Nikolić: PM should head talks with PrištinaSource: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić told Catherine Ashton that the Serbian PM should head Belgrade's delegation in the next rounds of talks with Priština.
However, Nikolić did not specify the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy's stand on that.
EU facilitator in the Belgrade-Priština talks Robert Cooper also attended the meeting.
Addressing journalists after the meeting with Ashton, which marked the start of a series of his Thursday meetings in Brussels, Nikolić voiced opinion that during open talks, he managed to convince Ashton that there was no better future for Serbia than the one in the EU.
According to the Serbian president, “the government should be formed as soon as possible, as time is ticking”.
During the meeting various topics were addressed, including the ones related to the situation in Kosovo, and Nikolić stressed that all sides should refrain from any provocations, so that the people in Kosovo could live peacefully.
“We talked about the past, present, but mostly about the future,” Nikolić noted, underlining that “Serbia will never recognize Kosovo.”
After the meeting with Ashton, Nikolić will continue his visit with a series of meetings with top EU officials - European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The president’s advisor Marko Đurić said that Nikolić was heading into the meetings with a lot of optimism and great ambition that Serbia would arrive at its goal of full-fledged EU membership, all the while respecting its own interests.
Đurić told Tanjug that the president would ask the EU officials to continue supporting Serbia's European integration.
"Nikolić will seek full understanding of the social and political context in Serbia and awareness that only though a continual dialogue and joint work on solving all issues can we arrive at a solution that will mean an efficient and fast track for Serbia into the EU," said the advisor.
He added that a date for the start of the accession talks with the EU and the issue of Kosovo would also feature prominently in Thursday's meetings.
According to Đurić, it is very important for Serbia to get a date for accession talks because this would mean opening chapters directly related to reforms which determine the living standard and efficiency of institutions.
“Nikolić will also seek support to Serbia's interests in matters of problematic privatizations and judicial reform, which were key for living standards and development of institutions,” he noted.
Nikolić's first visit to Brussels is taking place at a time when Serbia is still waiting for its next government to form, and the time and manner in which the Belgrade-Priština dialogue will resume is unknown - both issues that Brussels wants to see resolved as soon as possible.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule confirmed this Monday in Belgrade when he said the key priority in Serbia's EU integration was achieving visible and sustainable progress in relations with Kosovo."