Foreign relations of Serbia are accomplished by efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Serbia has inherited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with all of its holdings, after the dissolution of the previous state union with Montenegro. Serbian foreign ministries continue to serve citizens of the Republic of Montenegro in countries that do not have Montenegrin diplomatic presence. The governments of Serbia and Montenegro expressed an interest in pursuing a common foreign policy. Former President of Serbia Boris Tadić referred to relations with the European Union (EU), Russia, United States and China as the four pillars of foreign policy. Serbia joined the United Nations on 1 November 2000.
The two countries established diplomatic relations on 9 September 1996. Croatia has an embassy in Belgrade and a general consulate in Subotica. Serbia has an embassy in Zagreb and two general consulates (in Rijeka and Vukovar). There are around 200,000 people of Serbian descent living in Croatia and around 70,000 Croats living in Serbia.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that was formed in 1992 by the remaining Yugoslav republics Montenegro and Serbia established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Macedonia on 8 April 1996. The establishment of bilateral relations has been done under Macedonia's constitutional name - Republic of Macedonia. Serbia therefore is one of 125 countries in the world recognizing Macedonia under the constitutional name. Macedonia has an embassy in Belgrade, while Serbia's embassy is located in Skopje.
Multilateral regional co-operation falls within the priorities of foreign policy and international relations of Serbia as an instrument and substance of its co-operation with neighbours in the region and within the context of the Serbia inclusion in European integrations, Euro-Atlantic structures and EU.
In the context of Serbia inclusion in multilateral economic and political relations and integrations as well as in the context of globalization, the relations and co-operation of regional character are of importance in the field of liberalization of trade and further affirmation of market economy and free trade. In that respect, the efforts to turn the region of South Eastern Europe into a free trade zone in which Serbia is actively participating through bilateral negotiations with neighbours and in the region (free trade agreements with Macedonia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as negotiations with Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Albania), are of particular importance. Serbia enjoys relatively good relations with its neighbouring countries. The border with Bosnia and Herzegovina along the Drina River continues to be an issue, whilst the issue of independence for Kosovo is of particular concern to Serbia.
Friendly relations have played an important role in bilateral relations between the two nations, especially during the wars of the 1990s and the Balkans Campaign in World War I. Due to the strong historical friendship and the deep cultural and religious ties between the two nations, Greece and Serbia enjoy historically, religiously and culturally close ties which are confirmed by a regular political dialogue. Greece is the top investor in Serbian economy and during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Greece openly expressed its disapproval and polls revealed that 94% of the Greek population were completely opposed to the bombing. The more dramatic event was a People's Tribunal of over a 10.000 people in Athens, Greece, where the Greek Supreme Court declared president Clinton and NATO leaders guilty of war crimes.
Serbia has signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union on 29 April 2008 and is in the process of the Republic of Serbia being admitted into the framework of the European Union as a full-fledged member state. Serbia officially applied for European Union membership on 22 December 2009, and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate on 12 October 2011. After the vote of the 27 EU foreign ministers on 28 February 2012, where with 26 votes for and 1 vote against, a candidate status recommendation was issued, and Serbia received full candidate status on 1 March. On June 28, 2013 the European Council endorsed the Council of Ministers conclusions and recommendations to open accession negotiations with Serbia. In December 2013 the Council of the European Union approved opening negotiations on Serbia's accession in January 2014, and the first Intergovernmental Conference was held on 21 January at the European Council in Brussels.
Czech relations with Serbia were usually positive, just like relations between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia (prewar). However, Czech government under administration of Mirek Topolánek decided to recognize Kosovo – the very important issue in Serbian politics.
Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were established on June 24, 1940, and Serbia and the Russian Federation recognize the continuity of all inter-State documents signed between the two countries. There are about 70 bilateral treaties, agreements and protocols signed in the past. Serbia and the Russian Federation have signed and ratified 43 bilateral agreements and treaties in diverse areas of mutual cooperation so far.
