16.07.2021 – 22:39
European Union spokesman Peter Stano noted that Serbia’s decision to send an ambassador to Syria again contradicts Brussels’ position, and recalled that the path to EU membership means harmonization with its foreign policy.
“The EU position on the normalization of relations with the regime in Syria is clear and unchanged, and the recent elections organized by the Syrian regime can not lead to any measure of international normalization.” told Stano Radio Free Europe (RFE).
He said sending the ambassador to Damascus meant handing over credentials to the head of state, in this case Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “who is on the EU sanctions list and has no democratic legitimacy as president.”
“He is someone who oversaw the brutal mass violence perpetrated by regime forces against the population, including the use of chemical weapons. These are the reasons why EU member states do not send ambassadors to Damascus to hand over their credentials to Assad.
“They have representatives there in the capacity of those in charge of work, who do not have to submit their credentials to the head of state.” declared Stano.
Stating that the representation of candidate countries in Damascus is within the competence of those countries, Stano noted that in the case of the Belgrade decision, “it must be taken into account that the Serbian government has consistently confirmed that European integration is a strategic priority for the country.”
He added that this included “progressive alignment with the EU’s foreign and security policy”.
The four-year term of the Serbian ambassador to Syria, Jovan Vujasinovic, expired in 2013. After that, a young man was not appointed and in his place until now was in charge Milan Vijatovic.
The name of the ambassador who will represent Serbia in Syria has not been announced yet.
Most European countries and the United States withdrew ambassadors from Damascus or reduced their activities to the “workload” level in 2012, as the Assad regime is accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade stated that Serbia “has never severed diplomatic relations with Syria”.