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EU’s Ashton to meet with Serbian president

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EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton will confer Thursday in Belgrade with top Serbian officials. 

She will meet with Serbian President Boris Tadić, Interior Minister Ivica Dačić, head of Belgrade’s team in the dialogue with Priština Borislav Stefanović and Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac.

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Ahead of her visit to Serbia, Ashton stated that the Belgrade-Priština dialogue was essential for removing obstacles on the EU pathway.

“The Belgrade-Priština dialogue is essential for removing obstacles on the road to the EU, Ashton stressed. We want to find practical solutions that can improve the lives of ordinary people,” she added.

She underscored that the EU was committed to the European perspective of the entire western Balkan region.

Ashton’s talks with the Serbian officials will focus on future steps on Serbia’s road to the EU, the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština held under the auspices of the EU in Brussels, and regional cooperation. Ashton and Dačić will also sign an agreement on security measures for the exchange and protection of confidential data.

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The EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and Tadić will hold a joint press conference around 19:30 CET.

After Belgrade, Ashton will visit Priština on May 27, it was announced in Brussels. She will confer with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, head of Priština’s negotiating team Edita Tahiri, Deputy Prime Minister Behgjet Pacolli, Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj and European Integration Minister Vlora Citaku.

Ashton is visiting Belgrade and Priština only a week after the visit of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule.

Her previous visit Serbia was in February 2010, during which she expressed her satisfaction with Serbia’s substantial progress in the EU integration and the belief that Serbia was firmly committed to carry out the reforms necessary for the EU membership.



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