French President Emmanuel Macron has asked that, due to the situation in France and the problems he faces with the yellow vest protest, his visit to Belgrade to be postponed for a few weeks – President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed tonight.
The demonstrations against high living costs, dubbed the “yellow vest” movement, led to widespread rioting in Paris at the weekend and are showing signs of damaging the French economy.
“President Macron has asked to postpone for several weeks his visit to Serbia due to the situation in his country,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters after a phone call with Macron.
Macron’s office later confirmed the trip would be postponed due to “the incidents that took place in the last protests.”
Macron was due to arrive in Serbia on Wednesday for a two-day visit to improve relations with Belgrade after a diplomatic faux-pas during the World War One commemorations in Paris last month caused consternation in Serbia.
In preparation for the meeting, the leading French newspapers are reporting about the reasons for the visit and the topics to be discussed.
Thus, daily 20 Minutes writes that relations between the two countries deteriorated on November 11 this year, during a ceremony in Paris marking 100 years since the end of WW1, and that the reason was “a failure in the protocol” – adding that after that, “many Serbs opposed Macron’s visit to Belgrade.”
Daily La Croix also writes about Macron’s upcoming visit, counting it among “the three key international meetings of the French president in the latter part of the year” – in addition to the Yemeni talks and British parliament’s debate on Brexit.
This paper states that the French president is coming to Belgrade “to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, to his ally from that period, whose president (Vucic) assessed that he was poorly treated in Paris at the November 11 ceremony.”
The daily also states that Vucic promised “a grand welcome to Emmanuel Macron, to show him what Serb hospitality is like, and how Serbs understand friendship.”
(Mondo, B92, Reuters, 03.12.2018)
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