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Selaković spoke with Željka Cvijanović

23. July 2021.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Nikola Selaković, met today in Belgrade with the President of the Republic of Srpska, Željka Cvijanović, with whom he discussed a number of topics of importance for special and parallel ties between Serbia and the RS.

According to Minister Selaković, special and parallel ties between Serbia and the RS are developing, and at this moment they are at a historical maximum, i.e. at the highest level since the agreement was concluded and since Serbia and the RS have existed and acted together.

"On the one hand, respecting the territorial integrity of B&H, Serbia strives to develop the best possible political, economic and any other relations with all its neighbors, but on the other hand, respecting and being guided by the Agreement on Special Parallel Relations between Serbia and the RS, Serbia does not forget its people and the RS as an entity established and confirmed by the Dayton Agreement", Selaković said after the meeting.

One of the topics, he added, was the functioning of the joint Serbian diaspora and activities in the field of preserving the Serbian national, cultural and religious identity.

Selaković informed his interlocutor about the plans for opening additional Serbian language schools for the diaspora, expressing the expectation that teachers from the RS will be included in that program.

He added that the joint celebration of the Serbian Unity, Freedom and National Flag Day, on 15 September, was also discussed at the meeting.

"We agreed that the Serbian diaspora should jointly celebrate our tricolor and 15 September as the day when Serbs from all over broke through the Thessaloniki front together", Selaković said.

After the meeting, President Cvijanović said that it was important to work on strengthening the institutional ties between Serbia and the RS, and that stable and strong Serbia is important for the citizens of the RS.

According to her, today's agreement on a common relationship with the diaspora is of great importance for preserving the national identity of Serbs outside Serbia and the RS.

Cvijanović thanked for the economic assistance of Serbia during the previous years, expressing the expectation that the joint infrastructure projects will continue to be realized in the interest of the citizens of Serbia and the RS.

The interlocutors, among other things, also referred to the latest decision of the outgoing high representative in B&H.

"Our position is very clear: the imposed decisions and attitudes, in this case the imposed laws, have not brought anything good to anyone and have not led to any prosperity. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs of a country that is absolutely committed to the promotion of peace and stability in the region, because without that there is no prosperity, I have exactly the same position regarding this imposed decision as I stated", said Selaković.

"I want to believe that stability can be preserved, but what will happen in the future is a big question", said the head of Serbian diplomacy.

Cvijanović assessed that today's, imposed decision of the high representative is inadequate, inappropriate for democracy and backward, and that it can take B&H back two or three decades.

"It is unacceptable that in the 21st century you have an unelected foreigner who imposes something on democratically elected institutions or individuals. I think that this is the beginning of a difficult era… My message to the citizens and institutions in the RS is that we know what we are doing, that we are strengthening the RS, our self-awareness and our ties with Serbia", said Cvijanović.

According to her, Valentin Inzko contributed to B&H becoming an additionally hostile environment to its citizens, additionally ill-disposed towards them.

"I believe that this is a step backwards that has shown all the hypocrisy of the international community embodied in the high representative", said Cvijanović, adding that many steps back have been taken since the essential reconciliation in B&H.

"Embassies react and say that this is a step towards reconciliation, but I must say that this is a big gap in relation to what should be normal functioning in a multinational community such as B&H", said Cvijanović.

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