Serbia enjoys good relations with the Middle East, these are inherited by the independent Serbia from its time as the hub of a federation (i.e., Yugoslavia) which was very active in the Non-Aligned Movement during the 1960s. Serbia's closest partner in the region is the United Arab Emirates. Israel, Syria, Iraq and Egypt are important economic partners of Serbia, as Israel invests in the Serbian construction industry and Egypt is a large market for Zastava automobiles. Serbia also has an important security agreement with Iran, another important economic and political partner of Serbia. Serbia also maintains diplomatic relations with the Palestinian National Authority. Serbia wishes to intensify relations with the CCASG countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait. Also many of the North African countries (Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco) enjoy good relations with Serbia and are important trading partners. Tunisia is a hugely popular tourist destination for Serbs as there is no visa required for Serb nationals entering the country.
Indonesia has very close relations with Serbia, especially within the fields of trade, culture and tourism. Indonesia has also voiced support for Serbia's territorial integrity over the Kosovo issue.
Serbia maintains friendly relations with North Korea. Relations between the two countries started in 1948 under the Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. Relations between the two countries are still strong in both political and military terms. The North Korean embassy to Serbia is accredited to Sofia, Bulgaria.
Ever since the times of Josip Broz Tito and the Non-Aligned Movement, Serbia has enjoyed excellent relations with African nations. South Africa is Serbia's closest ally in Africa and the two nations have had excellent relations since the signing of diplomatic relations in 1992 following the end of the Apartheid system. South Africa is also home to around 20,000 Serbs, mainly living in the Johannesburg area. South Africa is also voicing support for Serbia over the Kosovo issue.Nelson Mandela was also made an honorary citizen of Belgrade. Serbia is also actively involved in many investments in Angola with whom it has excellent political and economic relations.
Serbia has very poor relations with the United States and Canada because of their recogniton of Kosovo's independence. On 25 February 2008, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica demanded that the United States rescind its recognition of Kosovo, warning that "there will be no stability until the fake state" is annulled.
Prior to World War I and creation of Yugoslavia, Serbia and the US enjoyed excellent relations. Bilateral relations between Serbia and the United States were established in 1882. At the outset of hostilities between NATO and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999, the United States and Yugoslavia severed diplomatic relations. After the overthrow of the Milosevic government in October 2000, the following month the United States reestablished a diplomatic presence. The U.S. Embassy formally reopened in May 2001. The Serbian Embassy in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade have reestablished bilateral relations and provide a full range of consular services. In February 2008 Serbia recalled its ambassador from the United States, following the U.S. recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo. The US established full diplomatic relations at Ambassador level with the Republic of Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in February 2008.
New Zealand and Serbia have four bilateral treaties in force including the most favoured nation treaty from 1960. Trade between the two countries was based on a very modest exchange totaling US$ 2.3 million in 2006 but it rose significantly in 2007 to EUR 805 million.
Serbia has very good relations with Latin America, except Colombia and Panama, which did recognize Kosovo's independence. Brazil, the largest country in the region, decided not to recognize Kosovo's independence until an agreement with Serbia is reached.
Serbia is represented in Venezuela through its embassy in Brasília (Brazil).
Venezuela is represented in Serbia through its embassy in Belgrade.
In 2007, Serbia exported goods worth €33,000 to Venezuela, while Venezuelan exports totaled €158,000.
After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced that Venezuela does not recognise Kosovo's independence on the grounds that it has been achieved through U.S. pressure and criticised a recent political movement calling out for a more autonomous Zulia state. He said "This cannot be accepted. It's a very dangerous precedent for the entire world.". On 24 March 2008, Chavez accused Washington of trying to "weaken Russia" by supporting independence for Kosovo. He called Kosovo's new leader, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, a "terrorist" put in power by the U.S. and noted that the former rebel leader's nom de guerre was "The Snake". Chavez had strongly opposed the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999 when he first became president.