French envoy: Macron encouraged by reception; associates met opposition

NEWS 18.07.2019 14:51
Source: Agencije

Frederic Mondoloni, the French ambassador to Serbia, said on Thursday that his duty was to talk to everyone in the country – with the authorities and with the opposition, referring to a misunderstanding about Serbia’s opposition “lost” request for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron, the Beta news agency reported.

Mondoloni said that story should fade out because there was “no any tough issue behind it.”

“The letter is from July 9, and the visit was on July 15. When you organise the programme, you plan for weeks ahead,” the ambassador said.

He added that the French President Macron organised the meeting between the opposition and his associates, adding it went on well.
Mondoloni said Macron wanted France to have a more critical role in the region, and that it prompted media reports on a particular French envoy to the Balkans, adding the President would decide on that.

The ambassador said Serbia was France’s leading partner in the region in a political, economic and strategic sense and that Macron was “encouraged by the reception” he got in Belgrade.

Macron, according to Mondoloni, “went back to Paris with the ideas and his main idea is that it’s better to do more than less. He rather speeds up than break.”

 The ambassador said France had no magical solution to Kosovo issue and that Paris was aware of how severe and painful that question was for Serbia and wanted to help.

Mondoloni said that all obstacles should be removed and that the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations should resume. “That’s like a bicycle ride – if you don’t use the pedals you’ll fall.”

He reiterated that Paris was working on a meeting between Kosovo’s and Serbia’s politicians sometime in autumn, together with the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.