Sofia, August 21, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Clive Leviev Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
The Bulgarian embassy in Belgrade has asked the Serbian foreign ministry for clarification regarding an interview given by Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dačić to Belgrade’s Danas newspaper, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia said.
Serbian website b92 reported on August 19 that Dačić said that Serbia will not build a wall along the border with Macedonia to stem the tide of migrants crossing into the country. Dačić said was reporting as saying that the flow of migrants from the Middle East on their way to Hungary will “redirect to Croatia and Bulgaria.”
“I don’t believe that Serbia will make a decision to, at some moment, like Hungary (on the border with Serbia) build a wall on the border with Macedonia in order to prevent the entry of refugees and migrants to our country,” he told the paper.
Asked “how Serbia will behave and what measures it will take if the Hungarian wall leads to refugees and migrants, who are trying to reach the EU via Serbia, staying longer here,” Dačić said that this will “not occur,” as migrants “know where they can go and pass through in order to reach their desired destination”.
However, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry statement said that Serbia had said the matter concerns what it described as inaccuracies in the translation in the Bulgarian media of what Dačić said.
According to Serbia, Dačić said that because of Hungary’s wall, the refugees will be forced to themselves find other ways to reach the desired goal and this would probably redirect the traffic to Croatia and Bulgaria.
“I do not believe Serbia will follow Hungary’s example and build a wall on its Macedonian border at some point to stop the inflow of refugees and migrants, said,” Dačić said, quoted in English by the Serbian news agency, Tanjug.
Asked what Serbia will do and what measures it will undertake if, because of the wall at the Hungarian border refugees and migrants trying to reach EU member states via Serbia stay longer on Serbian territory, Dačić says that longer stay will not be reached.
“They will go via Croatia and Bulgaria,” he says. Dačić says that migrants know where they can go and where to cross in order to reach the desired ultimate goal. As a consequence, this means that Serbia will not have to build campsites for asylum seekers because their number is not expected to grow once the Hungarian wall is built, Dačić said.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said that the refugee pressure in the Balkan region creates risks for the stability of all countries. This requires stronger communication among the competent state institutions, along with joint efforts and co-operation.
Politicians in the region who make statements concerning other neighbouring countries should be especially careful about what they say and should take into account the level of responsibility called for by the crisis situation. The responsibility politicians have towards the public needs to be shared by the mass media as well, through their accuracy and professionalism, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.