Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selaković (Belgrade, 03.06.2022)

Dear Nikola,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so happy to be back in Belgrade. This is my third visit. That speaks for itself. I had the opportunity to receive you in Athens last November. I hope to see you soon again at the Thessaloniki SEECP summit. My Prime minister, Prime Minister Mitsotakis was here last February and also President Vučić was in Alexandroupolis a few days ago.

So, these very close contacts, relations are testament to our cordial, deep and long-standing bilateral relations.

I am here today, as part of my Western Balkans tour. Ahead of the Thessaloniki Summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process that takes place next week. A Summit, almost 20 years after the Thessaloniki EU Summit, during which Greece launched the agenda for the Western Balkans.

And this is the key message I am conveying to all my interlocutors, that the future of the Western Balkans is in the European Union. I have to be honest with you. I understand that there is fatigue and I understand that there is frustration about this very slow pace of the accession process of the Western Balkans, and that applies also to Serbia, a dear friendly nation.

But, let me also be clear. We believe that this is the only road to peace, stability and prosperity for our region. And I have to say, the region has to stay away from false promises and we have to address the issue of Revisionist powers that want to turn the clock of our region back, in order to revive old Empires and try to redraw the map of the Balkans. We cannot allow this to happen.

And in this regard, I would like to make three points.

Firstly, Greece is here to provide support. Both political, but if needed also technical, in order to bring Serbia even closer to the EU. Through the continuation of the accession negotiations and we say here or in Brussels or everywhere that Serbia is a key partner of the EU. We appreciate your efforts for reforms and we call on you to continue this, in the fundamental fields of the European Acquis, as well as to align with the EU’s Foreign Policy decisions.

Secondly, it has to do with our region, the whole region has to look towards a common future, not towards the past. We have to address the challenges in front of us and in this regard we discussed today many things. We discussed the Open Balkans, something that interests us. And I have to tell you that we discussed that with Prime Minister Rama in Tirana a few days ago.

Also we discussed about Kosovo and I reiterated our position on Kosovo. And the need to see progress there, as you said, in order to arrive to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement in accordance with international law and the EU acquis. We also talked about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I was just a few days ago. I want to repeat here today what I said in Sarajevo. That border changes is not the way forward. We should try to help, we should overcome differences and work together to bring peace in the common future of ours. We should also, last but not least, try to build regional stability and prosperity, in order to enhance bilateral and regional cooperation.

Greece remains committed to further strengthening bilateral ties with our long-standing friend, Serbia.

Serbia is an important partner for the Greek business community. Our private sector has invested almost 3 billion euros in Serbia. We are proud because Greek businesses have created 25,000 jobs in Serbia, but let’s hope that fore more. Now, we are getting out of an economic crisis, a pandemic crisis and, hopefully, we will get soon out of the Ukraine crisis, the invasion of Ukraine. We would need to invest more in Serbia, which will help also Serbia grow and us grow and our ties grow.

We welcome the intention of Serbia to open a tourist office in Athens. And in fact, Greece remains one of the main, if not the main, tourist destination for Serbs, and that applies also to my home island, Corfu, which I know how close it is to the Serbian people.

Also, we discussed interconnectivity in the field of transport and logistics. We discussed the Pan European Corridor X and the rail connection Piraeus-Skopje-Belgrade-Central Europe.

Energy cooperation, you touched upon it, is another field where there are prospects for our region. The inauguration of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit in Alexandroupolis, which President Vučić attended, is a major step towards regional energy cooperation.

Our Military cooperation is mutually beneficial.

We also discussed today how we can further cooperate in international bodies. And I have to thank you publicly for your support for our bid for election to the UN Security Council. Thank you so much.

We also discussed prospects about multilateral formats which, as you said, include Cyprus, but also others like North Macedonia. And, I have to say, that could be a way to foster closer relations.

And I briefed [Nikola], on the unprecedented escalation we are facing, of the revisionist rhetoric and threats emanating from our neighbour, Turkey. And I underlined the qualitative difference, since Turkey has publicly and repeatedly stated that it wants to cut all ties with Greece. And Turkey is openly questioning Greek sovereignty over the Aegean islands, making baseless allegations.

And I have to say openly that we totally reject these allegations. We remain firm in protecting our interests. In accordance with International Law, the International Law of the Sea, the UN Charter.

Dear Nikola,

Thank you so much for the warm way you are always receiving me here in Belgrade. There is so much I would like to thank you and President Vucic. I am very much obliged from your warm hospitality and I am looking forward to seeing you next week in Thessaloniki and in Athens in the near future.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement following his meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selaković (Belgrade, 03.06.2022)

Dear Nikola,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so happy to be back in Belgrade. This is my third visit. That speaks for itself. I had the opportunity to receive you in Athens last November. I hope to see you soon again at the Thessaloniki SEECP summit. My Prime minister, Prime Minister Mitsotakis was here last February and also President Vučić was in Alexandroupolis a few days ago.

So, these very close contacts, relations are testament to our cordial, deep and long-standing bilateral relations.

