Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, stated at the end of his 1st April meeting in Rome with Serbian counterpart Nikola Selaković that the intensification of (already excellent)cooperation between our two countries appears even more appropriate in light of the important challenges we are facing with the pandemic emergency still underway
As Minister Di Maio confirmed, “Italy attributes strategic value to cooperation with Belgrade” and “our relations are characterised by very dynamic economic cooperation”. He continued: “in 2020 Italy was ranked as the third supplier country of Serbia and the second importer. This is an important fact that’s also made possible by the presence of more than 600 Italian companies in Serbia, employing about 34,000 people.
“We can therefore already count on a solid partnership, which we aim to strengthen by exploiting the opportunities that will open up in the sectors of telecommunications and the circular economy. We have also agreed with Minister Selaković to intensify cooperation between our ministries on political and security issues, through the signing of a specific Memorandum of Understanding that will allow closer diplomatic cooperation.
“Serbia is tangibly helping the Balkan Region and I personally wanted to thank my colleague Selaković for this. We spoke about Serbia’s prospects of European integration, which Italy supports with firm conviction. We are actually convinced that Serbia’s future lies in Europe.
“With this goal in mind, I expressed the hope that Belgrade will give new impetus to the reform process that’s necessary to bring the country closer to its European goal. We then discussed the Dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, which is a central element of the definitive stabilisation of the region. I reiterated our strong encouragement for both sides to work constructively in the framework of the European Union facilitation promoted by Special Representative Lajčak.
Serbia is tangibly helping the Balkan Region and I personally wanted to thank my colleague Selaković for this. We spoke about Serbia’s prospects of European integration, which Italy supports with firm conviction. We are actually convinced that Serbia’s future lies in Europe
“This would be an historic result that is within reach of the parties, but achieving this goal requires the utmost commitment on the part of everyone. Italy considers Serbia a key country for the stabilisation of the Western Balkan region. The constructive approach shown by Belgrade in recent years has allowed us to take important steps forward that we hope will be consolidated in the near future.
As Serbian Foreign Minister Selaković stated on the first day of his visit to Rome, where he also had a series of meetings in Parliament, “Italy supports the opening of all new negotiating chapters with the EU that Serbia is ready for”.
Speaking to representatives of the Serbian media in Rome, Selaković said that “Italy is the largest country in the EU that has no reservations about supporting Serbia’s path towards European integration”.
The Serbian minister met with the presidents of the House and Senate Foreign Committees, Piero Fassino and Vito Petrocelli, whilst also speaking with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Montecitorio Palace. Selaković added that the talks “showed, at the same time, full support for the initiatives of the Serbian Government and President Aleksandar Vučić that favour the creation of a common economic market in the Western Balkans, the so-called ‘mini-Schengen’ formula”.