Serbian President, Patriarch say keep the peace

Tanjug/ Jadranka Ilić

The Serbian President and church elder told the central state commemoration on the anniversary of the NATO air campaign in Sombor that peace should be kept but without pressure and blackmail.

Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) elder Patriarch Porfirije said that negotiations should be continued but that ultimatums should not be accepted.

“We should pray and fight to persevere on the path of all talks and negotiations, the path of dialogue whose goal is at least elementary understanding among people but we should not accept ultimatums and blackmail at any cost,” the Patriarch said adding that everything should be done to keep the peace. “If the spiral of evil is started again there is no doubt that we will all be complete losers,” he said.

Speaking about the 1999 NATO air campaign, he said it was “an inhumane and illegal aggression by the greatest force in history in the most one-sided conflict and unequal balance of forces on the battlefield ever”.

The SPC elder’s words were echoed by Serbia’s head of state President Aleksandar Vucic who said that the peace must be maintained, adding that Serbia want’s no conflict but warning that there should be no more pressure over red lines or “Heroic, proud and dignified Serbia will respond”.

“We will never give them our country on a platter along with justification for all the crimes they committed,” Vucic told the gathering and recalled that Serbs died along with Albanians and Bosniaks. “We have to respect the victims of others so that others will respect ours,” he said.