Interviewer: Dr Branko Mikašinović
Serbian Institute in Washington, D. C.
February 5, 2015
Interview of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander for the Serbian Institute in Washington, DC, shortly after the end of this year's National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 2015.
The Crown Prince: “If we want to maintain young people not to leave Serbia we have to have investors”
Your Highness, you have attended these events many times in the past. What is the significance of the National Prayer Breakfast?
It’s a wonderful opportunity that was started under President Eisenhower, more than 60 years ago, and it gathers every state of the United States, and this time over 130 countries. And for breakfast this morning, we are close to 4,000 people. Everybody gets together and it’s based on the principles of Jesus, who brings everybody together, but there’s respect of all religions. It’s absolutely amazing to see so many different people from different walks of life.
What does your participation today means for Serbia? Your actual presence here at the Prayer Breakfast?
It means a lot. I think one should stress the opportunity to meet people. I just came, this time, from a lunch with the South East European representatives. And you have a whole lot from our region, the Balkans, as you might say. These are former Prime Ministers, MPs, everything you can imagine. And everybody gets on very well, they are friendly, they hug each other, they want to talk more, and they have their Prayer Breakfasts in each capital. We have one in Belgrade, there’s one in Tirana, there’s one in Podgorica, there’s all sorts of things. And to see this friendship and exchange of interest, is so positive. So, in this hotel, every year, there is much more understanding between our peoples, of our region and beyond, with all the other peoples of the world. And the horrors that have happened just a few days ago are very apparent and everybody’s feeling very strong about it. President Obama even spoke about it today, so for everybody to hear this, 130 nationalities to hear this, brings people closer on this very small planet that we live.What are the topics most discussed at the Prayer meeting among the international delegates and what is the importance of it?
The topics are multi-ones. For example, development, education… Education was one of the big ones. How to maintain people not to leave a country. And creating jobs came then. So, if you want to keep the young people and we certainly have a big problem in Serbia, of close to 20,000 people who receive their diplomas leaving the country. You have to have investors. So, that was discussed, too. And also visitation of people from other countries. Many people here would like to come and visit us, because they made friends and we’re lucky to have a place where they can meet. And we’ve done that before, bringing a few Congressmen, a few leaders, a few members of Parliament and others. So, you have this networking, I think the big word is network.
What are the next events that you plan to attend during your current US visit?
It’s a very good question. My wife with her Foundation, humanitarian Foundation called Lifeline has organized, with her wonderful people, four events in the United States. First one is in Saint Petersburg, and the second one is in Miami. That’s on the East Coast, and then we’re going to go to the West Coast, where we have an event in Los Angeles, and in San Marcos, just south. And the purpose of these events is to help the serious situation that our people find themselves in. For example, we have outbreaks of cancer, we have lacks of equipment, we need specialized medicine. Another very important point is to bring people over to the United States for training. To bring them up to date with the latest technology. And my wife through her connections has organized this in Houston, Texas, in New York and other places. So, this is major point of our trip, after this Washington visitation.
Thank you very much, Your Highness.
Thank you, it’s a great pleasure.