Belgrade, July 31, 2012
SERBIA - ITALY
TERZI: ITALY BELIEVES IN BETTER FUTURE FOR SERBIA
BELGRADE, July 30 (Tanjug) - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said in Belgrade on Monday that Italy believes in a better future for Serbia, and would continue to support the country on its EU road. Together with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic, Terzi announced plans to organize the third Italy Serbia summit in Rome next year.
Italy has been a great friend of Serbia on its EU path for quite a long time, and is offering great assistance to the country in this respect. We will continue to back Serbia, even after the EU opens entry talks with the country, Terzi said at a joint press conference, adding that the relations between the two countries are excellent, and contacts quite intensive.
Regarding the economic cooperation with Serbia, Italy takes into account several joint projects at all levels that are aimed at creating new jobs and further deepening the cooperation between two countries, he underscored. Italy is also very interested in strengthening the cooperation with Serbia by launching projects aimed at building infrastructure through regional mechanisms such as the Central European Iniatiative and Adriatic Ionian Initiative, Terzi said.
The cooperation between Serbia and Italy is also excellent at the level of international organizations, he underlined. The United Nations is an excellent example of that, Terzi said, noting that Italy takes great pleasure in the fact that Serbia would be presiding over the 67 session of the UN General Assembly. Italy and Serbia are strategic partners, Mrkic said, underlining that Italy is a partner "on which we are counting".
Speaking about the successful economic cooperation between the two countries, Mrkic noted that Italy is a significant investor in Serbia. Terzi is the first foreign official that has visited Serbia following the formation of the new government, Mrkic said, voicing satisfaction about the fact.
The Italian foreign minister thanked Serbian officials for underlining that fact, and added that is a confirmation of the friendly bilateral relations.
NIKOLIC, TERZI: NO NEW CONDITIONS ON SERBIA'S EU PAT
BELGRADE, July 30 (Tanjug) - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi underlined Monday in the talks with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic that Italy supports Serbia's efforts to become a full-fledged member of the European Union (EU), adding that it is ready to offer all the necessary help in the continuation of the dialogue with the interim government in Pristina.
The Italian foreign minister, who is the first foreign official to visit Belgrade after the government formation, expressed Italy's readiness to cooperate in the field of energy, and informed President Nikolic that Italy is willing to invest funds in joint projects with Serbia such as construction of hydroelectric power plants on the Ibar River and the Drina River, reads a statement by the Serbian Presidency.
President Nikolic expressed gratitude for the two countries' strategic partnership, and the investments which Italy has made in Serbia so far, stressing that Serbia counts on Italy's support on its further EU pathway.
Nikolic and Terzi agreed that it would be very bad for all if the EU presented additional preconditions for Serbia's EU accession. Nikolic voiced Serbia's readiness to implement the recommendations put forward by the European Union, and correct the omissions in the judicial reform, the fight against corruption and crime, and dubious privatizations. Commenting on the issue of Kosovo Metohija, President Nikolic underlined that in the future, Serbia's policy will be transparent, when it comes to its northern province.
Serbia will insist that the maximum security and peace be provided for all citizens in the province, and will not accept the independence of that party of Serbia, Nikolic stressed. The plan is to reach a national consensus on the issue of Kosovo Metohija, so that the strategy be backed by all relevant actors, Nikolic said.
The Serbian president told his guest that to date, the problem in the dialogue with Pristina lay in the fact that Serbia's representatives had not asked for anything, but just made concessions on Serbia's behalf. Therefore, the Serbian president expects the Serbian government to come up with an analysis, in which it would present Serbia's interpretation of the already reached agreements, the release reads.
DACIC, TERZI: THERE WILL BE NO NEW CONDITIONS ON SERBIA'S EU PATH
BELGRADE, July 30 (Tanjug) - The continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as the continuation of reforms are of crucial importance for the European course of Serbia, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Monday at a joint press conference.
They emphasized that there would be no additional conditions on the European path of Serbia. Dacic said that the Serbian government pledged to continue dialogue with Pristina, but that the dates for continued dialogue are to be discussed in September.
Dacic said he was glad to hear from Terzi that there would be no additional conditions for Serbia after the agreements reached in December last year. He added that Serbia will try to accomplish all the reforms that would make it eligible for membership of the Union for its own sake, not for the EU.
The new government will continue to pursue a policy of peace and stability in the region, and to have outstanding issues resolved through peaceful means, including dialogue with Pristina, he said.
Terzi stressed that his country strongly supports Serbia's European path, that it had struggled to grant Serbia candidate status and will continue to do so when it comes to getting a date for negotiations.
From the moment when Tomislav Nikolic was elected president and the government was formed, Italy has shown that it wants to be with Serbia, and thus showed how important the strategic partnership with Serbia is, Terzi said. To that end, Serbia must continue reforms and dialogue with Pristina, he said.
