Chapter 35 should be opened first - German ambassador

BELGRADE -- German Ambassador to Serbia Heinz Wilhelm has said he hopes Serbia will open its first chapter of the accession talks with the EU "soon."

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

Speaking on Thursday he added that "that Berlin believes that should be Chapter 35, on Kosovo."

The talks with the EU will continue, he said at the conference The Economist: World in 2015 held in Belgrade on Thursday, adding that he believed the first chapters would be opened as soon as possible in 2015.

Germany was criticized occasionally for blocking the opening of the first chapter, he remarked, adding that Berlin insisted on starting with Chapter 35, which refers to Kosovo.

Serbia will take over the OSCE chairmanship in 2015, a particularly responsible role in view of the Ukrainian crisis, he noted, adding that he was certain the Serbian government was prepared to take over that responsibility.

Serbia has an advantage because of its very good relations with the EU and US, as well as with Russia, so it can act as a bridge between Europe and Russia, he stated.

Switzerland, Serbia and Germany, as the preceding, current and next country to assume the OSCE chairmanship will work closely and be in constant contact in 2015, he said.

Commenting on Serbia in 2015, Wilhelm pointed out that reforms were very important and could bring new jobs, because Serbia's attractiveness as an investment destination would improve.

The summit between China and 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe in Belgrade could also help improve regional cooperation, in infrastructure projects for example, he said.

The relations between Serbia and Germany gave never been better, he stressed, adding that he hoped more German companies would come to Serbia.