President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik stated Saturday in Banjaluka at the opening of the First Diaspora Forum that the relationship between the motherland, Serbia and Republika Srpska, and the diaspora has to be raised to a higher level.
Addressing numerous participants of the Forum at the Administrative Centre of the Government, Dodik noted that conclusions from the gathering would form a basis for building better relations.
“We don’t want this to be the first and only such conference and we should work on that. The hosts don’t need to be only Serbia and Srpska. We can organise a gathering somewhere abroad where our community is well established,” said Dodik.
He added that the Serbian diaspora can help invest in projects Srpska is working on or will work on.
Dodik said the joint declaration between Serbia and Republika Srpska about the survival of Serbs did not exclude anyone and involved the formation of a national council to implement the declaration.
“The council will have representatives of Srpska, Serbia, the Serbian Orthodox Church and the diaspora. A fond will also be formed to support the projects of Serbian national associations in the region and diaspora, which shows that we have an institutional approach to this issue,” said the Srpska president.
He told representatives of the Serbian diaspora to fight the pressures to institutionalise the so-called “Bosnian diaspora”.
“That’s not a part of our policy of a single Serbian diaspora, which is the only joint representative of the Serbs from Serbia and Republika Srpska organisation-wise. We can accept the existence of even one association of the Serbian national diaspora which includes the Serbs from Srpska and Serbia and from the entire former Yugoslavia,” said Dodik.
The goal of the First Diaspora Forum is to set up permanent mechanisms for fostering economic, cultural and scientific cooperation between Republika Srpska and the Serbs living in other places of the world.
The conference is held at the initiative and under the auspices of the President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik.
In attendance are National Assembly Speaker Nedeljko Cubrilovic, Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic, Secretary General of the Serbian President Nikola Selakovic, Srpska ministers and other public, political, church, and other officials from Republika Srpska.
The conference gathers around 100 participants from more than 26 countries, including renowned university professors, cultural workers, businessmen, members of national, provincial and local parliaments, representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, alliances, associations, cultural, humanitarian and student associations.