I am here today, as part of my Western Balkans tour. Ahead of the Thessaloniki Summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process that takes place next week. A Summit, almost 20 years after the Thessaloniki EU Summit, during which Greece launched the agenda for the Western Balkans.

And this is the key message I am conveying to all my interlocutors, that the future of the Western Balkans is in the European Union. I have to be honest with you. I understand that there is fatigue and I understand that there is frustration about this very slow pace of the accession process of the Western Balkans, and that applies also to Serbia, a dear friendly nation.

But, let me also be clear. We believe that this is the only road to peace, stability and prosperity for our region. And I have to say, the region has to stay away from false promises and we have to address the issue of Revisionist powers that want to turn the clock of our region back, in order to revive old Empires and try to redraw the map of the Balkans. We cannot allow this to happen.

And in this regard, I would like to make three points.

Firstly, Greece is here to provide support. Both political, but if needed also technical, in order to bring Serbia even closer to the EU. Through the continuation of the accession negotiations and we say here or in Brussels or everywhere that Serbia is a key partner of the EU. We appreciate your efforts for reforms and we call on you to continue this, in the fundamental fields of the European Acquis, as well as to align with the EU’s Foreign Policy decisions.

Secondly, it has to do with our region, the whole region has to look towards a common future, not towards the past. We have to address the challenges in front of us and in this regard we discussed today many things. We discussed the Open Balkans, something that interests us. And I have to tell you that we discussed that with Prime Minister Rama in Tirana a few days ago.

Also we discussed about Kosovo and I reiterated our position on Kosovo. And the need to see progress there, as you said, in order to arrive to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement in accordance with international law and the EU acquis. We also talked about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I was just a few days ago. I want to repeat here today what I said in Sarajevo. That border changes is not the way forward. We should try to help, we should overcome differences and work together to bring peace in the common future of ours. We should also, last but not least, try to build regional stability and prosperity, in order to enhance bilateral and regional cooperation.

Greece remains committed to further strengthening bilateral ties with our long-standing friend, Serbia.

Serbia is an important partner for the Greek business community. Our private sector has invested almost 3 billion euros in Serbia. We are proud because Greek businesses have created 25,000 jobs in Serbia, but let’s hope that fore more. Now, we are getting out of an economic crisis, a pandemic crisis and, hopefully, we will get soon out of the Ukraine crisis, the invasion of Ukraine. We would need to invest more in Serbia, which will help also Serbia grow and us grow and our ties grow.

We welcome the intention of Serbia to open a tourist office in Athens. And in fact, Greece remains one of the main, if not the main, tourist destination for Serbs, and that applies also to my home island, Corfu, which I know how close it is to the Serbian people.

Also, we discussed interconnectivity in the field of transport and logistics. We discussed the Pan European Corridor X and the rail connection Piraeus-Skopje-Belgrade-Central Europe.

Energy cooperation, you touched upon it, is another field where there are prospects for our region. The inauguration of the Floating Storage Regasification Unit in Alexandroupolis, which President Vučić attended, is a major step towards regional energy cooperation.

Our Military cooperation is mutually beneficial.

We also discussed today how we can further cooperate in international bodies. And I have to thank you publicly for your support for our bid for election to the UN Security Council. Thank you so much.

We also discussed prospects about multilateral formats which, as you said, include Cyprus, but also others like North Macedonia. And, I have to say, that could be a way to foster closer relations.

And I briefed [Nikola], on the unprecedented escalation we are facing, of the revisionist rhetoric and threats emanating from our neighbour, Turkey. And I underlined the qualitative difference, since Turkey has publicly and repeatedly stated that it wants to cut all ties with Greece. And Turkey is openly questioning Greek sovereignty over the Aegean islands, making baseless allegations.

And I have to say openly that we totally reject these allegations. We remain firm in protecting our interests. In accordance with International Law, the International Law of the Sea, the UN Charter.

Dear Nikola,

Thank you so much for the warm way you are always receiving me here in Belgrade. There is so much I would like to thank you and President Vucic. I am very much obliged from your warm hospitality and I am looking forward to seeing you next week in Thessaloniki and in Athens in the near future.

Antonis Tsagronis
Antonis Tsagronis
Αντώνης Τσαγκρώνης  Αρχισυντάκτης: Αtticanews.gr  iNews – Newspaper – iRadio - iTV e-mail : editor@atticanews.gr , a.tsagronis@gmail.com AtticaNews Radio:  http://www.atticanews.gr Facebook: @Αντώνης Τσαγκρώνης Facebook: @Atticanews.gr https://www.facebook.com/Atticanewsgr-111129274130/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/Antonis%20Tsagronis Twitter: #AtticanewsGr Instagram:Antonis_Tsagronis (διαπιστευμένος δημοσιογράφος στο Προεδρίας της Δημοκρατίας, Υπ. Εξωτερικών, Υπ. Πολιτισμού & Αθλητισμού, Υπ. Παιδείας και Θρησκευμάτων, Υπ. Τουρισμού, Υπ. Υγείας, , Yπ. Εργασίας & Κοινωνικών Υποθέσεων, Υπ. Προστασίας του Πολίτη, Υπ. Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου)

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