On Sept. 12 Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met with Pope Francis to whom he conveyed Serbia's gratitude for the Vatican's principled position on the issue of Kosovo, as well as its support for Serbia's Euro-integrations.
According to a Serbian Presidency statement, Vucic told the Pope that Serbia "extremely values the Holy See's principled position regarding the issue of not recognizing Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence, as well as its understanding of Serbia's position which is rooted in respect for international law."
"Serbia firmly believes that talks are the only way to solve open issues, which is why we refrained from reciprocal and any other measures after the introduction of taxes (by Kosovo), which would have made the situation worse," Vucic said.
Vucic said that Serbia "is continuing its constructive commitment to finding a sustainable and compromise solution for the issue of Kosovo, exclusively through dialog, while the Pristina side is making any kind of dialog and agreement impossible with its irrational, unilateral moves."
Regarding this, Vucic pointed to the extraordinary importance of protecting, respecting and advancing the rights of the Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo, protecting and renewing Serbian religious and cultural heritage, and especially Orthodox Christian churches and monasteries under the protection of UNESCO.
The Serbian president voiced his "genuine gratitude" regarding the Vatican's support for Serbia's European integrations.
"We especially esteem the devotion to quickening the process of the Western Balkan's European integration with the EU, and encouraging member-states to help and support this process," Vucic said.
Vucic stressed that Serbia's cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church was good, and that both sides respected the other. Serbia's has a long-term commitment to nurturing and advancing relations with the Holy See, which were established in 1920.