Address by the President of the Republic of Srpska Željka Cvijanović at the ceremony of awarding decorations to deserving individuals and institutions on the occasion of the Statehood Day of Serbia:
Distinguished President of the Republic of Serbia Mr. Vučić,
Dear Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia,
Distinguished Serb member of the Presidency of BiH,
Distinguished MPs, Ministers, Representatives of institutions,
Holders of decorations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Allow me to express my gratitude at the very beginning, to you, President Vučić, for this high decoration of the Republic of Serbia, which I will wear with great pride from today.
For one politician, representative of the citizens and institutions of the Republic of Srpska, there is no greater honor or recognition than the one that fraternal Serbia can offer.
Certainly, this magnificent occasion, the Day of the Statehood of Serbia, which brings together the most glorious traditions of freedom, as well as modern, constitutional achievements of the Serb people, additionally obliges us.
You have shown a great honor to me, and the pride I feel belongs not only to me, but equally to all citizens of the Republic of Srpska.
For them, too, this high decoration is a confirmation of our unbreakable ties, but also of cooperation that is more concrete and meaningful today than it has ever been in the past.
I am also proud to have had the opportunity to participate in the creation and implementation of many of our joint projects, formerly as the Prime Minister and today as the President of the Republic of Srpska.
Today, there is almost no area in which this cooperation has not been realised, nor a municipality in the Republic of Srpska in which Serbia is not present through some newly built facilities.
Also, I would say that there is nothing more logical and nothing more natural than our desire for the strongest possible cooperation with Serbia.
Certainly, we do not want to justify ourselves to anyone, because we have never built our relations, nor will we ever build them to anyone’s detriment, but only to the pride and well-being of our people and all citizens of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska.
I am also happy that our plans for the future are ambitious, because we have many joint projects ahead of us, both in the field of transport infrastructure and energy.
I am convinced that the future in our region belongs to those who are committed to cooperation, removing barriers, economic development and infrastructural connections, and not to those who obstruct and block development projects.
I wish Serbia and its citizens a stable development and a successful future, in which they will continue to have a leading position in the region.
But I also wish it a future in which the preservation of the Republic of Srpska will remain one of the most important national priorities.
There are many examples of the love that the citizens of the Republic of Srpska have for Serbia, both from the past and the present.
But maybe today’s holiday – the Day of the Statehood of Serbia – is an occasion to remember some of the messages that manifested that love in a special way.
One was uttered by Dragoljub Kesić, a patriot who was sentenced to death by Austro-Hungarian authorities during the Treason trial in Banja Luka.
His last words were “Let Serbia know that I love it”.
After more than a century, these same words still resonate in all parts of the Republic of Srpska, and nothing has changed in that regard.
The second message was sent by Vid Parežanin, a priest from Trebinje, who was killed on the same occasion and at the same time as Dragoljub. On his deathbed, he shouted loudly “Long live Serbia”.
Dear President Vučić,
You have shown me a great honor by awarding me with this high decoration.
It will be a source of pride for me personally and for all the citizens of the Republic of Srpska, because I know that their love for Serbia is immeasurable.
I extend my congratulations to you Mr. President and all the citizens of Serbia on the Statehood Day, with the wish that Serbia progresses more and more every day and that it takes great steps into the future.
Long live the Republic of Srpska!
Long live Serbia!