Serbia Backs China’s Decision To Boycott Nobel Ceremony

AHN News Staff

Belgrade, Serbia (AHN) – Serbia has supported Chinese decision to boycott Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has been in jail since the award has been announced.

Speaking at Serbian B92 television, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said that the decision was “not easy at all, and far from ideal.”

The minister also described China as a proven friend. Earlier, Serbia, which has been seeking EU membership, has been requested by the European Commission to fully share the values of the bloc, deploring Belgrade’s decision to defend China.

China criticizes the Nobel committee’s decision of giving award to 54-year-old Liu because he was one of the key leaders in 1989’s Tiananmen Square democracy protests, while the Foundation appreciated him because of his long and non-violent struggle.

The ceremony will be held in Norwegian capital Oslo on Friday. A total of 18 countries, including Russia and Serbia, will join China in boycotting the ceremony.

Jeremic explained that decision might not have left the best taste in the mouth, but Belgrade had to take into account their relations with key political players in the world.

“China is Serbia’s proven friend, and has offered unconditional support in our difficult moments, which meant a great deal,” he added.

Responding to this gesture, China’s ambassador to Belgrade, Wei Jinghua, appreciated Serbia’s decision and said that Serbian people were intelligent enough to differentiate between peace and awarding Nobel Peace Prize to a person like Liu.

In the meantime, the United States has urged China to release jailed dissident Liu. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama would issue a written statement to China and would urge them to allow Liu to receive the prize and for his release.

U.S. has also previously called on China to respect fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens.

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