President of Serbia visits Serbian Patriarch

His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch met with President of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic at the Serbian Patriarchate on 13 May 2013. His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvosno attended the meeting. Following the meeting, His Holiness and President Nikolic addressed the public explaining the reason and topics of the meeting.

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serbian President said that in the search for the solution of the most important national and state issue, the issue of Kosovo and Metohija an absolute unity and responsibility is needed.

"The problem is quite huge and it is substantial and important for us to be unified regarding Kosovo and Metohija'', His Holiness stated in a joint address to reporters after the meeting with President Nikolic.

The patriarch also voiced the need for unity and warned that splits are the most difficult problem in the search for a solution to the Kosovo and Metohija issue, as well as stands voiced without grounds or reasons and excuses which can prove detrimental and cannot be of any use to us. However, His Holiness added that these are just private statements and personal stands of those who voiced them.

Then President Nikolic underscored that His Holiness and himself agreed in everything, adding that it is not easy to decide on behalf of the nation just as it is not easy to decide on behalf of the Church.

“Still, it is much better when there is unity among those who make decisions on behalf of the people and those who make such decisions on behalf of the Church,” the president of Serbia said.

“We wish to resolve the Kosovo and Metohija issue in a way that neither jeopardizes the Constitution nor Serbia's sovereignty, nor calls into question the lives and security of Kosovo-Metohija citizens, especially the local Serb population,” President Nikolic said.

Photo and video: Fonet