Italy-Serbia: Foreign minister Terzi in Belgrade

First EU official to meet new Serbian government

30 July, 13:57

(ANSAmed) - BELGRADE, JULY 30 - Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi arrived this morning in Belgrade for talks with Serbian leaders, just a few days after the new government was formed in the Balkan country. Terzi is the first member of an EU government and the first foreign minister in the world to meet members of the new Serbian government formed by a coalition of nationalist conservatives and socialists.

Terzi will meet Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic and Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

The aim of the visit is to confirm Italy's full support of the European integration of Serbia and the wish that a date is fixed by the end of the year for the beginning of EU membership talks.

The talks will also focus on the issue of Kosovo and dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, on regional cooperation in the Balkan area and bilateral relations between Italy and Serbia with special attention to Italian investments in industry, energy, as well as financial and insurance services.

In spite of the international economic crisis, Italy has maintained its position as Serbia's third commercial partner in 2011 with commercial exchanges back to their pre-crisis levels in 2008 totalling some 2 billion euros.

About 500 companies with Italian ownership employing 20,000 workers operate in the country, making Italy one of the leading foreign investors in Serbia. (ANSAmed)

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