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Serb PM in Warsaw for Salzburg Forum

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 24.04.2013 18:10
Following last Friday's deal to normalise Serbia-Kosovo relations, Serbian prime minister Ivica Dacic is in Warsaw, Wednesday, for talks with his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk.

Ivica Dacic (left) with Donald Tusk in Warsaw: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

While in Warsaw, the Serbian prime minister is taking part in the Salzburg Forum – including interior ministers from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Romania - which will discuss illegal weapon trafficking, reinforcement of regional cooperation and priorities of Romania’s chairmanship over the Forum in July.

The Serbian PM will also be seeking backing for Serbia's bid to join the EU.

Low-level conflict has continued between the two Balkan countries since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

The deal agreed last week – which would grant a high degree of autonomy to Serb-majority areas in northern Kosovo – has led the European Commission to recommend talks on Serbia joining the European Union.

An EU summit in June could officially give Belgrade the green light to start accession talks.

Poland has been an active supporter of EU enlargement incorporating the Balkans.

The EC also recommended opening talks with Kosovo on reaching an Association Agreement with the EU, a key step towards full EU accession negotiations with Europe’s newest nation.

Serbia said that it will still resist recognising Kosovo as an independent
state, however.

The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who brokered the deal between Serbia and Kosovo, said: “I wasn't sure we would get a deal until the moment the two prime ministers initialled it.”

Another part of the former Yugoslavia, Croatia, will join the EU on 1 July. Accession talks between Zagreb and Brussels took 12 years to complete. (pg)

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