Speaking at the event celebrating the 320th anniversary of the Treaty of Karlowitz, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic stressed that this peace treaty remains a symbol of the human and civilizational endeavours to resolve conflicts of interest through negotiation and talks rather than war.
“320 years later, the Treaty of Karlowitz still sends the message that talks and seeking solutions not completely satisfactory to both sides, but ones that do not leave either side humiliated, are the best way to put an end to suffering and conflict”, said Gojkovic at the solemn academy in the municipality of Sremski Karlovci.
The National Assembly Speaker stressed that this also reminds us of the importance of the principle of equality and dialogue.
“These tenets, still very much current and significant, were applied for the first here in Sremski Karlovci in the form of ‘round table’ so that everyone is equal”, Gojkovic reminded the attending.
Gojkovic said that once weapons were replaced by dialogue, finding a compromise was neither simple nor easy, which it remains to this day.
Gojkovic went on to say that the canons of Petrovaradin Fortress silenced all the other weapons and announced that Serbia had got a treaty to end the 16-year war, a treaty that to a great extent defined the history of our continent.
Speaking of the era, the National Assembly Speaker said that forging peace in the complex situation in Europe of the day was in the interest of all the states, adding that Serbia could not play an active role in the big powers’ conflict to ascertain dominance in the Balkans, but was, like many times before and after, the central stage of history.
Gojkovic emphasized how important it is to be celebrating peace here, on the territory that too often felt the brunt of conflict and evil of war and that often seems to be remembering war-time jubilees.
“We, who have very often had to face the fact that we cannot prevent conflict, know how essential it is to do all in our power to avoid it. The path of peace and prosperity is the only way for us – the rest are just stray paths where only the enemies of others, even their own people, can prosper”, said the National Assembly Speaker.
Gojkovic said that, just like 320 years ago, modern Europe faces many political and economic challenges, differences and interests, and Serbia is once again, just like more than three centuries ago, buffeted by the storm brewing between the West and East and we often hear voices urging us to choose a side.
“Our response is the only we can offer – Serbia chooses its own future based on its own national interests, wishing to develop cooperation with all of its friends and partners. We firmly believe that we should fight for peace, stability and progress with cooperation and dialogue”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic stressed that Sremski Karlovci, the place the big powers choose as the perfect strategic location to sign the peace treaty, have been and remain a place of culture and spirituality, the place where the First Serbian Grammar School (Gymnazium) was founded in which many famous Serbs were educated - Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic, Sima Milutinovic Sarajlija, Dimitrije Davidovic, the seat of the Patriarchate, place of the Serbian Orthodox Church School of Theology and the May Assembly of 1848, being just some of the key historical events that happened here.