PM says Serbia "can count on U.S. support"
Serbia Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday in Washington spoke with U.S. national security advisor Susan Rice.Source: B92, Tanjug
He said after the meeting that "Serbia can count on U.S. support," according to the Serbian government's website.
Vucic said that Rice "expressed unequivocal support for the opening of the first chapters in Serbia’s negotiations with the EU, and added that he believes that the signal from Washington to the EU will be a signal of support for Serbia."
When you have the support of the United States, then everything is much easier, and that is important for Serbia, Vucic said.
He added that the meeting with Rice was "good, useful and responsible and that she expressed a very high opinion on the economic and political reforms undertaken by Serbia, as well as on the preservation of political stability in Serbia and in the region."
He announced that he would on Thursday talk with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, and that he should also meet with European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn, who is currently in Washington.
Tanjug quoted Vucic as saying that he was also scheduled to meet with U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden at the White House, but that Biden was "in Delaware, because of a family tragedy."
Vucic stated in Washington late on Wednesday that preservation of peace and full stability in the region is a priority task for Serbia, adding this is what the United States very much supports.
Addressing journalists after a meeting with President for National Security Affairs Susan Rice, Vucic said they discussed the relations Serbia has within the region, with Albania, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the Serb Republic, noting he also spoke about his recent visits to Tirana and Sarajevo and their results.
"I pointed out Serbia's firm commitment to influence the preservation of peace and stability in the region fully convinced this is the only way forward for all Western Balkan countries," the prime minister said.
Vucic also said all countries in the Western Balkans will deal with great challenges in the next year both due to difficult economic situation and numerous political issues everyone in the region will face.
But, in all that we have to preserve peace and full stability and that is Serbia's priority task and what the U.S. very much supports, he stressed.
Vucic also said that during his meeting Rice, he also discussed the necessity that Serbia diversify its gas supply sources.
I reiterated what I always say, and that is that Serbia needs to secure gas supplies from various sources - I spoke about the visit to Azerbaijan, the relations with Russia and the possibility of getting gas supplies from Krk, Croatia.
The topic was extensively discussed with US gas experts, he said.
My job as the prime minister of Serbia is to secure enough gas for 2019 and 2020, and I am doing that here as well, the prime minister said.
Hopefully we will have ample support from the US, not only as regards our path to the EU, but also as regards gas diversification for Serbia and the Balkans, Vucic said.