NEWS

Belgrade seeking even closer ties with Athens

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Interview, Diplomacy

In an interview with Kathimerini, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has highlighted the need for Athens and Belgrade to further strengthen their economic and political ties and watch each other’s backs on the international stage.

“It is of particular importance to promote our commercial transactions but our goal is to also promote our political relations so that we can reinforce each other’s position in the international community,” said Vucic, who arrived in Athens on Monday at the invitation of President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, political party leaders, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis and Archbishop Ieronymos on Wednesday.

The Serbian leader also stressed the importance attached by Belgrade to the Budapest-Piraeus railway link, via Belgrade, Skopje and Thessaloniki, and that he has held talks with Chinese and European officials regarding the project’s completion.

He also noted that Belgrade has been pressed by the European Union over its relations with China and Russia, but insisted his country will maintain them.

Vucic, who emphasized that EU membership remains Serbia’s strategic goal, also said that Belgrade will do what it can to help the bloc and Athens regarding the migrant/refugee problem.

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