Assistant Secretary of State for European and Asian Affairs Karen Donfried said in talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that the United States is strongly committed to the entire Western Balkans region joining the European Union, and reiterated that this is one of US foreign policy priorities in the region.
Welcoming the Open Balkans initiative and Serbia’s intention to place economic issues at the focus of regional cooperation, the US Assistant Secretary of State pointed out that this initiative is an opportunity to better promote the region’s investment potential, said the Serbian president’s press service.
The two discussed bilateral relations, Serbia’s European integration, the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, Serbia’s attitude towards the situation in Ukraine, but also the diversification of energy sources in Serbia and the Western Balkans, besides other current geopolitical issues.
Speaking about regional cooperation, Vučić said that it is of key interest for Serbia to preserve stability in the region and that the improvement of good neighbourly and mutually beneficial cooperation is a fundamental and permanent starting point for our country’s foreign policy, according to the press release.
The President especially pointed out the Open Balkans initiative as an example of successful regional cooperation and the struggle for common goals, emphasizing that it is the best way to prepare regional states for EU membership, but also an opportunity to reach European standards before joining.
He welcomed the presence of the many and important American companies that operate successfully in Serbia and added that there is a huge potential that should be used, especially in view of the excellent conditions that Serbia can offer potential investors.
“Compared to 2010, Serbia has increased its exports to the United States by a hundred times”, Vučić pointed out.