- Tuesday, August 22, 2017 6:42 PM
Skopje, 22 August 2017 (MIA) - The government of Macedonia has never had any intent, it has neither given an order or an instruction nor orchestrated any intelligence operations against and to the detriment of some of our neighbors, including Serbia, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov told a news conference Tuesday in Skopje.
It will never occur to us to even think of taking such measures, he stressed saying state institutions in Macedonia acted in line with the law on protecting the constitutional order and the citizens of Macedonia.
As regards Serbia's move to recall the entire staff of its embassy in Skopje, including the ambassador, allegedly due to aggressive intelligence activities targeting Serbia, Dimitrov noted that 'officials of the current administration know only too well what it means to be wiretapped.'
The Minister said they had been taken by surprise by Belgrade's decision after receiving the diplomatic note on Sunday. Dimitrov called for patience until an official information was to be received elaborating the reasons behind the move, in an attempt to avoid any speculation 'in the interest of the two countries and their partnership.'
"The essence of the new government's approach to regional cooperation is based on settling existing issues in the region rather than on producing new ones. It is a policy of open doors and solutions, of a new, constructive and open approach towards the neighbors. These solutions pave the way for improving good neighborly ties, cooperation and partnership with other countries in the region. We are confident it is the only way allowing the region to make a headway regarding its EU integration bid. Any success of our neighbors is our success, too. Our success is also considered a success of our neighbors. If there's misunderstandings, we believe the best way to address them is through direct dialogue," FM Dimitrov noted.
He told reporters he couldn't get hold of his counterpart Ivica Dacic late on Sunday after receiving the note of the Serbian embassy. A request for a phone call has been made yesterday as well through Macedonia's ambassador in Belgrade.
"It's a good thing there's announcements from the other side suggesting a phone call might take place probably tomorrow with FM Dacic. The government of Macedonia yet again is welcoming the intent of official Belgrade to protect the friendly relations and to bring the situation back to normal within the usual framework," stated Minister Dimitrov.
Asked to comment on a statement by FM Ivica Dacic, who earlier today said Belgrade 'knows everything what was being agreed and what they agreed on', Dimitrov responded that the citizens of Macedonia and Serbia deserved such matters not to succumb to speculation.
"This is why dialogue matters, this is why diplomatic channels are very important. Through our embassy in Belgrade, we have asked to get an official information about the event. It won't do us any favor if we start jumping to conclusions before receiving this information. The only offensive this government has made during its 2,5-month mandate is the offensive of developing friendship across the Balkans. All the disputes are perceived through this prism, we are confident we will either make it together or some of us won't," he noted.
To that end, the friendship treaty with Bulgaria was signed, an agreement with Albania was made envisaging the governments to hold joint sessions and Dimitrov's first official visit to Greece was organized, according to him.
"It's the only offensive activity Macedonia is carrying out," the Foreign Minister concluded.
It's time the countries in the Balkans settled their differences because together we can do so much... We have no interest to have such relations with Serbia and I'm sure Serbia has no interest to foster such relations with Macedonia as well," Dimitrov stated.
Asked to comment on some media reports linking Serbia's move with Kosovo's bid to join UNESCO, Minister Dimitrov said Macedonia was 'in no position to play some kind of a leading role regarding the matter.'
"The issue is important both for Serbia and Kosovo, our neighbors. Macedonia has to bear all this in mind and we are in no position to play a leading role. The interest of Belgrade as well as the interest of Pristina, but most importantly the interest of Macedonia, will be considered crucial factors when building our own stance on the matter," FM Dimitrov told the news conference. ba/18:39
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