Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Tuesday with Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini and thanked Italy for providing continued and strong support for Serbia’s European path, as well as for protecting the rights of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and Serbian holy sites there.
Vucic said he was pleased Serbia and Italy maintained stable friendly relations and intensive cooperation in all significant areas, the presidential press office said in a statement.
“Italy is Serbia’s third-largest external trade partner. We must and we can take defence cooperation to a higher level. We are very satisfied with the cooperation with the Italian army in international missions, and we are particularly grateful to Italy for protecting the rights of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija and Serbian holy sites,” Vucic noted.
Speaking about the current international crisis, Vucic said Serbia was advocating peace and respected the norms of international law and the principle of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Guerini conveyed to Vucic the regards of Italian PM Mario Draghi and the Italian government.
He said bilateral trade reflected the good quality of the relations between the two countries.
He also noted that the cooperation within EU missions and the participation of Serbian Armed Forces troops in the Italian peacekeeping contingent in Lebanon were excellent and that Italy would in October re-take command over the KFOR mission, which he said was a major contribution to stability.
“We are aware that the current crisis at the international level is a risk to security and that the consequences of the crisis would be felt in all areas, in particular in the energy sector,” Guerini said.
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