Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.jpg
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic
Photograph: HINA / Milan OBRADOVIĆ / BETAPHOTO / mm

Serbia will not allow to be the biggest victim of the migrant crisis, it must be in touch with the countries of what is called the Balkan migrant route and it is preparing measures to protect its national interests, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday.

"Closing the border is not the same as putting up a fence, but, in any case, Serbia must closely follow what is going on. Measures are being prepared that will contribute to the protection of our national and state interests. We have demonstrated our humanness but we will not allow to become the biggest victim of the migrant crisis," Dacic told the public broadcaster RTS after holding talks on the migrant crisis with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Hungary on Monday.

Without specifying the said measures, Dacic said that it was necessary to be in touch with countries along the upper part of the Balkan migrant route and that Serbia's position would depend on further developments in relations between the EU and Turkey, in the context of talks on ways to resolve the migrant and refugee crisis.

Commenting on separate talks with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto and PM Orban, Dacic said that "Hungary will not change its approach to migrants", which for Serbia meant that there would be no changes on the border.

Commenting on local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, held this past Sunday, Dacic said that the most important thing was that both the September 25 referendum in the Bosnian Serb entity and the October 2 local elections were held in a peaceful atmosphere and that there were no major incidents.

Serbia will be a constructive neighbour and make effort not to fall into a spiral that could result in instability, said Dacic.

"Serbia's position is clear - we support Bosnia and Herzegovina's territorial integrity but we also respect Republika Srpska, which is our obligation under the Dayton peace agreement. We will be a constructive neighbour that can contribute to peace and stability," Dacic said, accusing the international community of contributing to the strengthening of nationalist and extremist forces in the past decades by pursuing a policy of double standards.

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