First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says Kosovo will never become a member of UNESCO thanks to Serbia’s friends.

Dacic spoke on Tuesday in Belgrade as he opened the 18th Congress of the International Federation for Latin America and the Caribbean Studies (FIEALC), held at John Naisbitt University.

In his address, me mentioned some large Latin American countries that have not recognized Kosovo as independent.

Among them are Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Jamaica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Trinidad, Barbados.

“I learned all this while practicing for UNESCO. Kosovo will never enter UNESCO, because of our friends,” Dacic stressed.

The minister also said that the goal is to abolish visas between Serbia and all countries of Latin America, and added that even now, his country has agreements on visa-free travel with most of them.

He said that Serbia is interested in strengthening economic cooperation that is “lagging behind real opportunities,” and above all in increasing volume, and balancing trade – in 2016, Serbia’s exports to Latin America and Caribbean countries amounted to USD 31.2 million, while imports were worth 201.05 million.

Dacic added that Serbia’s goal is to create a favorable environment, use existing contractual frameworks and create new ones, to improve economic cooperation and attract investments from Latin America.

He also thanked John Naisbitt University for organizing this congress, describing the event as being “in the state and national interest.”

While pointing out that this is the first world congress in the field of Latin American studies to be held in this region – by which Belgrade “proudly joined Antalya, Moscow, Rome, Tel Aviv and Paris” – the minister said that it is a gathering of special academic significance.

Serbia traditionally attaches great importance to developing relations with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, he continued, on which cooperation from the time of the Non-Aligned Movement has left a special mark, “and which represents a complementary dimension of foreign policy engagement, where achieving full EU membership is the basic priority.”

A joint commitment to defending fundamental principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, with a determined commitment to dialogue as a basic way of overcoming all open issues, makes our relations complementary, further strengthened and enriched by our essential understanding, Dacic said.

He stressed that Serbia has accredited its ambassador to the Association of Caribbean States in January this year.

“In addition to improving the contractual framework of bilateral cooperation through completing the negotiations soon, in order to conclude agreements under procedure, we are ready to focus on defining concrete projects in the field of agriculture, energy, the military-economic sphere, infrastructure, which could eventually result in more intensive economic cooperation,” Dacic said.