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Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta met the Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic in Belgrade on Thursday


Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Thursday payed a visit to Belgrade, where he has had a tete-a-tete meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, announces the Government's press office. The meeting was followed by press statements of the two Premiers at Serbia Palace of Belgrade.


Dacic said at a joint press conference, held after their meeting, that Serbia is deeply grateful to Romania for its principled stance on the issue of non-recognition of Kosovo's independence. The Serbian Prime Minister pointed out that Romania is a big trade partner of Serbia, but stressed that the volume of trade could be even greater.

He pointed out that Serbia and Romania have the greatest potential for improving cooperation in the areas of energy and transport. Dacic also said that there is a possibility for improving the cross-border cooperation and the possibility of opening new border crossings and crossing of seasonal character.
The Prime Minister said that the two countries should continue to seek common interests and eliminate problems that can harm their relations.

This means that in cooperation we should be practical and operational, Dacic said, adding that we should never allow outstanding issues, such as in the case of the Vlach minority in Serbia, be put under the carpet, which is why Romania put into question our country's candidature for entry into the EU.
Dacic called on Romania to have a positive and constructive attitude when it comes to requests for suspension of visa liberalisation for Serbia.

Ponta said that Romania will be against the introduction of visas for Serbian citizens, adding that Romania will continue to act as a friend to Serbia. He said that the issues of the Vlach minority and the question of European integration of Serbia should not be linked and added that Romania should be support, and not an obstacle in the process.

Romania's Prime Minister expressed confidence that all issues relating to respect for human and minority rights can be resolved through friendly talks, rather than by means of pressure.

For us it is important that all the rights enjoyed by the Serbian minority in Romania are guaranteed to the Romanian national minority in Serbia, said the Prime Minister of Romania.

He said that he and Dacic reached an agreement to hold annual meetings of the two governments with the aim of further strengthening relations, noting that the first such meeting is to be expected early next year. Responding to reporters' questions, Dacic said that tomorrow in Brussels he will discuss with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton the possibilities for the continuation of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina or the beginning of a new negotiation process.

The Prime Minister said that Serbia wants status neutral dialogue and a fast solution to the problem, and added that it is not an option for our country to accept the recognise Kosovo's independence for the sake of receiving a date for commencing EU membership negotiations.

He said that the Serbian government is committed to a peaceful settlement of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, because it wants a compromise and just solution that will take into account the legitimate interests of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo.