French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian has come on an official visit to Belgrade, as a part of preparations for the official visit of the French President, Emmanuel Macron to Serbia later this year.
Macron will be the first French president to visit Serbia in 17 years. Before him, the last French president to visit Belgrade was Jacques Chirac, in 2001.
While in Serbia, Le Drian is due to meet with the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and hold a press conference after the meeting.
Serbia and France have lately been trying to revive their bilateral relations, which have been declining in recent decades following the break-up of former Yugoslavia and France’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
Next year will be 180 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Serbia and France. The head of French diplomacy will also meet with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
Le Drian was also scheduled to visit Romania, Albania and Slovenia. However, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said that the French minister cancelled all other visits due to the current situation in Syria and would only come to Serbia.
The former Serbian ambassador to France, Radomir Diklic says that the visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is very important because it can cause a shift in resolving the Kosovo problem.
He points out that France, along with Germany, is “the EU’s axis” and that the visit of the head of the French diplomacy to Serbia, as well as the visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to Germany, is important for dealing with the Kosovo issue.
“The French minister came to Serbia at the time when France is heavily engaged in Syria, which shows that they care about this visit, and this will elevate the political relations to a higher level,” Diklic told TV Prva. He pointed out that in addition to political cooperation, France has an enhanced economic cooperation on its agenda, considering that the French have made two big investments in Serbia lately – Vinci Airports signing the concession agreement for Belgrade airport, and a French company building a waste processing factory in Vinca.
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