BELGRADE – Serbia is a democratic country, which it has achieved through hard work, US Senator John McCain said Friday after a meeting in Belgrade, particularly praising Serbia’s treatment of refugees and the commitment to EU membership, reforms and regional stability.

Photo: Tanjug / AP
Photo: Tanjug / AP

At a joint press conference, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the meeting with US senators convinced him that there are very few obstacles – or nearly none at all – to creating a better environment and even better Serbia-US relations.

McCain said that Belgrade’s efforts towards normalising ties with Pristina and its commitment to EU membership and the necessary reforms are well acknowledged and recognised, as are efforts to improve ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania.

McCain said that, after the presidential elections in the US, at the end of this year, the foreign policy of the country would change. In fact, he was asked if the foreign policy will change when it comes to Serbia, to which he shortly replied with: “Yes. Yes. Yes.”

“I think the future for the relationship between the US and Serbia is bright,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

McCain: Serbia, Serbian people to decide on NATO membership

Serbia’s military neutrality and possible NATO membership is a matter that Serbia and the Serbian people will decide on, US Senator John McCain said Friday.

NATO membership is a decision that is up to Serbia and its citizens, Serbia’s priority is EU accession, McCain said at a press conference with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Asked how he sees Serbia’s military neutrality, its stepped-up military technical cooperation with Russia and potential NATO membership, McCain said that he is afraid that the Middle Eastern crisis will involve various peoples in one way or another and that, over time, Serbia will have an increasing role in humanitarian operations.

Anything more than that is something that Serbia and the Serbian people will decide on, he said.

Asked if the US policy will change after the presidential elections, he responded affirmatively.

McCain to press for more aid to Serbia in migrant crisis

McCain said that he would ask of the United States to give additional assistance to Serbia in coping with the refugee crisis.

Serbia needs additional aid in the migrant crisis. Upon my return to the States, I would ask my colleagues to make this possible, McCain told reporters after touring the reception centers in Adasevci and Sid.

McCain said that the migrant crisis requires a lot of money and thanked the Serbian government for doing an amazing job in very difficult circumstances.

Ministers Aleksandar Vulin and Nebojsa Stefanovic showed McCain the accommodation conditions for migrants, the registration process in Adasevci where there were around 1,000 migrants at the time.