Cypriot FM says Serbia ready for EU candidate status

BELGRADE -- Cyprus' Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said in Belgrade on Saturday that Cyprus believed Serbia was ready for the EU candidate status.

Vuk Jeremić and Markos Kyprianou (Beta)
Vuk Jeremić and Markos Kyprianou (Beta)

“I hope Serbia will get the status by the end of the year followed by accession negotiations as soon as possible,” Kyprianou said after a meeting with Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.

He expects Serbia to continue with its reforms in the meantime, adding that his country would provide full support in that, especially during its presidency over the EU in the second half of 2012.

“Serbia and Cyprus support each other when it comes to protecting their sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Jeremić and Kyprianou noted.

“Cyprus is strongly in favor of respecting international law and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Cypriot foreign minister remarked.

His Serbian counterpart pointed out that Serbia's support to Cyprus was not a return favor but was based on Serbia's commitment to international law, which was clearly in Cyprus' favor.

“It is a principle that all countries should follow, meaning respect for UN Security Council resolutions and protection of international law,” he asserted.

When asked about a recent statement by German parliament members that Serbia will have to recognize Kosovo's independence to join the EU, Jeremić answered that such a thing would never happen.

"Based on the situation in international relations, no one can be absolutely sure about whether and when Serbia will join the EU, but it is certain that it will never recognize Kosovo," he stressed, adding that he believed every future democratically elected government would share this view.

The Cypriot official underlined that his country supported the talks between Belgrade and Priština and welcomed Belgrade's constructive approach during the talks.

He also praised Serbia's commitment to improving relations with the countries of the Western Balkans.

“Regional cooperation is a very important tool in the development of the region and it is significant that it is conducted with respect for international law, territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Kyprianou concluded.