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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-04-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou meets Serbian PM Cvetkovic

  • [01] Papandreou meets Serbian PM Cvetkovic

    Bilateral relations and Serbia's European prospects were the two main issues that Prime Minister George Papandreou discussed in Athens on Thursday with his visiting Serb counterpart Mirko Cvetkovic.

    "Greece has steadfastly supported [Serbia's European prospects] from the first moment," Papandreou said after the meeting, adding that "Serbia must be made a member of the European family, a place that rightfully belongs to it, as soon as possible".

    An important step in this direction was the move to grant Serbs visa-free travel to the EU, which was strongly supported by Greece, and the Serbian Parliament's apology for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, which Papandreou described as "brave".

    They also spoke about economic cooperation issues, with special emphasis on tourism during the upcoming summer months.

    "The long friendship of the two peoples is reflected in the frequent high-level visits but also in the great number of Serb citizens that visit our country each year for their holidays," Papandreou said.

    The two prime ministers underlined Greece's leading role on Balkan issues in the EU, with its 'Agenda 2014' initiative that calls for the accession of western Balkan states into Europe by that year provided they meet the terms and conditions of EU entry, including that of good neighbour relations.

    "Serbia is a strategic partner of Greece," Papandreou noted, stressing the country's important role for peace and prosperity in the region.

    Papandreou and Cvetkovic referred to developments in Kosovo, which the Greek side is following closely. The Greek premier said that Athens gives priority in the region to stability, growth, improving living standards, respect for human rights and respect for monuments and cultural heritage.

    "Our participation in Eulex, KFOR and the appointment of the head of the Liaison Office in Pristina, who is also mediator for the protection of the religious and cultural heritage of the Serb Orthodox Church in Kosovo, proves our active dedication," he added.

    Cvetkovic referred to the intense talks between Serbia and other Balkan countries on regional cooperation aiming at European integration, while thanking Greece for its support on the issue of Kosovo.

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