEMENT BY THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA ON THE OCCASION OF 10 DECEMBER, THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

 

On the occasion of 10 December, the international Human Rights Day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia reaffirms its commitment to the principles and values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on this day in 1948.

 

The principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been the foundation for the development of international law in this field, and of the international system for the promotion and protection of human rights, as a unique achievement of modern civilization. It is incumbent upon us today to safeguard and strengthen the international system ensuring respect for human rights, to develop human rights standards, control the implementation of commitments, and also to continue cooperating with international and regional institutions on the protection of human rights.

 

Serbia is fully committed to the universal values of human rights and implementing in practice the international legal instruments relating to human rights. Our continued cooperation with the Human Rights Council mechanisms in the framework of the United Nations, with the Council of Europe and the mechanisms of the OSCE human dimension, represents an important segment of activities carried out by all state authorities, thus demonstrating our consistent commitment to the implementation of international human rights standards.

 

The international Human Rights Day is an opportunity to point out once again that Serb and other non-Albanian population is being deprived of its rights in Kosovo and Metohija and to call again on the international community to ensure the respect for the guaranteed international human rights norms and contribute to creating conditions for the return of internally displaced persons and giving them back their usurped property.   


IMPORTANT NOTICE

Following the measures envisaged by the declaration of the State of Emergency in Jakarta, please be informed that the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia will continue to work exclusively online, and all other forms of communication are suspended. Also, regular services are suspended during the state of emergency except for urgent matters.  


Participation of representatives of the Archives of Yugoslavia and the Embassy of Serbia in Jakarta at the Round Table Conference on the Archival Material of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in collaboration with the National Archives of Indonesia, December 8-12, 2019. in Jakarta

Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia, phd Milan Terzic, Archival Advisor Ranka Radjenovic and Ambassador of Serbia to Indonesia, Slobodan Marinkovic participatedin in the Round Table Conference on the Archival Material of the Non -Aligned Movement, organized by the National Archives of Indonesia in Jakarta, from 8 to 12 December 2019.


Participation of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia at the 52nd WIC Annual Charity Bazaar in Jakarta, 11 - 12 December 2019

 


CULTURAL COOPERATION BETWEEN INDONESIA AND SERBIA

Library "Fadli Zon" from Indonesia and Association for Culture, Art and International Cooperation "Adligat" from Serbia, signed a Memorandum on Cooperation in Jakarta on 12 March 2018, in the presence of representatives of the Serbian Embassy and Indonesian media.

On behalf of the library, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Vice-President and Deputy Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Fadli Zon, and on behalf of "Adligat" it was signed by its President Viktor Lazic.

"Adligat" has set up a special collection of books and objects in connection with Indonesia in Belgrade, which already has approximately 1,000 publications.
Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia Slobodan Marinkovic said that he supported all initiatives that may bring the two countries together since it was individuals that by their personal engagement could do a lot to contribute to the development of cultural, bilateral and economic relations.

Fadli Zon expressed gratitude for the promotion of Indonesia in Serbia and South-East Europe and announced readiness to donate books and objects to the "Adligat" collection in Belgrade. The first donation was already presented at the MOU signing ceremony.


Harp in the Mountain

Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Jakarta together with H.E. Fadli Zon, Deputy Speaker of the Indonesian People's Representative Council, organized concert of Serbian artist Irina Pejoska “Harp in the Mountain” on January 28, 2018 at Sundanese Cultural Village Paseban. Concert was followed by Sundanese traditional music and performance of Indonesian violinist Fakhri. Concert was attended by diplomatic representatives, members of Parliament, artists and members of Serbian diaspora in Indonesia. 


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of the Philippines

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of the Philippines H.E. Rodrigo Duterte on January 17, 2018.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Kingdom of Thailand

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the His Majesty Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, King of Thailand, on November 26, 2017.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Malaysia

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong XV Sultan Muhammad V, King of Malaysia, on November 6, 2017.


Visa exemption for the citizens of Indonesia

Government of the Republic of Serbia, at it's session held on October 6, 2017, adopted Decision regarding visa exemption for the citizens of the Republic of Indonesia holding national passports so that they may, from October 14, 2017, enter, transit and stay in the territory of the Republic of Serbia up to 30 days in the period of one year without visa.

Citizens of the Republic of Indonesia, holders of the ordinary passports who wish to stay in the territory of the Republic of Serbia longer than 30 days or to get educated, live, work, perform media activity or other form of activity, or if they wish to enter to the Republic of Serbia and they have already stayed in Serbia 30 days in the period of one year, are obliged to apply for visa before entering Republic of Serbia.


Visit of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia I. Dacic to Vietnam

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic paid a official visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, from September 7-11, 2017 where he had talks with Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.

In the meeting with Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc both sides noted that the comprehensive bilateral relations between the two peoples and states were developing to mutual satisfaction.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister underlined that the visit by Minister Dacic opened a new chapter in the promotion of political and economic ties between Serbia and Vietnam.

He emphasized in particular both countries' potential for increasing the trade between them, as well as for technological development and modernization of production capacities.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy and the Prime Minister of Vietnam agreed on and pointed out the importance of exchanging economic delegations, presenting the two countries' potential at trade fairs, and also of holding business forums as a foundation for further development of economic ties between Serbia and Vietnam.

Prime Minister of Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, also affirmed the strong support of Vietnam to the territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia's as well as to respect for the principles of international law.

