Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Portugal supports Serbia’s EU integration

LISBON, 04.10.2011
Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic conferred with Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva on Tuesday, the second day of his visit to Portugal.

Cvetkovic asked Cavaco Silva for Portugal's support to the continuation of Serbia's European integration and stressed Serbia's commitment to the further development of bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economy.

He also thanked the Portuguese president for the support Lisbon has given so far to the process of European integration of Serbia and expressed satisfaction that Portugal has completed the ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

Cvetkovic presented to Cavaco Silva the results Serbia has accomplished in implementing the Action Plan and recommendations of the European Commission, in which great progress has been made.

He also stressed that Serbia gives the greatest importance to getting candidate status for membership in the EU by the end of the year and to setting a date for the beginning of negotiations on accession.

As for the current situation in Kosovo-Metohija, Cvetkovic stressed that it is Serbia’s stance that all problems can be resolved through dialogue, in a diplomatic and peaceful manner, without unilateral moves.

There is no alternative to dialogue, and Serbia is looking for a compromise solution, he said.

During the talk, it was noted that efforts are necessary to foster economic relations and cooperation between Serbia and Portugal and reach the level of political relations.

They also highlighted the importance of signing agreements that would provide a legal framework for the further promotion of economic cooperation, such as an agreement on avoidance of double taxation.

Cvetkovic said Serbia is interested in increasing trade with Portugal, and in participation of Portuguese companies in investing and the privatization process in Serbia.

According to Cvetkovic, Serbia has an interest in joint investments in infrastructure, energy, automotive, agriculture and food industry.

Cvetkovic will also present later Tuesday to the Portuguese businessmen the investment opportunities in Serbia.

The Serbian PM began his visit to Portugal by conferring with his counterpart Pedro Passos Coelho on Monday.

They that the relations between the two countries are very good, and that there is room for further advancement, especially in the economy.

At a joint press conference with Passos Coelho held following the meeting, Cvetkovic noted that Portugal fully endorses Serbia’s EU integration.

He stated that during the meeting, he told his Portuguese counterpart that the acquisition of EU candidate status by the end of the year is of utmost importance to Serbia, as well as setting the date for accession talks.

After Portugal, Cvetkovic will pay a two-day official visit to Spain on October 6-7.

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