French Ambassador in Belgrade Frederic Mondoloni has offered an apology to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Serb people
November 12, 2018
Mondoloni told Prva TV on Monday morning that what happened with the seating arrangement during a ceremony in Paris to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War was “regrettable.”
“We are very close to Serbia. Serbia lost almost a third of its population in the First World War, 62 percent of all men. I don’t know what happened (in Paris.) I say it was a regrettable mistake and we plead with President Vucic and the Serb people to accept an apology,” he said.
Mondoloni continued to say that the imagery from Paris “shocked the officials and the Serb people” – but that it was “important that there was no protocolary welcome for Kosovo more important than for Serbia.”
“Thaci was perhaps in the focus of the cameras. Serbia had a huge importance in WW1 and France assigns great importance to it. It was raining in Paris, and in Belgrade there was a wonderful ceremony, and I want to thank Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic for attending. In any case we want to mark a strong friendship with Serbia and our president Macron will come to visit in early December, and that has great importance because no French president has visited Serbia in 17 years,” said Mondoloni.
During the ceremony in Paris on Sunday, the French, US, Russian presidents were seated in the first row, along with the German chancellor. Behind Vladimir Putin, in the second row, sat Hashim Thaci.