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Serbia's application on Council agenda in Spring or Summer

18. February 2010. | 14:47

Source: Beta

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said in Belgrade on Feb. 17 that the matter of Serbia's EU membership application will be on the agenda of either the spring or summer session of the Council of Europe.

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said in Belgrade on Feb. 17 that the matter of Serbia's EU membership application will be on the agenda of either the spring or summer session of the Council of Europe.

After a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Mirko Cvetkovic, Leterme told a news conference at the government headquarters that "it is unknown at the moment whether Serbia's membership application will be debated at the spring or summer session," but that "the Council of Europe will in any case request the European Commission's opinion at one of those sessions."

"Whenever that may happen, what is clear to the Belgian government is that the future of Serbia lies in European integration," Prime Minister Leterme said.

Prime Minister Cvetkovic said that European integration remains at the top of the Serbian government's agenda, adding that he will convey that to EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton at their Feb. 18 meeting.

Cvetkovic does not think the issue of Kosovo and arrest of Hague tribunal indictee Ratko Mladic will strain Serbia's European integration, because the Mladic issue, as he put it, is now technical rather than political.

Serbian President Boris Tadic and Yves Leterme discussed relations between the two countries, Serbia's European integration and the situation in Kosovo, the president's media service announced.

Tadic and Leterme agreed that relations between Serbia and Belgium have progressed and Tadic thanked Belgium for its support to the annulment of visas and the continuation of Serbia's European integration, the news release adds.

Tadic recalled that Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence and added that the northern Kosovo integration plan poses a threat to stability in the entire region.

A group of Belgian businesspeople also arrived in Belgrade with Leterme, in a bid to expand economic cooperation with Serbia, which is Belgium's chief trade and business partner in the Western Balkans.


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