ZAGREB, July 5, 2019 – Croatian minority leaders in Serbia on Friday welcomed the appointment of Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Marija Pejčinović Burić, as Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and the message of congratulation by Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić on that occasion, however, they expressed disappointment that the highest Serbian officials did not say anything about this achievement by Croatia’s diplomacy.
Dačić said at the 2019 Western Balkans-EU summit on Thursday that Serbia was looking forward to Croatia’s chairmanship of the European Union in the first half of 2020 and he congratulated Pejčinović Burić on her appointment as Secretary-General of the CoE, stating that the position “was very important for the region.”
“It is odd that in the case of certain events in diplomatic circles that directly impact you, and the Council of Europe certainly does impact Serbia, congratulations and assessments are expressed at international forums abroad and with a week’s delay! In that regard, the silence of the highest Serbian government officials about Pejčinović Burić’s appointment speaks volumes and can be interpreted as a defeat of their own plans,” the president of the Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV), Tomislav Žigmanov, said on Friday.
Pejčinović Burić was elected the new Secretary-General of the Council of Europe by secret ballot in Strasbourg last week and will take office in September.
The CoE was founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, covers approximately 830 million people and its stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
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