Selaković: Serbia is committed to strengthening OSCE capacities

12. Jul 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selaković met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and OSCE Chairman Zbigniew Rau today.

After the meeting Minister Selaković stated that Serbia was determined to further strengthen traditionally friendly relations with Poland, based on cooperation in many areas.

Referring to the fact that Minister Rau was currently also OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Selaković pointed out that at the meeting he reiterated Serbia's position that the OSCE was one of the most important security arrangements, especially considering the current geopolitical circumstances.

In that regard, the Minister stated that the OSCE was the only format in which dialogue on heated issues in the field of European security took place.

“I pointed out that Serbia was committed to strengthening the OSCE capacity, I especially emphasised the importance we attached to OSCE missions on the ground,” Selaković said.

Minister Selaković pointed to the specificity of the fact that two missions operated on the territory of Serbia, one based in Belgrade, the other in Priština.

“The Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs support the work of the Mission in Kosovo and Metohija, as the most visible status-neutral presence in Priština, whose work is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244,” said the Minister, adding that it was necessary for the Mission in Kosovo and Metohija to preserve its status neutral approach.

Selaković said that Serbia attached great importance to the activities of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo and Metohija, especially the activities aimed at the rights of non-Albanian communities, internally displaced persons and the issue of returnees, stating that compared to all post-conflict areas in the world, Kosovo and Metohija was the area with the lowest percentage of returnees, of about three percent.

As regards bilateral relations between Serbia and Poland, Selaković stated that he particularly discussed economic cooperation with Minister Rau, stressing that in the previous year it amounted to one billion and 693 million euros, and that Serbia's goal was to exceed two billion.

To that end, the Minister said he proposed to Minister Rau that a business forum be held which would further contribute to the strengthening of economic relations.

“I also thanked Minister Rau as one of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Visegrad Group who supported the Open Balkans initiative from the very beginning,” said Selaković.

Minister Selaković pointed out that during the meeting he reiterated Serbia's position on the issue of the war in Ukraine, its support for the basic principles of public international law – the inviolability of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all UN member states, and thus support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Selaković said that Serbia's positions in international organisations were also discussed, as well as Serbia's views, which include its view on not imposing sanctions on Russia, and underlined that in taking such decisions Serbia was guided solely by the protection of its vital national and state interests.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland said in a press statement that the OSCE appreciated Serbia's efforts to preserve stability and security and to continue strengthening its democratic institutions, stressing that Serbia was an active and trusted partner of the OSCE.

 “I am very glad that we share understanding of respect for fundamental values: democratisation, security cooperation, media freedom and the rule of law, as well as upgrading of human rights. The OSCE mission in Serbia is ready to continue helping the authorities of Serbia in all areas,” said Rau.

He stated that he also met with representatives of civil society, which, along with the media and the academic community, was key to the functioning of any democracy.

Speaking in the capacity of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rau expressed satisfaction with the increased dynamics in bilateral relations with Serbia, and announced opening of the Polish Cultural Institute and the Polish Trade Office in Belgrade this year. 

He concluded that Poland continued to support Serbia's European integration process and remained strongly committed to the partnership between the two countries.