DACIC, BRENDE: SERBIA STRONGEST KEYSTONE IN REGION
OSLO, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - Serbian and Norwegian foreign ministers Ivica Dacic and Borge Brende said in Oslo, on April 26 that the stability of the West Balkans was essential to the development of all the countries in the region, but also to the overall stability of the European continent. Dacic and Brende agreed that Serbia "represents the strongest keystone in the preservation of peace and prosperity in the region thanks to its responsible policies and the stability of its institutions," the Foreign Ministry of Serbia said in a press release. The Norwegian minister highlighted full support to the West Balkan EU integration process, where, he said, he expects fundamental dedication to reform processes and constructive cooperation among all the countries in the region, the press release reads. Norway also stands for a clearly defined and active commitment to the EU policy of enlargement to the West Balkans, the announcement read.
SWEDISH PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITING SERBIA
BELGRADE, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - A delegation of the Swedish Riksdag, spearheaded by Speaker Urban Ahlin, visited Belgrade on April 26 and met with top Serbian officials. Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said in his meeting with the Swedish parliamentarians that Serbia highly appreciated Sweden's support for its bid for full membership in the European Union. Nikolic said "the talks with the EU themselves have helped Serbia greatly to become a modern and well-ordered state" and that it would be "very good if all countries in the region were helped to join the EU as swiftly as possible, as this would at the same time mean a European incentive to establishing lasting peace and stability in the region," the president's office said in a press release. Ahlin said it was important that all states in Europe know they have a stable environment, and this is what membership in the EU and the implementation of European standards makes possible. That is why Sweden actively supports Serbia's efforts to fast-track its EU accession and rejoices in each of its successes on the European path, said Ahlin, according to the press release.
VUCIC, AHLIN ON REGIONAL STABILITY, ECONOMIC COOPERATION
BELGRADE, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - Swedish Riksdag Speaker Urban Ahlin met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, on April 26 and talked about bilateral relations, Serbia's bid to join the European Union and relations in the region, especially the recent statements coming out of Albania and Pristina. Vucic said "Serbia will do everything to maintain stability in the West Balkan region," which is why it has not been "responding to the latest provocations," the government said in a press release. If you want to be a successful country, you have to have successful neighbors, said Ahlin, adding that this is why the stability of the West Balkans must be sustained.
Ahlin told a news conference after meeting with Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic that Sweden supported all the Balkan countries in their journeys toward the EU. He said the EU had never let down any country that received candidate status, adding that the Balkans must be integrated into the EU.
The head of Sweden's parliament also met with Serbian Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin, who acquainted him with the current state of the migrant crisis.
SERBIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SPEAKS AT MOSCOW CONFERENCE
MOSCOW, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic said at the Moscow Conference on International Security on April 26 that Serbia was committed to regional and global cooperation in defense and security. Djordjevic said in his speech that Serbia's international position had "improved significantly" in previous years and that Serbia was "a key player in the region when it comes to maintaining peace and stability, primarily in the fight against global terrorism," reads a press release issued by the Ministry of Defense of Serbia. "Serbia is proving successful in resolving the fallout from the migrant crisis, averting possible threats, which include terrorism," said Djordjevic. The minister said Serbia was a "responsible, reliable and predictable partner" and wants, "as an EU candidate, to share responsibility with its European partners, but also to develop cooperation with all stakeholders in international security thus contributing to global security." Djordjevic stressed that Serbia was strongly committed to a policy of military neutrality, and said in a statement to Sputnik that he respected Montenegro's decision to join NATO.
DITTMANN: GOOD POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL RELATIONS BETWEEN SERBIA AND GERMANY
BELGRADE, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - Relations between Germany and Serbia are characterized by good cooperation on the political, economic and cultural planes and Germany strongly supports Serbia on the path to the EU, the German ambassador in Belgrade, Axel Dittmann, stated on April 26. "Germany strongly and gladly supports on its path to the EU," Dittmann said during the opening of the new premises of the Goethe Institute in Belgrade. The German ambassador said cooperation between the two countries was also good on the economic plane and that around 350 German companies, with 35,000 employees, were operating in Serbia. Saying that he was pleased that Germany had become the second most important foreign language in Serbia, Dittmann stressed the importance of the Goethe Institute in developing cultural relations between Serbia and Germany and, particularly, in learning German. The new director of the Goethe Institute in Belgrade, Frank Baumann, said the Institute was operating in 84 countries with a total of 160 branch offices, providing services in language learning and supporting the local teaching staff in developing their German language skills.
MANZO OPENS EXHIBITION ABOUT EU
BELGRADE, 26 April 2016 (Beta) - In Belgrade on April 26, the Italian ambassador to Serbia, Giuseppe Manzo, opened a traveling exhibition of archive documents and photos entitled "The Ever More United Europe: Heritage of the Treaty of Rome for Present-day Europe". Manzo said the European Union "started as a dream of the few" and was now "the hope of many." The opening of the exhibition at the Italian Institute for Culture was attended by the chief of the negotiating team for Serbia's admission in the EU, Tanja Miscevic, who stated that the Treaty of Rome and its creation was one of the most significant turning points in the entire history of Europe and "created the possibility for constant progress." The chief of the department for Serbia of the Directorate General for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Catherine Vent, stated that the Treaty of Rome had united Europe and brought peace, prosperity and security to the continent. Vent said Serbia was an important partner of the Union and that the EU was incomplete without Serbia, recollecting that the EU was the second largest global economy and a leader in investments, including in Serbia.