Venizelos says Greece will strongly support Serbia on EU path


Venizelos named Greece

Serbia’s European prospects are as important to the whole region as they are to Serbia, Greek Foreign Minister and European Union Council of Ministers President Evangelos Venizelos said in Belgrade on Tuesday, vowing Athens’ assistance and support to Serbia during Greece’s EU presidency.
He officially visited Serbia in his capacity as EU Council of Ministers president, meeting with top state officials. He said he was pleased that Serbia had formally launched accession negotiations on January 21, during Greece’s presidency.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Venizelos said Greece’s plan was to have Serbia open as many negotiation chapters as possible in the first half of 2014 so that Serbia could make the swiftest possible progress and join the EU.
The negotiations do not refer only to political but technical issues as well and Greece is willing to extend all the technical assistance to Serbia on that path, Venizelos said, adding that after its EU presidency Athens would try to keep the pace of EU-Serbia negotiations at a high level.
Dacic said Serbia would do its utmost so that an early parliamentary election due in March did not obstruct the EU integration process so that it could join the EU in 2020.
Venizelos also met with President Tomislav Nikolic, Deputy PM Aleksandar Vucic and Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic.

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