Today, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addressed the gathering on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE SPEECH OF THE SPEAKER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA IN ITS ENTIRETY:
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be taking part in this gathering marking the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska and once again show our support for everything that the Republic of Srpska has meant since its first days, and especially for what the Republic of Srpska is today.
The adoption of the Constitution on 28 February 1992 was one of the most important steps the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina took to preserve their identity and their rights at a time when it was a matter of survival. After the decision to establish the Republic of Srpska on 9 January of the same year, the adoption of its Constitution was a step by which the Serbian people gave a clear and final answer to the disintegration of the community that existed then, gave an answer to the question - in what institutional framework the Serbian people wanted to live and exercise its rights. That answer remains the same today, as it was 30 years ago.
The Republic of Srpska is that historical answer, one that has been going strong for three decades. Attempts to change that answer and make the Republic of Srpska something that it never was, nor did the Serbian people want it to be, have been going on just as long.
What was written in the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska 30 years ago and added in later amendments, is our people’s clear determination to preserve their identity and individuality in the framework which they fought for and which is accepted internationally. Both Serbia and the Republic of Srpska are working together to ensure that this framework is respected, and with it the rights that belong to the Republic of Srpska and the Serbian people as a constituent people within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We have repeated it countless times and I will repeat once again it today, the Republic of Srpska is a historical, political and constitutional fact and its status can only be decided by its citizens, it cannot be bypassed in any agreement concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have to repeat that, because even today, 30 years on, there are intentions and activities aimed at making the Republic of Srpska not be what was generally accepted, and even cease to exist. None of this will happen.
For Serbia and all our citizens, the Republic of Srpska, its survival and constant development, represent a national and state issue of the highest priority. This concerns only us, on both sides of the River Drina, and no one else, especially not those who see in our brotherly alliance some kind of threat to themselves. We are not threatening anyone, no one should be afraid of strong ties between Serbia and the Republic of Srpska and no one should look for an excuse for their policy that does not mean well for the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or our region as a whole.
Only we, in Serbia and in the Republic of Srpska, should be careful not to weaken our ties and not allow ourselves to become less important than we are today. Everyone who wants a new redrawing of the Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina would be only too happy about that, but without the participation of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska and without our strong ties.
Today's Serbia is the last in the world that would call for the disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we have said and shown countless times that we respect its integrity and that we truly wish it only good. And that is exactly why we are the first to oppose any attempts to harm the Republic of Srpska, to bypass it when decisions are made and to disappear. It is not only our duty, one we accepted a long time ago, it is our wish and our consistent state policy that we will continue to pursue as long as Serbia and Republic of Srpska exist.
Therefore, on this important occasion, the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Srpska, I want to express respect to all who believed in the historical role of the Republic of Srpska for the survival of its people and to convey once again the united desire of Serbia and our entire nation to build peace and progress for all our people.
My most heartfelt congratulations to the citizens of the Republic of Srpska on this great jubilee, the day when the Republic of Srpska received its Constitution, and I wish them to live in peace and prosperity for many years to come.