Dacic: Good job done for the country in Jakarta

05. Sep 2023.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic stated today that a good job for the country had been done in Jakarta, where he signed the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia on behalf of the Serbian Government.

Today, Minister Dacic attended the official opening of the 43rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta, and reminded that ASEAN was an organization that existed for more than 50 years.

The Minister explained that by signing the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, Serbia did not become a member of ASEAN, because that organization gathers the countries of Southeast Asia, but that it joined their treaty on mutual cooperation.

"It is a territory with a population of over 600 million and a GDP worth thousands of billions of dollars that, as they themselves say, represents the epicentre of economic growth. That is important for our country because we now have an external trade volume of around 700 million dollars and we expect it to possibly exceed 1 billion dollars this year", Dacic told Serbian reporters in Jakarta.

He stated that Serbia, in that part of the world, had the best economic cooperation with Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, but that room was now opening up for even greater cooperation.

"We are the 52nd state or international organization to accede to the Treaty and it has nothing to do with our European integration – contrary to some malicious comments that this would be harmful in that regard. Like Serbia, the EU itself has acceded to the treaty and so have the US, Canada, China and Russia. For us, that is also important for the strengthening of bilateral relations with those countries", Dacic said.

He pointed out that the countries of Southeast Asia, members of ASEAN, were friendly countries, most of which did not recognize the independence of the so-called Kosovo, and that it was now important to strengthen bilateral cooperation with them.

"I had an opportunity to meet with colleagues from those countries", Dacic said.

When asked if he spoke with the representatives of the countries that recognized the so-called Kosovo, Dacic reminded that the so-called Kosovo was recognized by Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.

"I have spoken with representatives of Singapore and Brunei and I can say it is partly our fault because we were not present in this region at the time they were making their decisions about recognizing Kosovo, and their question was 'Where were you at the time?'", Dacic noted.

He emphasized that Serbia would speak with those countries in order to ensure that, despite their decisions, they respected Serbia's position and did not support Pristina's bids to join international organizations.

Minister Dacic said that it was important that Indonesia, which had a population of over 270 million, maintained its firm position on respect for international law.

Source/Photo: Tanjug