Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, met with Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, in Belgrade on Wednesday to discuss further development of bilateral cooperation, Serbia’s EU accession, geopolitical affairs and regional relations.
“Italy is among the leading foreign investors in Serbia, by far the top foreign partner in terms of the value of investments in Serbia. Italy also occupies second place in the number of projects implemented. Additionally, we continue to create an even more stimulating business environment to attract new foreign investors,” Vucic noted.
Vucic also said that it was very important that Italy had placed the Western Balkan region high on the list of its foreign policy priorities, the presidential press office said in a press release.
Vucic thanked Italy for its open and continued support for Serbia’s European integration efforts and noted that he appreciated Di Maio’s personal support for Serbia’s efforts on its path to the EU membership.
Speaking about the regional situation, Vucic said Belgrade remained fully committed to dialogue with Pristina as the only way to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement, and noted that peace, stability and cooperation were of the utmost significance for the future of the Western Balkans.
Commenting on the Ukraine conflict, Vucic reiterated Serbia was committed to respecting the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty of every country as one of the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, and that it was ready to help Ukraine in line with its abilities.
Di Maio said Italy recognised everything Serbia had done on the path to the EU, in particular when it comes to constitutional and other reforms that have enabled the opening of Cluster 4 in the EU accession talks.
“Italy is a strong advocate of the Western Balkans’ approximation to the European family, and we are investing major efforts to explain to our partners in the EU the situation in the region and the need for enlargement. The EU must provide greater economic support to the region,” Di Maio was quoted as saying.
Italian Foreign Minister also met with the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic, and the two officials discussed how the two countries could further improve bilateral relations, development of economic and trade cooperation, as well as on potential new Italian investments in Serbia.
Prime Minister Brnabic pointed out that Italy has continuously and strongly been supporting Serbia in terms of its EU bid and underlined that reforms, regardless of all the challenges of today, remain Serbia’s primary task, with a special focus on the implementation of rule of law.
Brnabic also underlined that peace and stability in the region are of key importance for economic development and that is why the Government of Serbia will do everything to ensure that, because, as continuation and implementation of reforms is possible only when peace and security are guaranteed for the entire region, reports Tanjug.
Minister Di Maio said that the official policy pursued by Serbia is important for the stability of the Western Balkans, and despite the challenging times in which Europe lives, Italy supports Ukraine, but also Serbia and the Western Balkans on their road to the EU membership.
(Politika, Tanjug, 22.06.2022)
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