|Saturday, 14 September 2013.|
|Diplomatic intelligence service to be restored|
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"Service in charge of research and documentation has not been operational since 2007, when it was left out of the intelligence system under the Law on the Security Services. Restoration of the diplomatic intelligence service at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not mean that new James Bonds will be recreated, but that a reliable channel of communication will be put in place for information of the top state leadership", says Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic.
Minister Mrkic announces renewal of the diplomatic intelligence service, formerly known as SID (short for the Service for Research and Documentation), which has not been in operation since 2007, when the Security Services Law left it out of the intelligence system. "We have felt the effects of the SID non-existence", said the Minister.
"Timely information is important to fulfil the foreign policy objectives of a state and all Foreign Ministries are doing, as well, the intelligence part of the diplomatic job. We do not intend to create a service swarming with James Bond movie-like heroes flying through windows and snatching some papers from office desks". This is how Foreign Minister Mrkic colourfully explains the job done by the Service for Research and Documentation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mrkic says that there is no secrecy to it or that its actions are directed against anyone in particular.
"This channel of communication is safe, and it is essential that the source of information is protected and that the information which is received by the centre is seen by a limited number of people and that our top leadership is informed in the best and most timely manner", says Mrkic.
SID was established in 1949 and was long considered as a strong intelligence service, having a lot of success. It was credited with informing Tito first in 1965 that the Ben Bella regime fell.
The Serbian Foreign Minister is now counting on career diplomats.
"They must be more knowledgeable than others, have an in-depth insight and are supposed to be well and comprehensively informed. The existing diplomatic officer corps will have to write their reports also by using this special channel of communication", Mrkic points out.
It will have to be restored the way it was dissolved, which means by the Security Services Law and the basis for it will be the new Foreign Affairs Law. This service is expected to be back and running by the end of the year, as part of the intelligence system.