Marking the Day of Serbian Diplomacy

29. May 2024.
The Day of Serbian Diplomacy was marked today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the presence of numerous dignitaries, representatives of the diplomatic corps and diplomats employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Marko Djurić said that it was our responsibility and our obligation  in today's time of numerous challenges and in a time that requires us to adapt faster than ever to changing international circumstances, to be able to respond to all challenges and worthily represent country and diplomacy with such a tradition.

Djurić pointed out that today's celebration of the Day of Serbian Diplomacy began with paying tribute to all diplomats who laid down their lives while representing and defending the interests of our country.

Few people in Serbia know that in the previous decades, as many as 84 attacks on Serbian diplomats around the world were documented and that, unfortunately, several of them had to lay down their lives in the representation and defense of national interests," the Minister said.

He pointed out that today's Day has a special significance because it marks the beginning of our modern diplomatic journey back in 1839, when the Prince's Office of Foreign Affairs was founded.

At the time of the establishment of the Prince's Office, Serbia was making steady progress on its path to regaining statehood, realizing that our aspirations went beyond the battlefield. Our first diplomats, armed not with swords but with words, toured Europe and the world, creating allies and friendships that last to this day, Djurić said.

The Head of the Serbian diplomacy said that it was time to invest all efforts in the modernization and professionalization of the diplomatic service, which will be adequate to help our country face the complexities of the modern world.

Serbia must take a proactive, not a reactive role on the international stage. "Our country will continue to conduct an independent foreign policy, oriented and guided by our national priorities, which were well defined by President Aleksandar Vučić," Djurić said.

The Minister stated that the core principles guiding our foreign policy are rooted in respect for international law and the Charter of the United Nations, along with a commitment, encouraging dialogue and mutual respect.

Serbia will be recognized as a responsible, credible and reliable partner that advocates for peace, stability and economic growth of the Balkan region", Djurić said.

He emphasized that Serbia wants to make new friendships around the world, even with those with whom it does not always share the same views, adding that our country values ​​its historical friendships but at the same time creates and forges new ones.

"The preservation of Kosovo and Metohija within the borders of Serbia is of utmost national importance. Ensuring the safety of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija through diplomatic means remains our top priority," the Head of Serbian diplomacy said and emphasized that Serbia remains committed to the EU-facilitated dialogue advocating for the rights of our compatriots and an end to systemic oppression.

"We remain open to regional cooperation, believing that only through a stable political climate can we create better economic conditions for our citizens", the Minister emphasized and added that full membership in the EU remains one of the priorities and that it is not something that will only be achieved "pro forma".

Thanking Serbian diplomats for their work as well as foreign diplomats in Serbia, Djurić pointed out that in the period ahead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will strive to be an active advocate of the interests of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia worldwide and an effective tool for implementing the most important political activities.

Congratulating the Day of Serbian Diplomacy, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco and doyen of the diplomatic corps in Serbia Mohammed Amine Belhaj said that marking this Day is a symbol of the long-standing role of Serbian diplomacy in defending the interests of its people, promoting the values ​​of freedom, peace and good neighborly relations.

The Ambassador pointed out that on this Day the excellent work of the able Serbian diplomats around the world in defending their national interests, promoting multilateralism and respecting international law is celebrated.

He wished the Republic of Serbia every success in organizing the upcoming "Expo" in Belgrade, which, according to Ambassador Belhaj is "a fantastic achievement of Serbian diplomacy."

On the occasion of marking the Day of Serbian Diplomacy, Minister Djurić laid a wreath in front of the Ministry building as a sign of memory and tribute to his colleague Nenad Nikolic, who tragically died during the NATO aggression. A laurel wreath was also laid in memory of all fallen colleagues who gave their lives during diplomatic service.

The Day of Serbian Diplomacy 29 May was established in 2015 to commemorate the first diplomatic mission of the Serbian state. This Day is celebrated in memory of 1839, when the Prince's Office of Foreign Affairs was formed - the forerunner of today's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.