Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service
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DAILY SURVEY 13.06.2017.
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BELGRADE, 12 June 2017 (Beta) - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic asked Great Britain on June 12 to consent to the opening of Chapters 7 and 29 in Serbia's accession talks with the European Union (EU). Minister Dacic said that it was important for Serbia that the two chapters be opened by June 20, when Malta's EU presidency ended. During his visit to Kragujevac to celebrate 180 years of diplomatic relations between Serbia and Great Britain, the Serbian foreign minister said that relations between the two states may have taken different courses over the years, but that it was largely a relationship of support and cooperation. "Some things we see differently. We believe that Great Britain is an important international political factor. Serbia never interferes in Britain's internal affairs, or with who may rule the country, whether it will stay within the EU or leave it, but it will always be part of Europe," Dacic said, adding that it is in Serbia's best interest to maintain the best possible bilateral relations with the UK. Dacic said that Serbia was happy to welcome Prince Charles, but that it would be very nice if the British PM could visit Serbia, too, because Margaret Thatcher was the last British prime minister to have visited Serbia back in 1980, when Josip Broz Tito died. The British ambassador to Serbia, Denis Keefe, underlined that Britain's interests included the stability, security and prosperity of every Balkan state. "Great Britain is committed to the development of relations and cooperation with Serbia, not only in the EU integration, but also in the struggle against organized crime and terrorism, and for political and financial support to the development of Serbia," the British diplomat said.


BRUSSELS, 12 June 2017 (Beta) - The European Union (EU) is determined to accept the Western Balkans and help them establish the rule of law and carry out economic transformation, because the Union wants to "export stability, instead of importing instability," European Commissioner of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said in Brussels, on June 12. "It's in our best interest, too," Hahn explained, speaking to reporters about his recent tour of the region and his talks in Brussels with Macedonia's new prime minister, Zoran Zaev. The EU commissioner said he strongly believed that Montenegro and Serbia, well ahead in the accession talks with the EU, would open new chapters soon, underlining that all the states of the region were guaranteed EU prospects and stability only if they carried out reforms properly and laid the foundations for economic transformation. Hahn said he was confident that at the next meeting of the Western Balkans and EU leaders in Trieste, in July, the idea of a single regional economic area would be supported, explaining that new infrastructure links and agreements on a new energy community were prerequisites for such an economic zone. The EU official said this did not refer to the establishment of a customs union, which is unfeasible. Macedonia has finally found a way out of the crisis, and the country is now talking about the necessary reforms on its way to the EU, Hahn explained. When asked if Macedonia could start the talks under the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hahn said it was much too early to talk about that.


BELGRADE, 12 June 2017 (Beta) - The Czech Republic's ambassador to Serbia, Ivana Hlavsova, said on June 12 that her country strongly supported Serbia's accession to the European Union (EU) and a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and hoped for progress in setting up the Community of Serb Municipalities. The Czech diplomat said in an interview with Beta that bilateral political and economic ties were excellent, and that economic cooperation trends were positive, but that there was always room for the advancement of trade and investment. "We strongly support Serbia's EU integration. Our country underwent a similar process in the past, and we know only too well how complex the issue is. We are supporting EU integration not only with political statements, but also with a series of development and other projects," the ambassador explained. Ambassador Hlavsova underlined that her country supported the continuation of the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina talks, and the implementation of the agreements signed in Brussels, defining the Community of Serb Municipalities as a major one. Hlavsova believes that the Berlin Process is very important for deepening economic cooperation and integration in the region. The ambassador said a new plan for the Western Balkans, which the German foreign minister presented earlier in June, the Berlin Plus agenda, should be accepted as a useful instrument in the accession process, but not as a substitute for Serbia's full membership of the EU. "Formally, the Czech Republic is not part of the process, but we do support it, because there is a clear logic in supporting economic growth, the development of regional infrastructure and regional integration," Hlavsova explained. The diplomat underlined that the two states had maintained a traditionally good, historical relationship, and that there were no open issues between them, which was always a positive base for cooperation. The Czech embassy organized the Open Door Day on June 12, when Ambassador Hlavsova presented nine Serbian students with scholarships for studies in the Czech Republic, explaining that her country allocated 30 scholarships to the Western Balkans every year.


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