Italian PM: Pristina should drop taxes and enable dialogue

Pristina should withdraw taxes (on goods from central Serbia) and enable dialogue with Belgrade to continue.

Source: Tanjug
Giuseppe Conte during the news conference in Belgrade (Tanjug)
Giuseppe Conte during the news conference in Belgrade (Tanjug)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said this in Belgrade on Wednesday.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Conte was asked by Tanjug how Italy looks at the Pristina's current policy, "which is not ready for any concessions, constructiveness towards Belgrade, or toward the international community," and replied:

"I repeat, in my opinion, that unilateral initiatives initiated by Kosovo lead nowhere. Their measure, the process is not leading anywhere. I think that the only way to speed up the path toward the EU is dialogue, all sides must be wise. I stress once again, it was an exceptionally wise decision made by the Serbian government concerning (reaction to) Pristina's measure."

As he added, he will talk with the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini about "future developments" - and about how Italy, "as an ambassador of Serbia in the EU, can realistically and concretely represent it."

Conte confirmed Italy's support to Serbia on its EU path and to the efforts Vucic has invested in reaching a compromise on Kosovo and Metohija, which, as he said, would be facilitated also by the EU.

The Italian prime minister expressed strong support to the reform process in Serbia and said he was certain they would "contribute to accelerating negotiations with the EU."

Conte recalled that Serbia and Italy celebrate 140 years of diplomatic relations this year, as well as ten years of strategic partnership, and pointed out to "impressive relations and intensive exchange of goods."

Visit to Serbia

Conte is welcomed in Belgrade with full honors (Tanjug)
Conte is welcomed in Belgrade with full honors (Tanjug)

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was this Wednesday on a one-day visit to Serbia where he was received by President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

For the first time since taking office, Conte was traveling to the Western Balkans, and his visit to Serbia was his first bilateral visit to a European country since the beginning of the year. A ceremonial welcome for the head of the Italian government was organized at Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport, and in front of the Palace of Serbia.

Conte then had a face-to-face meeting with Brnabic, followed by a plenary meeting of the delegations of the two governments.

Conte continued his visit with a meeting with President Aleksandar Vucic. After the meeting, Vucic and Conte addressed the press.

Ahead the visit, Vucic told Italian agency ANSA, among other things, that Rome's support was "crucial for the economy of Serbia, the European road of our country, and the solving of the Kosovo issue."

According to announcements, during the visit, a Memorandum of Cooperation the Railway Infrastructure of Serbia company with Italian Railways was to be signed.

The last time an Italian prime minister visited Serbia was in 2012. Italy is one of the two largest trading partners of our country, with total annual trade exchange exceeding four billion euros - half of this number representing the value of export of Serbia's goods to Italy.


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