NEW YORK – Peace is the fundamental priority for Serbia, and Republika Srpska will not disappear, Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic said in New York Tuesday.

“We will preserve peace, we respect the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), but all I can say is that Republika Srpska will not disappear. It seems to me that my message is very clear and very strong, and also in line with the Dayton peace agreement,” Vucic told reporters, reacting to a statement by Sefer Halilovic, a wartime Army of BiH chief of staff, who has threatened that Republika Srpska would disappear if a September 25 referendum in the Bosnian Serb entity went ahead.

Everyone must understand Serbia will do everything to prevent a disruption of peace, Vucic said.

Any different messages, whichever side they may come from, are wrong and unnecessary, he noted.

“We need peace at all costs,” he said.