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The Serbian PM in Bucharest: The friendship between Serbia and Romania, the 'key to stability in the Balkans.'


Stable and friendly governments in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria are absolutely necessary for regional relations, Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta told a joint press conference on Friday with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, who in turn said the friendship between Serbia and Romania will be 'key to stability in the Balkans.'

'On this occasion of Serbian Prime Minister's presence in Bucharest, I want to voice satisfaction over the positive developments in Romania's neighbour countries. I was very glad and I extended congratulations to the prime minister and the new government in neighbour Bulgaria. Stable and friendly governments in Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria are absolutely necessary for regional relations,' said Ponta.

He also voiced satisfaction over the installation of the new prime minister of Moldova Iurie Leanca, about which cabinet said it is a pro-Europe one.

'I believe that together with Prime Minister Dacic, Prime Minister Oresharski and Prime Minister Leanca as well as all the other heads of government in the region, young and pragmatic, we can work together for the better. I want to assure Mr. Dacic that Serbia will always have only friends in Romania,' said Ponta.

Dacic pleaded in his turn for solving all the outstanding issues between Serbia and Romania, mentioning to the point the situation of the Romanian minority of Serbia.

On his ongoing visit to Romania, Dacic, who is also the interior minister of Serbia, and his Romanian counterpart Radu Stroe signed a protocol for the establishment and operation of a joint border contact point at the border between Romania and Serbia.


Ponta assures Serbian counterpart of Romanian Government's 'entire support' for starting negotiations for joining EU


Premier Victor Ponta on Friday assured his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic of Romania's 'entire support' for starting the negotiations for Serbia joining the European Union. The Belgrade official voiced hope that the date for beginning the talks with Brussels would soon be made known.

'I wanted to voice publicly too my admiration and support for the efforts made by Prime Minister Dacic and Serbia's Government for modernizing and connecting Serbia to the European integration process. On behalf of Romania's Government I want to voice my entire support for starting the negotiations for Serbia joining the European Union and, on the basis of our friendship, I have offered the support of our institutions, of our experience, which was sometimes positive and some other times, negative, in the pre-accession process and Romania will be ready to give any necessary support to Serbia for it to be able to meet all procedures as quickly as possible.,' said Victor Ponta.

The Romanian Head of Government in context welcomed 'the courage and determination of the Serbian Government and especially of Premier Dacic when it comes to the development of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina.'

The Heads of Government in Serbia and Kosovo said in Brussels, on April 19, that they came to an agreement in principle on getting the relations between Belgrade and Pristina back to normal after several months of difficult negotiations.

'It is in the interest of Romania and of the entire region to have stability and cooperation in our area. Romania will always be a faithful friend of Serbia and, at the same time, we shall support all the efforts made by the Serbian Government for bringing relations back to normal and for making these relations as constructive as possible,' added Ponta.

Serbian Premier Ivica Dacic said in his turn that Romania's support in the process of integrating Serbia into the European Union was very important for his country.

'We expect that Serbia should get a date for beginning the negotiations. All criteria pertaining to the domestic policy, to the dialogue with Pristina and other criteria, referring to the domestic situation, are met,' he said.

Belgrade hopes that, during the next European Council, in June, they should establish a date for starting the negotiations for joining the EU.

In context Dacic voiced wish to consolidate economic and cultural relations with Romania.

'Romania is a very important trade partner for Serbia. It is the third of the EU countries as regards trade exchanges with Serbia. Only Germany and Italy are ahead of Romania. And these trade exchanges are worth more than 1.5 billion euros. Our interest is to have trade exchanges worth even more and develop joint projects,' he also said.

The Belgrade official added that the problems opened between Romania and Serbia must be 'discussed directly,' referring to the situation of the minorities in the two states.

'Considering the very good relations it has with Romania, Serbia thinks there must be no problem connected to national minorities, the Romanian one in Serbia and the Serbian one in Romania,' said Dacic, who added that 'the Vlachs' problem' must be solved.