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DAILY SURVEY 02.02.2017.
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SERBIA

VUCIC: SERBIA IS TRUE, RESPONSIBLE AND RELIABLE PARTNER TO COUNTRIES IN REGION

BELGRADE, 1 February 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated on Feb. 1 that the talks he has had this year with numerous officials from countries in the region and the world had shown that Serbia was a true, responsible and reliable partner, determined for peace and stability. "It has shown that Serbia is important in the region and in Europe and that it can build good relations and develop them. Peace and stability is our top priority, which is the most important for economic development," Vucic told reporters in the Geozavod, where he presented the "Belgrade Waterfront" project to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He added that he was convinced economic relations between Serbia and Greece would be even better in the future, and that trade would increase to 600 million euros a year. According to Vucic, trade with Greece could even reach one billion euros in the coming years. Before the visit to the Geozavod, the prime ministers of Serbia and Greece laid wreaths at the monument to the Greek revolutionary and poet, Rigas Feraios.

VUCIC DISCUSSES SECURITY SITUATION WITH ATLANTIC COUNCIL DELEGATION

BELGRADE, 1 February 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic had talks in Belgrade on Feb. 1 with a delegation of the Atlantic Council from Washington D.C., about the political and security situation in the Balkans, the Serbian government has stated. The delegation of the Atlantic Council, which is paying a study visit to the region, consists of representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties, and is headed by the Council's executive president, Damon Wilson. Vucic said the Serbian government was determined to contribute to regional stability and development. He thanked the U.S. for its support to Serbia's economic reforms and European integration so far, adding that he was convinced the two countries would develop relations. He said he hoped economic cooperation would increase and that U.S. companies would show even greater interest in investing in Serbia, reads the statement of the government. The U.S. ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott, also attended the meeting.

GOJKOVIC, TSIPRAS, CONCUR ON FRIENDLY RELATIONS BETWEEN SERBIA AND GREECE

BELGRADE, 1 February 2017 (Beta) - The speaker of the Serbian Parliament, Maja Gojkovic, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras concurred in Belgrade on Feb. 1 that relations between the two countries were friendly and represented a good basis for further cooperation, the Serbian parliament has stated. Commenting on the agreement between the two prime ministers about forming a High Council for Cooperation, Gojkovic said that she would make a proposal to the speaker of the Greek Parliament, Nicolaos Voutsis, for the two parliaments to make their contribution by forming a parliamentary commission, to deal with issues such as European integration, security in the context of the challenges of migrations and terrorism, the economy, transportation, tourism and culture. She thanked the Greek prime minister for respecting the territorial integrity of Serbia and for support to Serbia's European integration. Tsipras added that Greece supported Serbia's efforts towards becoming a member of the European Union.

MIHAJLOVIC: WE WANT JOINT CUSTOMS BRANCH WITH ALL NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES

BELGRADE, 1 February 2017 (Beta) - The Serbian minister for construction, transportation and infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlovic, stated on Feb. 1 that the Serbian government has stepped up work with neighboring countries on establishing a single customs branch, in order to speed up the transport of goods and for Serbia, as a transit country, to utilize its position. "For us, transit means a lot of money, and Serbia is a transit country and the shortest route towards Western Europe. We should make sure that cargo vehicles opt for Corridor 10 via Serbia, instead of Corridor 4 via Bulgaria and Romania," Mihajlovic said in an interview to Television Pink, as quoted by her ministry. She recollected that vehicles passing through Serbia go through two customs controls at borders and that the government was working on establishing joint checkpoints, to speed up the passage of vehicles which, for instance, stay for up to several hours at the border with Hungary. The minister said that work on the joint customs station was already under way within the project for the construction of the Ljubovija-Bratunac bridge, and that this was also discussed during the visit of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Serbia on Jan. 31. Deputy Prime Minister Mihajlovic said the project for the modernization of the railway to the Port of Piraeus was also discussed during the talks with the Greek delegation, which would shorten the time needed to get from Belgrade to Thessaloniki from the current 49 to 26 or 27.5 hours. She also stated that work had intensified with Chinese partners on the modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest railway.

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