Serbian PM addresses regional summit in Sarajevo

It's good that regional heads of governments will adopt another declaration at the W. Balkans summit, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday.

Source: Tanjug
(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

However, he added, addressing the summit held in Sarajevo - he "fears that after the summit the quarrels and conflicts will begin once again."

Vucic also asked the hosts not to refer to all those "present" - i.e., represented - as "states" - because "he does do that, either."

"It is a sentiment of Serbia, and I'm not saying this for the sake of the campaign," Vucic, who is a candidate in Serbia's April 2 presidential elections, said after Kosovo PM Isa Mustafa was presented as the representative of "the state of Kosovo" - despite there being no symbols or flags of Kosovo displayed at the gathering.

Vucic said that relations between regional PMs are "good during gatherings because that's when the economy is discussed, but when such meetings are over, the story becomes solely about politics - or we do not talk at all."

He added that "everyone in the region believes in the EU perspective, we hope, but in Serbia nobody mentions the dates any more, and it seems to be that way in many other countries of the Western Balkans."

"I wish the European perspective was somewhat more clear," said the Serbian prime minister, adding that his country "wants to see the region as a uniform area, although some others do not."

A single Western Balkan market would lead not only to bigger outputs and better competitiveness of products from the region, but also to lower prices and higher employment and, ultimately, to a growth of the national incomes of all member states, Vucic also said.

"The good people who live in the region are capable of achieving economic growth that could be even higher than in most of Central, Eastern or Western Europe," he said.

Vucic also said that "five things have happened in the last ten days" when it comes to Kosovo, and that he "must warn about them, although not expecting any reaction."

He listed these as Pristina's intentions to create an army, suspend the dialogue with Belgrade, seize Serbian property in the province, create a new, special department to put Serbs in trial - as well last night's brief arrest of the major of Ranilug, a Serb-majority town in Kosovo, "for carrying (campaign) posters with Vucic's image - and thus causing ethnic, religious, and racial hatred."

The summit's host, Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Council of Ministers Denis Zvizdic, said that "stability, peace and security are key to political, social and economic development of the Western Balkan states."

According to him, "PMs of our countries have a responsibility to keep them on the European path."

Zvizdic said that at this time, "all six countries of the region" have "very stimulating and optimistic indicators which showed they had successfully met all obligations on their European agendas."

EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations said that "all EU member states are fully committed to enlargement to the Western Balkans."

But he "warned that the countries in the region must not allow obstacles to threaten the progress achieved," Tanjug reported.

Hahn also "highlighted the economy as the first to bring progress in the European integration process."

Politics

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