Nikolić: Progress in EU integration - real test for Serbia

BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić said Tuesday that making progress in European integration will be "a real test for Serbia."

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"Results and parameters are valued here, not friendships," he was quoted as saying.

During a meeting he had with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Tuesday, Nikolić said that Serbia has achieved much in improving its position in the world over the last twelve months, and nobody speaks bad about it any more, adding that its policy priorities will include strengthening the stability and trust in the region.

“Everything that has been done over the past year was not done because someone had asked it of us, but because we want Serbia to be a modern and regulated country. It is in the interest of our people and their future and we will continue working on it,” said the president.

Speaking on the implementation of the Brussels agreement, the Serbian president said that it should be simple if the temporary administration in Priština is willing to carry on with it in the way envisaged by the agreement.

“Serbia has done a lot to normalize the relations with Priština and showed great tolerance all through the process, but will never recognize Kosovo and Metohija, and if somebody expects it to, they hope in vain,” Nikolić said.

The Swedish foreign minister congratulated Nikolić on getting the decision of the European Union to open the accession negotiations with the country, and on the results achieved in the process to establish lasting stability in the region.

Also, he said Sweden will give Serbia any piece of advice to help it go through the accession negotiations and become a full-fledged member of the European Union as soon as possible.