The Future of the Western Balkans - Lecture in Athens by H.E. Boris Tadic
PRESS RELEASE - Athens – February 1st, 2006 - Serbian President Boris Tadic addressed geopolitical developments and the future of the Western Balkans at a lecture organized yesterday by the Kokkalis Foundation. Tadic stressed the importance of integration of Serbia and the region into Euroatlantic institutions and called for the active support of Greek political leadership towards that end stating that, as the regional leader, Greece has the interest as well as the responsibility to take a protagonist role in the European integration of the region. As the stronghold of the Balkan region, Serbian political and economic stability is also in the strategic interest of the European Union and Russia, Tadic added. The Serbian president reiterated the importance of infrastructural development for economic stability in the region and expressed his country’s interest in deepening economic ties with Greece. Underlying the significance of reconciliation and accountability following ethnic conflict in the 1990s, the Serbian president stated that accountability for war crimes is individual rather than political, and that the Serbian government is determined to fully collaborate with the Hague tribunal. Addressing the Kosovo issue, Tadic emphasized the importance of the democratic process in finding a solution, which can only result, the Serbian president added, from dialogue between all parties and from the acceptance of mutual concessions. The event was attended by an audience of over 400 guests of the highest distinction, including representatives from the Greek government and opposition, business leaders, foreign dignitaries, academia, and representatives from written and broadcast media, from Greece and the region.