The two officials also agreed on the importance of mutual support in international organizations.

In an extensive cordial and friendly conversation with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, the two Ministers agreed on the upcoming activities aimed at the expansion of bilateral cooperation and mutual support at the international level.

Ministers Pham Binh Minh and Ivica Dacic recalled the decades-long friendship and cooperation between the two peoples and countries, that are also marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy informed his collocutor in detail about the current political situation in the Republic of Serbia, the course of reforms, and on the foreign policy priorities of the Republic of Serbia.

The officials jointly recognized the need to promote the very good and friendly relations between the two states through the strengthening of economic cooperation and an intensified exchange of high- and top-level visits. It was also agreed to organize an economic forum with the aim of exploring economic and investment potentials of the two countries, while Minister Dacic invited his host to visit Serbia as soon as possible.


Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports of Serbia and Indonesia

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service Passports, signed in Jakarta on April 27, 2016. came into force on September 2, 2017. From that date holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports may enter, transit, and stay in the territory of the other side up to 90 days without visa.   


Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports of Serbia and Thailand

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service Passports, signed in Belgrade on December 4, 2015. came into force on September 8, 2017. From that date holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports may enter, transit, and stay in the territory of the other side up to 90 days without visa.   


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to ASEAN

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his Letter of Credence to the Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Le Luong Minh on January 10, 2017.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Singapore

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Tony Tan Keng Yam on December 22, 2016.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Kingdom of Cambodia

In the morning of 12th December 2016, at the Throne Hall, His Majesty King NORODOM SIHAMONI has received the credentials of H.E. Mr. Slobodan Marinkovic, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to the Kingdom of Cambodia.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Brunei Darussalam

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan dan Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, on November 29, 2016.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam H.E. Tran Dai Quang, on November 9, 2016.


Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Indonesia

Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Indonesia Slobodan Marinkovic presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo on May 31 2016.


State visit of the President of the Republic of Serbia T. Nikolic to the Republic of Indonesia

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and First Lady Dragica Nikolic paid a State visit to the Republic of Indonesia from April 26-29th 2016. This was the first visit of the President of Serbia to Indonesia after 58 years. During his stay in Indonesia President Nikolic met with the President of the Republic of Indonesia J. Widodo, as well as with the President of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Indonesia A. Komarudin. The President visited Salim group and the National Archives of Indonesia, where exhibition of documents on relations between Serbia and Indonesia was placed and where he had a meeting with Serbian diaspora. During the visit, Agreement on the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports and the Program of cooperation in the field of education were signed. The two Presidents issued a Joint statement in which they highlighted the most important bilateral and international issues.


Bilateral political consultations

The delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, headed by its Director in charge of Central and Eastern Europe Witjaksono Adji, visited Serbia from 7-8 April 2016. The Indonesian delegation had political consultations with the delegation of the Republic of Serbia, headed by Director of the Department for Asia, Australia and the Pacific Aleksandar Jankovic. These bilateral political consultations were third consultations conducted so far, focusing on a large number of topics of interest for the two countries, particularly those concerning the intensification of political dialogue, development of economic cooperation and expansion of cooperation in other areas. This time again, a high level of mutual understanding and concurrence of views was achieved between the delegations, which affirmed their mutual support of major issues of national importance.

The Indonesian delegation was received in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Ambassador Goran Aleksic, Assistant Minister for Bilateral Cooperation. The delegation further met with Ambassador Ivan Mrkic, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Serbia, and had a meeting in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well. On the second day of their visit to Serbia, the delegation visited two Indonesian investment projects – the Indo Adria Factory in Indjija and the mushroom farm in Kovin.


Exemption of visa to enter Indonesia

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia has established List of 169 countries, including Serbia, exempted from requirement to obtain a visa to enter Indonesia, through the Presidential Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia of March 10, 2016.

Visa free facility can be used for tourism, family visit, art and cultural, government duty, delivering a speech or attending a seminar, international exhibition, meeting with head office, or representative office in Indonesia, or transit.

The visa free facility could not be used for working/posting or journalist visit.
 


Third Serbia-Indonesia Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue

Third Serbia-Indonesia Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue was held in Belgrade, in period November 08-12, 2015. First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic received on November 8th, 2015 Indonesian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdurrahman M. Fachir. During the meeting both sides shared the assessment that the relations between Serbia and Indonesia were traditionally friendly and characterised by no open issues.

more http://mfa.rs/en/press-service/statements/14833-traditionally-friendly-relations-between-serbia-and-indonesia


Visa regime

At its meeting of 30 October 2014, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on visa free entry to the Republic of Serbia for holders of foreign passports having a valid Schengen, UK and other Member States' visa, or visa of the United States of America, and for holders of foreign passports having residence permit in the countries of the Schengen area, EU or the United States of America. Foreign nationals may, without prior visa application, enter, transit or stay in the Republic of Serbia up to 90 days during a six-month period, but not exceeding the expiring date of the said visas or residence permits (same rules apply for the Republic of Montenegro with maximum stay up to 30 days during a six-month period).
 


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Visit of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia I. Dacic to Vietnam
Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports of Serbia and Indonesia
Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official/Service passports of Serbia and Thailand
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to ASEAN
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Singapore
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Kingdom of Cambodia
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to Brunei Darussalam
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Presentation of credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the Republic of Indonesia
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Bilateral political consultations
Exemption of visa to enter Indonesia
Third Serbia-Indonesia Bilateral Interfaith Dialogue
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