Djuric in New York: We will do everything to achieve the best possible result for Serbia

20. May 2024.
Serbian Foreign Minister Marko Djuric emphasized that the delegation, led by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, is making every effort in New York to achieve the best possible outcome for Serbia at the UN General Assembly session regarding the resolution on the Srebrenica genocide.

In a statement to the press, Djuric said that a significant and intense struggle is ongoing in New York, and while he was speaking, President Vucic was meeting with diplomats, reviewing state by state, putting in additional efforts, and assessing what can be done in the remaining slightly more than 48 hours until the session.

"It is certain that this will be a strong diplomatic activity, a serious struggle. The pressure we are facing, not only us but also the countries that are against the resolution, is enormous. Alongside our lobbying efforts, countries much stronger than Serbia are exerting pressure. Those opposing the resolution are facing significant pressure in various aspects and situations," he emphasized.

He stated that all the credibility that the state has built over decades, through the Non-Aligned Movement, good cooperation, and a policy of principled stances that have become a hallmark, is being invested in this struggle.
"We expect a tough fight until the last moment. I have no doubt that the delegation led by the president will do absolutely everything, investing all efforts to achieve the best possible result for Serbia," Djuric stressed.

He also mentioned that a month ago, it seemed at the United Nations that the resolution was a "done deal," as no one expected that anyone would dare to oppose something that was intended as a political condemnation of Serbia and the creation of a moral stigma that would affect both current and future generations.

"To label the Serbs, alongside the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda, where millions were killed, as indirectly responsible and morally guilty before the conscience of humanity," added the Serbian Foreign Minister.
Serbia, he said, opposed this.

"We opposed this kind of injustice, the creation of an artificial hierarchy among victims, in which Serbian and other victims would not be appropriately recognized, and Serbia would be labeled," Djuric pointed out.

He believes that the co-sponsors of the resolution did not expect or desire a scenario where Serbia actively opposes, and he is convinced that this will bear certain fruit.
"I don't want to raise expectations excessively, but it's quite certain that things are not progressing and will not progress in the way the authors of these resolutions envisioned," Djuric stated.

He reiterated that all states are facing immense pressures from some of the most developed Western countries, which significantly complicates the discussions.
Nevertheless, he emphasized that Serbia's argumentation is solid.

"In fighting for our position, we are fighting for regional stability, for good interpersonal relations between peoples in our region, against divisions, against conflicts, but also against hierarchies among victims," Djuric underscored.

When asked if Serbia will have more friends or partners in the world after the vote, he responded that there will certainly be many more who will respect Serbia for not allowing itself to be trampled on and for raising its voice to protect its interests.

He added that Serbia should continue to build a network of friendships.

"We are in the process of creating a network of friends and those who understand Serbia's difficult position, not only on this challenging topic but on many other issues," Djuric said.
He noted that the Serbian delegation will have dozens of meetings tomorrow, and there will be activities on Wednesday that he could not detail at this time.

"But, certainly, until the last moment, we expect an intensive series of actions from our side, aimed at stopping the opponents of our position from imposing this shameful label on Serbia," Djuric said.

On the side of the Serbian delegation, he said, is a genuine and sincere desire to protect the country and its people from this stigma in the long term.

"Is it pleasant to oppose stronger powers on such a sensitive topic? No. Is it politically profitable in that part of the international community? Certainly not. But do we want and intend to protect Serbia? Yes, at any cost, and we will do that," the minister conveyed.

He also noted that, regardless of the voting result, it will be recorded that a significant part of humanity did not support the resolution.

"Neither Asian, African, nor Latin American countries, nor many Islamic countries supported this, because it is not a matter of conflict between us and the Bosniaks, nor a matter of interethnic relations. Someone wants to stir up old wounds, to sow discord between neighbors, but we will not allow them to stigmatize us, destabilize the region, or turn Serbia into a scapegoat," Djuric said.

Regarding the tragedy involving Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and various media speculations about the causes, Djuric said that Serbia's state leadership expressed condolences and would not delve into speculations.

"I have no information, I won't pretend to know something I am not informed about. What I do know is that we are grateful to Iran for not recognizing Kosovo's independence," Djuric said.

He expressed hope that Iran will consider Serbia's interests and positions regarding the Srebrenica resolution.

In that context, he mentioned that he had spoken with the now-late Iranian Foreign Minister just three days ago.

"It is a great tragedy, the state leadership has expressed condolences, and we will sign the Book of Condolences here, but I would not speculate about what happened," Djuric said.
When asked about the situation regarding China and Taiwan, the Serbian Foreign Minister stated that Serbia has only one policy on the matter.

"For us, the territorial integrity and sovereignty of our friendly and brotherly China are inviolable. The policy of 'One China.' We recognize China within its full borders, and it is an internal matter for China how it resolves this and other internal issues," Djuric concluded.