He added that he firmly believes that Serbia's progress in these two fields will be recognized by the European Commission and the EU itself when a report on how much progress Serbia has made is submitted.
Asked whether Italy supports the inclusion of the UN in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Terzi said that this decision should be taken by the UN Secretary General, taking into account the usefulness of this move, given that the UN forces largely withdrew from Kosovo and left activities in the field to EULEX.
He welcomed the announcement by Belgrade that the dialogue will be raised to a new political level, and announced that in this case, the EU would delegate its High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton to mediate in the talks. In Italy, every progress in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is always welcome and we encourage it, Terzi concluded.
Dacic and Terzi agreed that the good economic and political cooperation between the two countries should continue, and that it should be deepened in the field of culture, between universities.
DACIC ANNOUNCES BOOST IN FIAT CAR EXPORT
BELGRADE, July 30 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic announced Monday that production and export of cars made by Kragujevacbased Fiat will increase to a few dozen thousands by the end of the year.
Dacic said at a joint press conference after a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi that he has been informed by the heads of the factory that production and export of a great number of cars will kick off soon, noting that Fiat is one of the largest Italian companies in Serbia besides Benetton.
Speaking about the economic cooperation between Italy and Serbia, Dacic said that the Serbian parliament is soon to ratify the agreements on energy, which are expected to pave the way for important investments from Italy. Dacic underlined that there are over 400 Italian companies doing business in Serbia, and added that Italy's banks make up a total of 25 percent of Serbia's banking system, its insurance companies over 40 percent of the insurance market, and the country is one of Serbia's greatest donors.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi noted that the two governments agreed at previous meetings on a great number of projects, many of which are underway, such as cooperation in the domain of energy that is construction of hydroelectric power plants, car industry, and infrastructure projects in Serbia, as well as joint appearance on third markets.
In spite of the fact that the economy both in Italy and Serbia came to a halt, our economic cooperation is making progress reaching the amount of EUR 2.2 billion, with a 15 percent increase in 2011, and additional 10 percent in the first months of 2012, Terzi said.
GOVT PRIORITY EU INTEGRATION, SUPPORT FROM ITALY
BELGRADE, July 30 (Tanjug) - Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vucic met Monday with Foreign Minister of Italy Giulio Terzi and stressed that European integration is a priority of the new government. Terzi said that Rome will continue to support Serbia in this respect.
Vucic underlined that Serbia will not abandon the European path because its future is in the EU and noted that the new government is not promising much, but that it will fulfill its promises.
He said that European integration, regional and bilateral cooperation and the fight against systemic corruption are the priorities of the new government.
Terzi stated that Rome will continue to support Serbia in the process of European integration, noting that the upcoming Serbian Italian summit will show the quality of relations of the two countries and Italy's wish to establish close ties with the new government.
He announced that a special attention will be paid to increasing the number of Italian investments in Serbia, the government office for cooperation with the media said in a statement.
Vucic thanked the government of Italy for supporting Serbia's European integration and said that he will advocate the adoption of an economic program that would guarantee security to foreign investors and simplify legal procedures.
TERZI: KOSOVO'S RECOGNITION NOT REQUIRED
BELGRADE, July 31 (Tanjug) - Italy's Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said on Tuesday he did not see Kosovo's recognition as a requirement for Serbia to join the EU, and that he did not think anyone wanted to set that as a requirement.
Europe and Italy know how politically and emotionally sensitive the issue is, Terzi told Radio and Television of Serbia, commenting on a recent statement by former UN envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari that Kosovo's recognition should be set as a requirement for Serbia to enter the EU.
According to Terzi, the most important issue during the accession negotiations will be the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, while other significant issues will refer to reforms.
Terzi said his discussions with Serbia's president, prime minister and foreign minister had confirmed Serbia's clear will to continue on the path towards the EU, adding that he was pleased when the European Council granted Serbia the status of a candidate for membership.
A new chapter starts now, and that is the beginning of formal membership negotiations, Terzi noted, adding that the issue was up to the European Commission, which will present its report in October, which in turn will be the basis for future relations between Belgrade and Brussels on many issues.
Pointing out that his visit to Serbia was organized at the start of Serbia's new government's term, he stressed that it was not just about Italy's need to establish direct and friendly relations with the new government, like in earlier years, but a way to tell the Serbian government, parliament and people how important the process was to all Italians, especially the Italian government.
Serbia and Italy have many opportunities for cooperation in economy, trade, development policy, and especially concerning the main issue at present, and that is the relations between Serbia and the EU, Terzi remarked.
The partnership between Serbia and Italy is growing stronger, he said, adding that trade had reached EUR 2.2 billion and that it went up by 15 percent in 2011.
During the first months of 2012, when the Italian economy was hit by a crisis, trade was up by about 10 percent, Terzi stated.