Serbian president receives Romanian counterpart
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Thursday that Serbia "will not fall for provocations."Source: Tanjug
Speaking during a joint news conference after his meeting in Belgrade with Romanian counterpart Klaus Werner Iohannis, Nikolic added that his country "will make great effort to see the Balkans become a permanent oasis of peace and stability."
Serbia and Romania are both prepared to fight as friends and allies so that the people of Balkans live in peace and good neighborly relations, he added.
"Even with all exertion to make this part of Europe move forward and assure better living standards there are still temptations and barriers being put up but certain people would like to push us back into conflict and back into the past," Nikolic said.
He exemplified this with Macedonian conflicts, the influx of migrants which lead Hungary to reach the poor decision of putting up a wall along its Serbian border and the recent "attempted lynching of the Serbian prime minister" at the commemoration for the Srebrenica victims.
Nikolic emphasized that Balkan countries should not only follow Europe's example but set one themselves by proving they can collaborate as good neighbors and solve their problems through dialogue.
According to him, Romania and Serbia have nothing to mutually forgive and forget. "This has always been the case and we will try our best to keep it that way", said Nikolic.
Klaus Werner Iohannis underlined in Belgrade on Thursday that peace and stability in the Western Balkans are in the interest of Romania and Serbia, all countries in the region, and the entire European Union.
Iohannis told the press conference that Romania clearly supports Serbia's EU perspective. "The efforts Serbia has invested should be recognized," he noted.
Iohannis voiced the hope that effective negotiations between Serbia and the EU would begin this year, and noted that Romania is willing to share with Serbia the experiences it gained in the EU integration process.
He said that he also discussed economic relations of the two countries with Nikolic, noting that Romania wants the cooperation on joint projects.
Iohannis said that Romania is particularly interested in the cooperation on the project aimed at building the Timisoara-Belgrade highway and the transnational cooperation in the field of energy.
He said that with President Nikolic he also considered the issue of migrants facing Serbia and the position and rights of national minorities, stressing that Romania is completely open to cooperation in this respect.