At a conference in Washington, Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic refused to comment on the media reports about certain members of Serbian government involved in corruption.
The conference, organized by The Atlantic Council under the title “A Coming Storm? Shaping a Balkan Future in an Era of Uncertainty, took place on Wednesday, 29th November, 2017.
It engaged the highest levels of trans-atlantic decision-makers, bringing over 100 participants including ministers of foreign affairs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, and Montenegro, Deputy PM of Kosovo, and several American officials including Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State
When asked by reporters to comment on the recent media reports that ministers Nenad Popovic and Aleksandar Vulin were involved in corruption cases, Dacic said that he did not come to the conference to set the record straight.
He retorted to the assembled reporters: “Interestingly, you have mentioned only Serbian government in terms of corruption, and not other regional government”. As for Nenad Popovic and his activities in tax havens, Dacic said: “He did not invent tax havens, you people here did. I really like it when everybody else feels like they have to teach us a lesson, but I would like you to start with yourself. Corruption is not invented in the Western Balkans, but you made it legal”.
Senior State Department official, Hoyt Bryan Yee said in Washington that “the policy of strategic patience is not functioning in the Balkans”, and that it is necessary to solve the problems of corruption and weak institutions in order to prevent the region’s instability.
At the conference, Yee mentioned Croatia and Montenegro as successful examples in the Balkans, adding that there were still serious challenges that needed to be addressed urgently.
Yee will be the new US ambassador to FYROM (Macedonia), the US State Department has confirmed for Jazeera. He will replace Jess Baily, who was appointed as US ambassador in Skopje in December 2014.
(N1, INSerbia, 30.11.2017)
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