First Australian FM visits Serbia in over 30 years

Serbia's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met on Friday in Belgrade with Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Source: B92
(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

According to Tanjug, both sides "noted the significance of further enhancement of political dialogue at all levels."

Dacic and Bishop also "highlighted the significance of maintaining the traditionally good and friendly relations and development of cooperation in areas of mutual interest."

According to the Serbian government, they "stressed the importance of fostering traditionally good and friendly relations and developing cooperation in areas of common interest."

The two officials also observed at this was the first visit by an Australian foreign minister to Serbia in more than 30 years.

Dacic and Bishop also "estimated that there is a need for deepening and expanding the spectrum of economic cooperation in areas such as exploration of mines, investments, agriculture and tourism, along with cooperation in sports, culture and other fields."

Dacic informed Bishop about the current phase in dialogue with Pristina and our attitudes regarding the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and pointed out the need for consistent respect for international law.

Bearing in mind the number of representatives of our diaspora in Australia, there is a commitment on our side to further improve the position of the Serbian community in Australia, as one of the important factors in relations between Serbia and Australia, he said.

Also, there is an interest in further simplifying the procedure for applying and obtaining Australian visas for citizens of Serbia, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Come to Serbia"

On Thursday, Julie Bishop was received by Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, who said that there was "a mutual interest in strengthening bilateral relations of the two countries, especially in the fields of economy, culture and education."

According to remarks published by the Serbian government, Brnabic "pointed out that Serbia has taken strong steps towards stabilization of the economy and fiscal consolidation in the last three years, adding that these measures now yield results and that Serbia expects faster economic growth in the next year."

She invited Australian companies to come to Serbia.

Brnabic and Bishop "agreed to work on joint projects that would produce results in the future, such as Jadar project by the company Rio Tinto from Loznica."

Bishop "praised Serbia's commitment to EU integration and conveyed the support of the government of Australia to the opening of the chapters in the negotiations of our country with the EU."

The two officials also assessed that the Serbian diaspora in Australia was "one of the most important bridges of previous and future cooperation of the two countries and much more attention should be paid to it to various activities in the future period."

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