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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-23

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Marovic stresses friendly ties with Greece in statements to press

  • [01] Marovic stresses friendly ties with Greece in statements to press

    Visiting Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic on Thursday said that the traditionally friendly ties between his country and Greece had been confirmed during his meetings in Athens with the Greek president and prime minister, as well as the leader of main opposition PASOK. He also noted the steady annual rise in bilateral economic activity.

    Turning to the issue of Kosovo, Marovic said that negotiations would probably begin at the end of the year and underlined the complexity of the problems in the area, pointing out that there were hundreds of thousands of non-Albanian refugees that were unable to return to their homes because of the lack of security and the low living standards of the region, which were a problem for the Albanian population as well.

    He called for improvements in the quality of life, decentralisation and the development of relations of trust.

    Marovic also referred to the start of negotiations for the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union in October, saying that this was an important milestone and thanking Greece for its help in accelerating the process.

    He conceded, however, that the rate of progress will depend on resolving the issue of former Bosnian general Ratko Mladic, who has been wanted for years by the UN Tribunal at The Hague in connection with atrocities during the Bosnian war.

    A solution of the "Mladic issue" by the end of the year would allow Serbia and Montenegro to join NATO's Partnership for Peace programme and accelerate negotiations with the EU, Marovic noted.

    The issue was also raised in talks between Marovic and Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, with Serbia and Montenegro pledging to make every possible effort to hand over General Mladic to the International Tribunal.

    With regard to the future of the union between Serbia and Montenegro, in view of a referendum for independence being sought by the Montenegrin side, Marovic said that this was an issue that must be decided democratically by its people.

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