First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic, together with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic, participated in a ceremony held at the United States Congress to mark the 100th anniversary since the Serbian flag flew over the White House.
“I am very glad that something I have talked about for many years is being marked in this way, both in Washington D.C. and Belgrade.
I saved from oblivion an event dating back to one hundred years ago and brought back to focus a story that is now publicly talked about by the U.S. Administration. I refer to the fact that Serbia enjoyed huge support of the U.S. during World War I as well as that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson included Serbia and the Serbian people in the Fourteen Points for the resolution of global crisis, where, among other things, he noted that Serbia should be accorded free and secure access to the sea.
The United States was able to fully understand the magnitude of sacrifice offered by Serbia and its people in the World War I. Of course, our cooperation continued during the World War II as well.
I was able to put this story back on the map and, as a result, a monument to Woodrow Wilson will soon be inaugurated in Belgrade.
Furthermore, while we conducted our research on this matter, we found out that the city of Belgrade, as early as 1919, named the square near the railway station after President Wilson. Today, we are contemplating to build a monument in honor of both President Wilson and Mihajlo Pupin – the symbols of U.S.-Serbia friendship.
It is important that we use this important anniversary as an opportunity to reset our relations. The ties of cooperation and support have subsided over the decades since. In that period, we failed to identify common interests and find a common denominator, but the time has come for us to improve our relations. It is important that we discuss these matters with the new U.S. Administration, and I believe that this is an opportunity for Serbia and its people.
Today, I had a very good meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell. The new administration is willing to listen to Serbia’s proposals and positions as well as to come up with creative solutions, instead of following the existing clichés and practices of the previous administration.
These contacts are important, it is also important that the Serbian Prime Minister and Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska are here with us today, as are U.S. Congressmen and other representatives of the U.S. Administration.
I will meet with Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Mr. John Bolton and participate in the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
This is a good opportunity for us to identify common interests that we lost sight of in the past decades that can benefit from events like this one.
On Saturday, a similar event will take place in Belgrade where the Serbian flag will be flown over the residence of the U.S. Ambassador”, said Serbian Foreign Minister after the ceremony held in U.S. Congress.