Dacic – Tajani meeting – Italy wants to be more present in the region

Serbian First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic, said yesterday that Italy wanted to back European integration of the entire Western Balkans.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, Dacic said a meeting of Western Balkan FMs in Italy was a useful initiative.

“Tajani was clear and he has pointed that out before, that Italy wants to be more present in our region, which suits us, and that Italy wants to back European integration of the entire Western Balkans, which is also our strategic goal,” Dacic said in Rome, where he attended the ministerial meeting and a conference on Western Balkans.

He reiterated Tajani had visited Belgrade and attended a Serbia-Italy business forum, which he said was one of the largest business forums in Serbia in recent years.

He also said Tajani had also visited the Serbia booth at the VinItaly wine fair in Verona to speak with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the PMs of Albania and North Macedonia, Edi Rama and Dimitar Kovacevski.

That lends dynamic to Italy’s relations with the region and demonstrates its support for European integration, he said.

Dacic also said Tajani had announced he would convene a similar meeting with Western Balkan FMs by the end of the year to review the effects of cooperation.

Dacic attended the Ministers’ Meeting on the Western Balkans in Rome on Monday, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani. The event was also attended by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, the Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström, as rotating president of the Council of the European Union, and the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

The initiative is in line with Italy’s renewed leadership role in the Western Balkans, and it aims to promote regional dialogue and cooperation while also resuming the region’s countries’ European integration process. 

Last month, at a press conference, Tajani said that Serbia can play a fundamental role together with Italy in guaranteeing stability in an area which also affects migration phenomena, economic growth and peace.

“Italy wants to be a protagonist in the Western Balkans because it considers these countries to be privileged interlocutors and strategic partners. Serbia can play a fundamental role together with us in guaranteeing the stability of an area which also affects migratory phenomena, economic growth and peace. The more we create well-being, the more we will have the possibility of ending war seasons”, he added.

(Blic, Tanjug, 03.04.2023)



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