“You had a name dispute, you did not have territorial differences with north Macedonia, which is easier,” Ivica Dacic said at the beginning of his speech at the 4th Economic Forum of Delphi, while congratulating the event organizers and stressing that he himself, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister, had warned the European Union that they are not active enough in finding solutions to the problems of the region.
“It was a matter of political will to resolve this problem,” he said, stressing that the deal would create better relations between the two countries, Greece and northern Macedonia, which, he said, would benefit him too, as he always had to be careful how he calls the countries.
Citing the sensitivity of the name and identity issues for Greeks, Ivica Dadic clarified that Serbia wants an agreement with Pristina.
He made an explicit reference to the past of Kosovo, which, he said, was once the first Serbian capital, and a region Serbs were expelled from by the Ottoman Empire.
As he stressed, the right of a national minority that wants to create its own state without the agreement of the state from which it wants to break off is problematic; he referred to the case of Catalonia and criticized the EU’s double standard, since it has not tolerated the autonomy of this region from Spain.
“For us, the name is not so important, we want a compromise in which each side gets its territory” he noted, adding that “”we must be conscious that this is the historical identity of the Serbian people.”
He argued that Serbia is trying to make some compromises, but at a time when Kosovo has decided, among other things, to build an army and to impose 100% taxes on Serbian products.
“We are ready but the Albanian side thinks that our compromise will be to recognize their unilateral act,” he said, adding that “let’s not be naive to believe that Kosovo and Albania will be two states. Albanians cannot be the only people of Europe with two states. Let us be realistic: they want a Great Albania. They can do that, but not with the Serbs. For us, the issue of territorial sovereignty is of the same importance as for you and the Cypriots.”/IBNA