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News 01 Dec 16

Serbian Minister Admits 'Mistake' Quitting Warsaw Summit

Ivica Dacic, Serbian foreign minister, said he ‘might have made a mistake’ when he walked out of a joint meeting of Visegrad Group and Western Balkan countries in Warsaw.

Natalia Zaba
BIRN
Belgrade
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. Photo: Beta

Serbian Foreign Minister Dacic told at a press conference on Thursday that he might have been wrong to walk out of a meeting in Warsaw over comments he said were made by his Kosovo counterpart, Enver Hoxhaj.

“I might have made a mistake, but at that moment that was how I felt," he said.

“[I said] 'If you can work without Serbia, do that', and I left the gathering. I had no intention of listening to lectures by those who committed crimes against Serbs," he said on Thursday, referring to Kosovo Albanians.

Dacic walked out because the Kosovo minister allegedly said that “Serbs are guilty for all wars in the former Yugoslavia and for genocide."

He added that when EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and the other hosts failed to react to Hoxhaj's statement, he decided to leave.

The annual meeting of the Visegrad Four, which unites the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, under the chairmanship of Poland, was organized in Warsaw on November 29.

The meeting was attended by the foreign ministers of the Western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia - who in November 2015 agreed to establish a Western Balkan Fund based on the model of International Visegrad Fund.

The summit in Warsaw was attended also Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania as well as by Mogherini in the name of the EU.

The Polish foreign ministry told BIRN that as the neutral host of the event, it did not wish  to comment the course of discussion and on the guests' statements.

"Bearing in mind the need to maintain a neutral position, Poland, as the host of the meeting, will not comment on the course of discussion and presentations by invited guests," it said.

“The aim was to discuss a common political agenda and discussion about the enlargement process, hence the presence of High Representative Federica Mogherini," the ministry told BIRN.

The Polish ministry also stated that Serbia's Ambassador in Poland, Radojko Bogojevic, would hold a routine meeting with the Head of Poland's Department for European Politics, Barbara Cwioro, where talks will be held on Serbian-Polish mutual matters.

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