Soko no. 7
Guest of Soko
HRH Crown Prince Alexander II
FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE
Royal Highness, we all remember your visit to the Monastery Dobrun when we
celebrated 200 years of First Serbian Uprising. What were your impressions of
that gathering, which was possibly the biggest one after Gazimestan in 1989?
We are very grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolay. I was very happy
to come with my wife to the Monastery of Dobrun, we both have very nice memories
of the occasion and we were very pleased with the rise of the monastery again
and restoration work and the beautiful konak. It was a very impressive and
moving celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the First Serbian Uprising. We
have fond memories being in Republika Srpska and for the wonderful hospitality.
My ancestor Karadjordje would have been pleased.
How do YRH read a message that Serbian history sends to Serbia? To what
and to whom we should turn to? Aren’t we repeating some steps which have already
shown to lead us sideways?
We have been through very difficult times, not all is settled yet and our
people have greatly suffered a lot owing to poor leadership and dictatorship.
Our region has suffered terrible conflicts and appalling divorces that deeply
affected people. We have lost so much time and the international community has
been very confused about us. Yes we learn from history and that is important,
but today the situation is very different and complex. We need to work together
for a better future and create a future for all our people. We must take charge
of our destiny and plan. We must not accept preconceived solutions to be imposed
on us. We must take part in European politics, put our case forward and work on
our image and improve our public relations. Our politicians have a very
difficult task to work through all the pitfalls and problems. To survive we must
take charge of our destiny and work on discipline within our ranks. Our
politicians must have a united front.
Is Serbian intellectual elite (as we call it) in huge part disowned of
Serbian people? What characteristics should true elite society posses in these
To move forward we must all be realistic and put people first. We need
thousands of investors and particularly green field investment. We need many
many more jobs and good social services. We must respect our history and
culture, but we must have a vision for the future and for the survival of our
people. We have to be part of Europe and aim for the European Union that is
where we belong with our neighbours and not be lost on a island in the middle of
Europe with every country moving towards the European Union. Intellectuals and
the elite are part of the society of every country and have the right to express
themselves, but they must also contribute to a future in a positive way
What are the ways for preservation of Serbian national unity today when
borders are dismembering it in numerous parts, and are there obvious ambitions
for destruction of consciousness of that unity? (Example: Government in
What has happened since 1989 is extraordinary and is continuing due to issues
not been dealt with in advance and also the lack of planning and strategic work.
What is our purpose? It is to continue founding a great democracy and
economically viable situation for all citizens to live in peace respecting all
religions and ethnic origin. We can now only come together by all eventually
becoming members of the European Union.
It is known that along with your wife Crown Princess Katherine, you were
the initiator and a participant in numerous humanitarian actions. Is the reward,
the spiritual reward for such actions received already in the very act of
It is our duty to help people who are in need. My wife and I have sadly seen
terrible situations during our travels and we have tried to rally help to
alleviate humanitarian situations. Our reward is the well being of people
regardless of who they are and what religion they are and ethnic origin. We are
all God's children and have the same God and there is space for everyone. Our
people have suffered so much and deserve a peaceful prosperous future.
In the post war era many of our people emigrated in search of their
happiness far away from their homeland. How important is it, especially in the
life of young people who left this country as children not to forget their
roots, history and culture?
It is vital that we continue to create a viable democratic nation with a good
solid economic base, stability and good leadership. We cannot afford to lose our
young talent. Those who left seeking a better future during difficult and
painful times will hopefully come back to the homeland and take leading
positions to bring our country to the forefront of economic success. We do not
want anymore brain drains, now we must work on brain gain. Our culture, history
and roots are very important and must be preserved and shared with the world.
In these dark times young people in this country are exposed to many bad
temptations such as sects, drugs and alcoholism and so on. How to stay strong in
the faith of God, be devoted to St. Sava Orthodox and Apostolic Church and to
resist the temptations of the new times?
I am proud to be Serbian Orthodox and deeply respect our values. We would do
well on the religious side taking fully part in ecumenical conferences and
events across the planet. I am concerned that we are isolating ourselves and not
promoting in a sensible way our Serbian Orthodoxy. We must be tolerant and
respectful to all religions and that most certainly includes Islam, Roman
Catholicism and others. I do insist that people have the freedom of choice to
decide what they want to do and be part of providing it is peaceful. Religion
must not be imposed others. Religion must be peaceful and respectful to one and
all. I am very much against religious conversion unless it is truly voluntary.
As a Christian Serbian Orthodox I believe in peace, tolerance and mutual respect
What would be your message to the youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina in these
Do not give up hope for a better future. We are still in a delicate situation
not knowing what the future will bring. Our politicians have a big
responsibility to work for a future and negotiate new situations and deals.
Without youth, we would not have a future. There is much to be finished, to
accomplish and to plan. Our youth must have the best education available to face
the future and be prepared to become our future leaders. Our youth must also
have tolerance and work together.
How do you see the position of Serbia today and in near future?
Today we are in a very difficult situation. We must do what we can to come to
a comprise in Kosovo that will provide a future for our people and protection
for our religious, historical and cultural heritage. I fully support our
government’s efforts in negations to find a just solution. I must say that I am
disgusted by the imposition of a solution on us and find this unacceptable. I
was educated in the west and the principle is to have negotiations and be an
honest broker. The United States and the European Union have proven not to be
honest brokers, but rather bullies. I find this attitude is not democratic and
is unfair. Our citizens have suffered enough under dictatorship and utter
I am also not happy at all about our people being ransomed because of a
couple of individuals. Sadly there are dual standards since the Afghanistan
donors conference in Tokyo did go ahead without handing over any Al Qaeda nor
Taliban. Iraq got billions even before the leaders (the wretched pack of playing
cards) were found. I am grateful for the help we have received from the European
Union, United States and other countries, but we should have done better
particularly after the shocking criminal bombing. In any case the two
individuals, if still alive, would do all of us a gentlemanly favour and
surrender. If they are still alive, they have no guts since many did already
surrender. We must move on.
Our future is in the European Union as soon as possible. There is no other
way but the European Union. We belong in the European Union with all the nations
that have joined and will join. We cannot and will not become a satellite of no
country. We have around us Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and to the north Slovenia
who are now members, we cannot delay our entry. We will be a member of the
European Union and take part in the affairs of the European Union like all other
Do you have a solution for the current political situation in Republika
Srpska and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or generally, what do you think what kind
of a solution for current political crisis would your grandfather King Alexander
The time has come to turn a page and negotiate the future of Bosnia and
Herzegovina. It is nothing new to say that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a very
artificial state that needs a permanent sensible solution for all its citizens
so the future can be a good one. There is there need for a united political
solution with all sides negotiating, minus extremist elements, for the future
composition and integration with neighbours respecting human rights and open
borders. The situation means that all sides sit down and negotiate to provide a
workable sensible plan and again here not be influenced by bully tactics from
abroad. We must all in our region take charge of our region, destiny and create
a future for all citizens. This also means that our politicians must think of
people and avoid thinking about themselves. People must be put first and their