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EU membership is one of Serbia’s strategic goals, and it is making progress in that direction in many respects, said US special envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar.

Asked in an interview with H1 Croatia if he thinks that Serbia’s policy should be more decisive in the sense that it should decide whether to lean towards East or West, Escobar answered that this is a question for the Serbian people, but that membership of the EU is one of Serbia’s strategic goals.

He said that Serbia is historically, culturally, and increasingly economically a European country.

“I think that the Serbian people understand that and will expect it. So I really think that Serbia is increasingly interested in its relationship with Europe rather than with the East”, added Escobar.

Answering the question about the time frame for Serbia’s accession to the European Union, he said that integration efforts should be accelerated and that every country that has joined the EU has become more democratic, stable and prosperous, at almost no cost to the others.

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“This is exactly what we want for all the countries of the Western Balkans, including Serbia. I hope that all these countries will have a clear path to Europe with open doors, and that they will be able to complete their process within a reasonable time”, said Escobar.

He explained that the real time limit depends on their relationship with the EU, but that the United States encourages them to make progress, and their European partners to give a clear signal that these countries are welcome.

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