President, British minister "discuss OSCE and EU"

BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolic met Thursday with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and said that Serbia is "committed to the European integration process."


The country is "ready to contribute to the easing of tensions between the EU and Russia during its OSCE chairmanship," he added.

"In a cordial meeting, Nikolic said that Serbia is strongly committed to the EU integration, noting that the country expects prompt opening of at least three accession chapters for which it is fully prepared, " the Serbian president's press office said.

Serbia needs to align with the EU standards even before the formal accession, as it is clear that the EU should not be regarded as a haven for low-income countries, Nikolic remarked.

Much depends on Serbia alone, and we are all aware of that, he added.

Speaking about Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship, the president said that Serbia will not abandon the principles upon which the organization was founded.

He pointed out that Serbia is directly affected by the increase in tensions between the European Union and Russia, adding that for that reason it seeks to contribute to the process of reconciliation between the two sides.

The British foreign secretary stressed that his country strongly supports the EU integration of Serbia.

He commended the significant role of Serbia in improving relations in the region and expressed hope that this trend will continue during the country's OSCE Chairmanship in 2015.

With regards to this, Hammond said that he is also looking forward to the upcoming continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue which he believes will encourage further agreements leading towards the full normalization of relations.