President Reuven Rivlin, the first Israeli head of state to visit Serbia, on Thursday invited President Aleksandar Vuvic to visit Jerusalem.
The two president told a joint news conference that relations between Serbia and Israel are traditionally good.
Rivlin recalled that the two countries renewed their diplomatic relations almost 25 years ago. “Our friendship has lasted longer than that. The Jewish community in the Balkans and in Serbia reaches back 2,000 years into the past. We look to the future but history, both good and horrifying, must not and cannot be forgotten,” the Israeli president said.
Rivlin paid hommage to the Serbian “law on restitution of the property of people who have no living relatives” which he said should become a model for other countries.
According to Rivlin, the two presidents discussed the possibility of setting up a joint economic mission and signing an agreement to avoid double taxation.
President Vucic said that they agreed to activate a mixed cooperation committee and called Israeli investors to come to Serbia.
Vucic recalled that the Jewish and Serbian people went through a lot of suffering and horror in two world wars but “always knew how to respect each other and each others’ victims”.
Serbia is one of the countries in which “anti-Semitism almost does not exist” and would “never have fascism, neo-fascism and neo-Nazism”.
Vucic said that they discussed the planned memorial centre at the site of the Nazi camp Staro Sajmiste in Belgrade. “We respect all victims. We have never forgotten to mention Serb, Jewish and Roma victims when we commemorate the suffering of our people but we will never allow any to demean and reduce the number of Serb victims,” he said.