Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Dacic: Now Serbia expects good news from Brussels

6/17/2013 6:12:00 PM

 BELGRADE - Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said on Monday that all expected good news from Serbia, but that now Serbia expects good news from Brussels on St. Vitus Day. Noting that June 28 is an important date in the Serbian history, Dacic said that the EU certainly did not schedule the meeting for that very day because of Serbia, and that he expects it to be “the first St. Vitus Day with happy and good news.”

 Dacic told a news conference after a meeting with Irish Minister of European Affairs Lucinda Creighton that the circumstances are very favorable, but that this is no time for support, praise and applause, but a concrete move, i.e. granting a date and opening EU entry talks. Dacic announced that on June 20, he will hold a meeting with Kosovo Prime Minister Hasim Taci, and expressed expectation that after that, “Catherine Ashton will together with Stefan Fuele address a letter to the EU member states, which if everything were in line with what has been going on in the meetings of the working groups and on the ground, would contain a recommendation, i.e. call on the EU member states to deliver a positive opinion.”

 The Serbian prime minister said that the Lithuanian parliament announced that it will ratify the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia, which will be positive news ahead of “the EU summit on St. Vitus Day”. Irish Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said on Monday that her country, which is holding the EU presidency, will do everything in its power to make sure that the EU summit of heads of state and government has a positive outcome for Serbia on June 28. After a meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Creighton commended the Brussels deal that was reached in April, qualifying it as a historic agreement which now needs to be implemented. We know very well in Ireland that these kinds of negotiations take great courage, they require many difficult compromises and they can face setbacks and difficulties from time to time, she noted.

 "But, continuing to engage and to try to find solutions is absolutely imperative in keeping up momentum and improving the quality of life for all. I think we can also show from our own experience in Ireland that the end reward is very much worth the huge effort which is required through the process and I believe that the same will be true for Serbia," Creighton said. The European Council's conclusions of December 2012 were clear, she noted, and when it comes to Kosovo that means that Belgrade should continue working on evident and sustainable progress in relations with Pristina. Ireland very much welcomed the historic agreement reached in April on the normalization of relations with Kosovo. Obviously, now implementation of that agreement is required. The prime minister brought me up to date on the efforts of the Serbian government and his deep commitment in that regard, Creighton said. -------------

Vucic hopes for date of EU talks,
 Creighton optimistic Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated at the meeting with Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton that Serbia has done everything that is necessary for obtaining the date for EU accession talks and that it expects Brussels to adopt a positive decision on the matter.

 Creighton stated that the Serbian government has done much more than it was expected to do and expressed the hope that the EU will qualify this as positive. She expressed optimism concerning Serbia's date for EU accession talks. According to a release issued by the deputy prime minister's cabinet, Vucic once more listed all the conditions which Serbia has successfully met in the EU integration process, adding that it is now EU's turn to state whether Serbia deserves the date for the talks to be set. Serbia has done all that was necessary to get the date, Vucic said and added that he expects Brussels to pass a positive decision and grant prompt initiation of talks.

 During the meeting, Vucic noted that regional cooperation improved considerably over the past few months, as demonstrated by Serbia's exceptionally good relations with all countries in the region. Photo Tanjug, Danilo Peternek

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