Serbian president meets with Macedonian counterpart

EU membership is a common aspiration of Serbia and Macedonia, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Friday.

Source: Tanjug

Two countries could only accelerate this process through joint efforts, constant consultations and sharing of experiences, he noted.

Speaking after a meeting with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov in Belgrade, Nikolic said there was no stable Serbia without a stable Macedonia, noting Serbia would always be a strong support to its southern neighbour and friend.

The political relations between Serbia and Macedonia are very good and, in a period abounding with various challenges, the two countries have demonstrated that all difficulties can be averted and overcome through cooperation and discussions, Nikolic said.

"Serbia wants stable, good-neighborly relations with Macedonia and an improvement of cooperation in all areas," Nikolic said.

The president, noting that the region faces a catastrophic migration crisis that equally affects all countries, said that Serbia and Macedonia are not responsible for the migrant wave going toward Western Europe, and cannot stop or alleviate it - while the EU is the one that must act as it has "the mechanisms and the money."

Nikolic believes that Serbia responsibly faced this problem and ensured dignified reception and safe passage to migrants toward their final destinations.

"We are proud that the way we solved this problem is a positive example referred to in the whole world," said Nikolic.

Serbia's interested in the stability of neighboring countries is essential, he continued, adding that he was confident the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Macedonia will be held in accordance with international standards, and that a new Macedonian government to do everything to preserve stability in the region, and will continue to improve good relations with Serbia.

Nikolic also told Ivanov that Pristina's bid to have Kosovo join UNESCO was absolutely unacceptable to Serbia, and asked Macedonia to offer Serbia its "principled support" and vote against when the issue comes up again.

"I told the president that it is paradoxical that Albanians say those (Serbian Orthodox) monasteries are theirs, while those same monasteries are guarded and protected by KFOR and Kosovo police precisely from them (Albanians)," said Nikolic.

The Serbian president sees the potential for further development of economic cooperation between Serbia and Macedonia primarily in infrastructure, energy, trade and agriculture.

He also said that the Serb minority in Macedonia and the Macedonian minority in Serbia are the true and most important bridge of cooperation between the two countries, stating that he believed that the Macedonian minority "feels good" in Serbia.

"Our hope is that relations between the two nations and the two countries will continue to build on the foundation of mutual respect and understanding, the same religion, a similar language, and close common origins," said Nikolic.


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