Serbia Regional Leader In Participation In U.N. Missions

BELGRADE, Oct. 20, 2014 (BETA) - Interior Minister Ivica Dacic said on Oct. 20 that Serbia is the regional leader in terms of the number of people deployed in peacekeeping operations, noting that more than 200 Serbian citizens serve under the United Nations flag.

Dacic said at a regional conference in Belgrade on the participation of the Western Balkan countries in U.N. peacekeeping operations that Serbia is the eighth country in Europe in terms of the scale of participation in peacekeeping operations.

"By participating in U.N. peacekeeping missions, Serbia wants to contribute to the promotion of sustainable peace, stability and development and to remain sincerely and emphatically committed to being a partner to all countries in the region, every member of the U.N.," said Dacic, who added that Serbia is in favor of the number of Serbian citizens in missions being much larger.

President Tomislav Nikolic said in talks with U.N.Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous that Serbia is ready to increase its level of participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions.

Ladsous said at the regional conference in Belgrade that U.N. members are involved in 17 missions in the world, and underscored that peacekeepers from Serbia are exceptionally professional and enjoy the trust of their colleagues.

"I saw members of your police and army in Lebanon, Cyprus and I saw how they are respected. We need you and we would be happy to see more of your people, at this time of increasing numbers of conflicts," Ladsous told journalists.

Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic also spoke to the conference participants, underscoring that Serbia attaches special importance to the process of building and preserving peace as Serbia is part of a region that went through a very difficult period.

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