European Union spokesman Peter Stano has pointed out that Serbia's decision to send an ambassador to Syria again is contrary to Brussels' position and recalled that the path to membership in the Union entails alignment with its foreign policy.
The EU's stance as regards the normalization of relations with the regime in Syria is clear and unchanged, while the recent elections organized by the Syrian regime cannot lead to any measures of international normalization, Stano told Radio Free Europe late on July 15.
He said that sending an ambassador to Damascus entailed handing in their credentials to the head of state, in this particular case to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is on the list of EU sanctions and lacks democratic legitimacy as the president of the state.
"He is someone who has overseen the mass brutal violence the regime's troops committed against the population, including the use of chemical weapons. Those are the reasons why the EU Member States are not sending their ambassadors to Damascus to present their credentials to Assad," said Stano, adding that the EU member states had charges d'affaires in Syria, who did not have to present their credentials to the head of state.
Stating that the representation of EU candidate countries in Damascus is under the jurisdiction of those states, Stano pointed out that where Belgrade's decision was concerned, "one should take into consideration the fact that the Serbian government has confirmed several times that European integration is the country's strategic priority." He added that this included progressive harmonization with the EU's foreign and security policy.