Selaković opened the Consulate of Serbia in Ohrid

23. Jul 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selaković opened the Consulate of Serbia in Ohrid today, headed by the Honorary Consul.

Minister Selaković said that the institute of honorary consul has a long-standing and rich tradition and is of undoubted importance in the diplomatic and consular relations, pointing out that this was the 86th Honorary Consulate of Serbia abroad.

“I am convinced that the opening of the Consulate in Ohrid, headed by Honorary Consul Mihajlo Filev and covering the territory of the Municipalities of Ohrid, Struga, Debar, Galičica, Debarca, and Centar Župa, will provide an additional boost to the improvement of a comprehensive cooperation between Serbia and North Macedonia”, Minister Selaković emphasised.

As Minister Selaković underlined, this was not only good bilateral cooperation at the political level but also cooperation in the field of culture and tourism, as well as in the field of strengthening the economic ties and relations of the two countries.

Minister Selaković also said that he was convinced that Honorary Consul Filev would also give his contribution to the relations between the two countries, continuing the tradition of his ancestors, and that he would be more than successful in performing that function and give an additional impetus to the relations between the two nations and two friendly states, by setting an example.

"What we do today will be history one day, and we cannot influence history, but we do have an impact on what we do today, thus creating our future history. We will try to make that history infused with peace, stability tolerance, and friendly relations," said Minister Selaković.

He recalled that Serbia had had its Consulates in Skopje and Bitola, and that this was the first Consulate in Ohrid.

Minister Selaković stated that the bilateral relations of the two countries were traditionally good in many segments, being not only friendly but also fraternal, and that they were based on the common history and close ties of the two peoples as well as their joint orientation to the future.

“The cooperation with neighbouring countries, preservation of peace and stability in the region, striving towards the full EU membership are the priorities of Serbia's foreign policy... The common desire for cooperation and strengthening the bridges that connect us is also reflected in the historic Open Balkan initiative, where the three countries made a serious and concrete step forward in the direction of intensifying economic cooperation and improving the citizens` quality of life”, stated Minister Selaković.

Minister Selaković also echoed what President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić had said recently in Ohrid, that the greatest strength of this initiative was the fact that it had originated from the people of the Western Balkans who recognised the necessity of mutual cooperation and connection.

Minister Selaković also recalled some historical facts connecting the Serbs and the citizens of Ohrid, namely that the people of Ohrid had helped the Serbian army in the First World War, and that the scientist Mihajlo Pupin had donated a large bell to one of the churches in Ohrid.

Minister of Culture of North Macedonia Bisera Kostadinovska, who spoke on behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, welcomed the opening of the Consulate and pointed out that it was yet another confirmation of the improved relations between the two countries. She pointed out that Serbia and North Macedonia had excellent cooperation in the field of culture, and announced that a new agreement on cultural cooperation would be signed soon.

Honorary Consul Mihajlo Filev said that the opening of the Consulate was a feat that would lead to the improvement of relations between the two brotherly nations and that his greatest responsibility would be to work on that.

Mayor of Ohrid Municipality Kiril Pecakov emphasised the importance of opening an Honorary Consulate of a friendly country and highlighted the fact that Ohrid Municipality had already established friendly relations with Kragujevac and Inđija.

The representatives of the Government of North Macedonia, representatives of the Serbs in North Macedonia, the diplomatic corps, and distinguished representatives of the cultural and business community attended the formal opening of the Consulate of Serbia in Ohrid.

Minister Selaković: I am proud of friendship between Serbia and Northern Macedonia

Today, after opening the Consulate of Serbia in Ohrid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selaković stated  he was proud of friendship between our two countries, both as a representative of Serbia and as a Serb with many friends, godparents and associates from the Northern Macedonia.

Minister Selaković reminded of his previous speech delivered the night before in the Macedonian language, stressing that he knew how important it was that someone coming from another country addressed the people in the language of the host country.

"Thus I showed respect not only for my hosts but also for the Macedonian language and Macedonian culture that arose from the language. Caring for and appreciating the language as the foundation of culture, I came here not only to open our consulate but also show respect for our hosts," Minister Selaković concluded.

He reminded that the initiative of the Open Balkans was agreed on Ohrid, as was a recent summit dedicated to this initiative.

"Ohrid is the place of holding the Open Balkans summit, that maintains the trend of good relations and creates conditions for more profound cooperation in various fields, through the recognition of academic titles and degrees and through greater and closer cultural cooperation," Minister Selaković pointed.

Asked to comment on relationship of Bulgaria to Northern Macedonia, Minister Selaković said that his job as a minister of foreign affairs was to strengthen the good neighbour’s relation and that both Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia were the neighbours of Serbia.

"Serbia had opted for the trajectory of strengthening the communion, cooperation and economic ties as much as possible and will continue to do so. We mind our own business, we are doing our own job and let others do their job, "the Minister concluded.