"Serbia grateful for Italy's unequivocal support"
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic received in Belgrade on Wednesday Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who was on a one-day visit to Serbia.Source: srbija.gov.rs
According to the Serbian government, she "expressed the wish today during the talks that economic cooperation between the two countries, as the most developed part of the overall relations, be further improved."
Brnabic wished welcome to her Italian counterpart and thanked him for the unequivocal support that Italy has been giving Serbia from the very beginning of its European integration process, but also on the efforts of Rome aimed at preserving a stable, secure and prosperous Balkans.
This shows a high degree of understanding of Italy for our positions, she said, adding that Serbia especially appreciates the support of Italy at times when the European Union itself faces internal political challenges.
Brnabic expressed her belief that the strategic partnership of the two countries, established ten years ago, will be strengthened in the future and that we will no longer talk about years, but about the decades of strategic partnership.
Speaking about the economic relations of the two countries, Brnabic recalled that Italy has been the first export market of Serbia for a long time, as well as the second largest foreign trade and import partner.
The interlocutors expressed satisfaction over the fact that the total trade between Serbia and Italy last year exceeded the figure of €4 billion for the first time.
Around 600 Italian companies operate in Serbia, employing more than 26,000 workers, which makes it the second largest foreign employer in our country.
Brnabic expressed gratitude to Italian soldiers who guard the security of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija within the framework of the KFOR mission, remarking that this is very important, bearing in mind the data from a recent United Nations Development Program (UNDP) survey showing that 95 percent Serbs in the province do not feel safe and live in fear.
Conte said that Wednesday's visit to Serbia aims to confirm the friendly relations of the two countries, and recalled that Serbia and Italy this year mark the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The head of the Italian government also met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, with whom he held a joint news conference.