Monday, June 3, 2013

Romania supports Serbia on EU and Kosovo

5/31/2013 11:53:00 AM

BUCHAREST - Romania fully supports Serbia in its efforts to open accession talks with the EU and normalize relations in the region, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta assured his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic. At a joint news conference after their meeting in Bucharest, Dacic stressed the importance of Romania's support in the EU integration process and over the Kosovo issue. "We expect Serbia to get a date for accession talks with the EU, because all criteria - the political criteria, the dialogue with Pristina and internal reforms - have been met," said Dacic.

 The Serbian prime minister expressed understanding for the difficult situation Romania sometimes finds itself in as one of five countries in the EU which do not recognize Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence. "Rest assured that Serbia wants the Kosovo issue resolved as soon as possible and wants to find a solution acceptable to both sides so we can all turn to the future, which is the value of the Brussels agreement," said Dacic. Ponta said he voiced support for the Serbian government's efforts in the EU accession process and for the opening of talks between Serbia and the EU on behalf on his government. 

 The Romanian prime minister also commended the courage and determination of the Serbian leadership in the EU-mediated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, saying that stability in the region is in Romania's best interest as well. Romania will remain a loyal friend to Serbia and will support all of its efforts to normalize relations in the region, stressed Ponta. "We want to further our economic, cultural and all other ties. Romania is a major trade partner for Serbia, it ranks third among EU member countries. Only Germany and Italy are ahead of it and this trade exceeds EUR 1.5 billion a year," said Dacic. The two prime ministers also touched on some open issues, which they are convinced will be resolved in the spirit of friendly relations between Serbia and Romania. 

"There is no reason for problems to exist with the Romanian national minority in Serbia or vice versa. The Vlach issue should not be politicized but worked on. We have taken a series of steps in the areas of education and media, and we expect the heads of our brotherly and friendly churches will discuss religious service in eastern Serbia," said Dacic. Today's meeting is another confirmation of the traditionally close and friendly relations of Serbia and Romania, agreed the prime ministers. In his role as Serbian interior minister, Dacic also met with his Romanian counterpart Radu Stroe and the two signed a protocol on cooperation between the two countries' interior ministries. Photo Screensgot Tanjug video ----------

 Dacic meets with Romanian Patriarch 
 Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic met with Patriarch Daniel of Romania at the end of his two-day official visit to Bucharest on Friday, and discussed the possibility for the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and the Romanian Orthodox Church to overcome their differences. Dacic, who met with Patriarch Daniel unexpectedly in the Bucharest airport's VIP lounge, said after the meeting that the governments of Serbia and Romania are dealing with the relations between the two churches at the bilateral level, but that they cannot tackle the issue to the full extent, as the existing problems are within the churches' competence

. Dacic said that prior to his visit to Romania he organized a lunch for members of the SPC Holy Synod headed by Patriarch Irinej, and told them that the two churches should discuss all debatable issues through their channels. The prime minister called on both Patriarchs to arrange a meeting and encouraged them to seek solutions that would be in line with the two countries' friendly relations. Dacic also invited Patriarch Daniel to visit Serbia and attend the marking of 17 centuries since the signing of the Edict of Milan in Nis. ------------------

 Basesku: Romania firmly supports Serbia's EU path 
 Romanian President Traian Basescu received Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic on Friday and said on the occasion that Romania strongly supports the European prospects of Serbia, adding that the two countries have developed special mutual relations. At a meeting with Dacic, who wrapped up his two-day visit to Romania, Basescu said that that the future of Serbia is in the European family, and that its integration, once achieved, will contribute significantly to the stability, safety and prosperity of the entire region, his office released in a statement, Romanian Agerpres reported. 

 The Romanian president welcomed Serbia's progress in priority fields with the aim to join the EU, which was addressed in European Commission's April report, as well as the agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina. When it comes to Kosovo, Serbian Prime Minister Dacic voiced belief that identifying certain solutions for Kosovo will contribute significantly to the advancement of Serbia's EU accession process. Dacic stated that Serbia has a special interest in deepening bilateral relations with Romania in all areas of common interest, as it considers the country as a natural friend. 

 While discussing regional matters, Traian Basescu said that cancellation of the Summit of Cooperation Process in South East Europe (SEECP), which was to take place in Ohrid (Macedonia) on June 1-2, represents a major setback for the entire region. 

 The Romanian head of state reiterated the importance of compliance and understanding established between Belgrade and Pristina, bilaterally, with regard to the representation of Kosovo within the regional cooperation formats, the statement reads. During the meeting, a particular attention has been paid to the issue of the Romanian community in Serbia, President Traian Basescu saying that Romania wishes uniform application of standards in the field of national minorities protection for all Romanian ethnics living in this country who are freely identified as ethnic Romanians, namely the right to education, information and religion in the mother tongue. In this context, Basescu expressed Romania's willingness to make available to the Serbian authorities Romanian language teaching staff for the schools in the region, as well as a collection of books in Romanian language.

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