Serbian Speaker of Parliament Ivica Dačić has stated that he is sure President-elect Joe Biden has moved on from his “bad assessments” about Serbia in the 1990s.
“We will see how Biden’s administration will behave, but there will certainly be no return to the period from the 1990s, when Biden had some assessments that did not go in favor of the Serbs and the Serb people,” Dačić told Radio Belgrade on Sunday, N1 reported.
Last year, Dačić stated that he planned to launch a campaign on behalf of the Serbian government to rally American-Serbs to vote for President Donald Trump.
He said that Serbs should vote for Trump the way Albanian-Americans vote for US Representative Eliot Engel.
“Specifically, as Foreign Minister, I’ll organize the formalization of support for Trump at the next elections. Serbs in America vote for Trump anyway, but if we do it smartly, if we unite those votes[…] we’ll create a better position in the new administration,” Dačić told Srpski Telegraf. He added that there are 650,000 Serbs in the US.
No Albanian foreign minister, or any government member is known to have rallied for the votes of Albanian-Americans in any US election.
His statement was met with raised eyebrows by Biden’s associates. His foreign policy advisor Michael Carpenter said that Dačić was making a “big mistake”.
The Serbian Foreign Minister plans to interfere in US domestic politics by rallying Serbian Americans to support Trump in 2020. I personally think he's making a big mistake, and U.S. support for Serbia's European path should remain a bipartisan issue. https://t.co/1RYsvdfqrx
— Michael Carpenter (@mikercarpenter) August 7, 2019
Dačić defended his position in a reply to Carpenter by rhetorically asking him why it’s not interference when Jewish and Albanians vote for certain candidates. He explained that he did mean that Serbia would vote for Trump, but only Serbian-Americans.
“And when Jewish people vote for Trump, that is not interference, nor when Albanians vote for the Clintons or (Congressman Eliot) Engel? I am not talking about Serbia as a country, I am talking about US citizens of our origin. This is how things work in America. In Engel’s constituency, Albanians are the ones who bring him victory”, Dačić told Politika, EWB reported.
Biden has promised to demand justice for the 8,372 victims of the Srebrenica genocide perpetrated by Serb troops in 1995, in a ten-day operation.
He has also promised to demand justice for the three American Albanian brothers executed by the Serbian state while in custody in 1999, and to promote Kosovo’s independence.
Last month, Dačić was accused of threatening on live television those Serbs who disclose the locations of mass graves of Albanians and Croats in Serbia.