Serbia Eyes Better US Ties Under Obama

05 November 2008 Belgrade – Serbian officials have expressed hope that Barack Obama’s victory in the United States Presidential Elections will lead to better relations between Washington and Belgrade.

“I believe the world wanted to see changes and that is what happened,” Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said, adding that the US elections are extremely important political event for US and world history.

He added that he believes that Serbia’s relations with the new administration would be better than those under George W. Bush.

Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said Obama’s victory will bring good not only for the US but also to Serbia and the entire world.
Serbian analysts say the people of Serbia will feel the effects of this election as well.
“The election won’t have an effect when it comes to Kosovo because that decision has already been made. But when it comes to Serbia, her European future, and her relationship with the US and Russia, this election will bring change,” Serbia’s former Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic told B92.

Kosovo, Serbia’s former southern province, declared independence from Belgrade on February 17 in a move backed by the US.
Days later the US Embassy in Belgrade was partially torched during demonstrations against Kosovo’s independence.

Meanwhile the US Ambassador to Belgrade Cameron Munter said that the US policy of partnership and friendship with Serbia will continue after the elections.

“This has been an exciting year for Serbia as well. Your election has changed the face of your country. America proudly wants to follow Serbia’s example,” said Munter during a event held on election night in Belgrade.
He said he was happy that so many people had attended the event organised by the US Embassy in Belgrade, adding that he realised there was a tremendous interest in the presidential election, because of the global impact of the result.

William Montgomery, the former US ambassador to Serbia says that there will be no great upheavals in US policy on the Balkans following the election of Barack Obama as President.
Montgomery told Belgrade’s B92 network that there was already a widespread consensus in the US on the policy towards the Balkans, on Kosovo independence, the arrest of Hague fugitives, and the EU integration of countries in the region.
He said, however, that more attention would be paid to the Balkans because of Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s interest in the region.

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