Region: Greater Middle East
written by: chief editor Jasmina Lukač,
May 13th, 2020,
FOREIGN MINISTER HANA ADROVIĆ GIVES INTERVIEW FOR DANAS
Foreign Minister Hana Adrović accepted to speak for a first time since yesterday's official ending of the state of emergency, giving an interview on differing foreign agenda subjects for our newspapers. She said that she's honored to speak for us now, and here is what's been talked about.
Journalist: "Minister Adrović, you've accompanied Prime Minister Božović and Vice-President Yavas of Turkish state on a trip to Oyashima-koku and South daehanmingug, to deliver what has been interpreted by numerous media here and abroad as an official NATO position on the matter. What can you tell us of the visit? Is it true that you went there to 'correct the wrong atmosphere generated by United-Dixie President's visit to North Korea', as one analyst said?"
Minister Adrović: "Well, first of all, one more person has been a part of team during visit and that is my wife Ayla-ah Kim. I must point out on her presence, because her support has been of significant importance during my speech to LGBTQ+ community of South Korea. Only myself and her know what we've been passing through in more conservative media of both our countries after we decided to marry. My address on that specific subject has had a strong emotional impact on myself, audience saw and felt how hard it has been, and that is exactly why it is so important for me that my wife was also there to help me with that. Apart from these moments, when I was on brink of tears while offering a reconstruction of our past year's LGBTQ+ campaign in Serbia, the rest of the visit passed in beautifully positive atmosphere and I've been thankful a lot to both our Japanese and South Korean hosts for their hospitality. When it comes to my wife, she was even more pleased with the visit, taking into account her family history with South Korea.
Now, you've raised an important question of President Jackson's visit to North Korea. Let me be open and honest with that, because it's important. Our visit to the region did came after his visit to North Korea, in an atmosphere that might had generated a scepticism among our allies towards the NATO members intentions, but I don't look to our visit as some sort of correcting what he did or even putting forward official NATO positions. Prime Minister Božović and Vice-President Yavas mostly spoke on behalf of their nations, it is true that we discussed NATO role in the region, but we primarily did that as a sovereign and independent NATO member states naturally concerned with NATO agenda. When it comes to CSA diplomacy in the region, CSA is also an independent and sovereign NATO member state and I don't see need for any of us to 'correct' or 'clarify' their diplomatic moves. I think that message of President Jackson's visit has been clear, I also think that message of our visit has been perfectly clear and I think that we already see results of NATO members diplomatic involvement in the region, with some important issues already resolved and talks taking place among important partners of ours."
Journalist: "Large part of what has been discussed during your trip to Eastern Asia was concerned with the role that North Korea is playing in the region. Do you think that NATO is betraying own principles of insisting on democracy worldwide, especially in these important times of wars for democracy going on, by some of its members' leaders doing diplomacy with communist regime of North Korea?"
Minister Adrović: "I think that audience can draw own conclusions of what's the whole matter about by simply looking at how complicated formulation of your question is. If the real problem was existing, it would be possible to make things simple as they are, but the fact is that plenty of people are now imagining some sort of trouble where there is none.
Let me now speak of facts, because facts are always simple in diplomacy. What is currently going on with North Korea on its path of reconciling its relations towards the South Korea and Western world, primarily with CSA among the rest of us, is nothing new as a diplomatic practice. We saw that when President Nixon decided to open China back in 1970s, and that was half a century ago. Then as now, majority of NATO shared a rational and a simple belief that although we can never be fine with communism as a state political system wherever it occurs, we must learn to live alongside the nations who are classified as such systems. Not a single member of NATO has 'betrayed', or however you like to say it, our insisting on democratic principles, we are just orientating ourselves to the more pragmatic path with North Korea, and that is a path leading us towards stability and peace in region of Eastern Asia. And let me sound probably a little more honest than I should, but when our allies in that region, Japan and South Korea, send us a strong message that they are okay with the way that Western diplomacy is delivered in that region, I strongly prefer listening to their positions rather than half-educated tabloid journalists who want to sink us and our diplomacy at all costs."
Journalist: "Let us move to the war matters. You've been reported to have played a key role in persuading the NATO to begin its operation of airstrikes in Libyan Arab Republic, backing the Al-Sarraj pro-Western government. How realistic are these descriptions? What is your role on behalf of Serbia in that war and how active you are in NATO circles? Also, I would like to add another question, and that is what are next steps in operation?"
Minister Adrović: "I believe that it won't cause any harm for the classified part of the operation if I say that I did played a certain role when it comes to reaching the consensus in NATO that something needs to be done in Libya. Our socialist media called it 'lobbying', but I won't use that term for what I did, because lobbyists are relying on their psychological ability to persuade you with moral and immoral means to do what they want you to do. I did not do that on Libyan subject. I used means granted to my Foreign Ministry position, used some contacts that I would likely not have on table if I was not who I am, but all that was legal and more important it was morally right thing to do.
Let me remind you just for a moment of the image of Libya when we decided to enter the war by launching operation. Few months ago, when all this started, GNA was on a brink of defeat, controlling just Tripoli and areas pretty close to it. Today, with continual targeted airstrikes of NATO against LNA and their foreign allies on the ground, we manage to establish safe zone of flying all over the western border of Libya. I am proud that Serbian Air Force played a decisive role in that project, bombing LNA positions on both northern and southern front with minimal casualties taken. Libya today is the most important battlefield for democracy in entire world, and we should be proud of our boys in Air Force and what they're doing for the future of Libyan people. Of course, we were faced with internal opposition of socialist with no sense of patriotism and commitment to democracy, so we've decided to minimize the presence of our boys on the ground and put forward unmanned drones instead, both to satisfy their realistic concerns about safety of our staff and to show world that we're capable of fighting a modern war. And that is answer to what you've asked about what should be expected in future - we will continue with drone airstrikes, probably intensify them, but that is a military matter I've no mandate to speak about. When it comes to diplomacy, I will continue to have active contacts with both GNA and NATO and to coordinate our efforts.
Five years from now, and that is my promise which I think is with no doubt a realistic one, Libya will be open and prosperous society with high standards of democracy and both civil and political freedoms. If we don't fail on that goal, I would be really proud of my role."
Journalist: "Putting Libya aside, is there anything that concerns you right now?"
Minister Adrović: "There are always multiple concerning issues worldwide. Serbia today is taking active part in global diplomacy, thanks to our commitment to our economic and defensive alliances and partnerships worldwide, and that is something appreciated highly by both us and whoever comes to the other side of the table. We set pretty high standards when it comes to political and media freedoms and that gives us great credits that we actively use in global diplomacy. Right now, we're processing a situation in Sahuria where two protesters have been shot on a rally against President Nasser al-Hasshem's regime, which is a regime with dramatically low standards of democracy and state of justice, and also pretty close with some of the states we're de facto fighting against in Libya, like Afsharid Persia. It is still early to say where this will lead, but we've condemned police violence and we will insist on inspecting of all the aspects of what is happening there, in cooperation with Sahurian Observatory for Human Rights."
Journalist: "Minister Adrović, thank you for your time."
Minister Adrović: "You're welcome."