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Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia reaffirm commitment for western Balkans’ EU accession

Δημοσίευση 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 11:58 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia reaffirm commitment for western Balkans’ EU accession
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The foreign ministers of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia reiterated their volition to work closely for the accession of western Balkan states into the European Union, during a tripartite meeting here on Saturday.

The foreign ministers of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia reiterated their volition to work closely for the accession of western Balkan states into the European Union, during a tripartite meeting here on Saturday.

FMs Dimitris Droutsas, Nikolai Mladenov and Vuk Jeremic, representing Greece, host Bulgaria and Serbia, respectively, signed a declaration stating as much, while a joint statement supporting Serbia's EU membership was also included, citing "the basis of the country's (Serbia) continuous, standing and unwavering progress in its economic and political reforms and in the fulfillment of necessary conditions and requirements."

"As partners in the EU and allies in NATO, Greece and Bulgaria share a vision of peace; a vision of stability and prosperity in our wider region and beyond," Droutsas said, before praising his Bulgarian counterpart for organising the three-nation meeting in the Bulgarian capital.

The Sofia meeting focused directly on the western Balkans EU prospects, especially Serbia's course towards the Union.

Droutsas also cited momentum on the issue through Athens' "Agenda 2014" initiative, aimed to boost the European prospects of a handful of countries that comprise the western Balkans. Along those lines, he said a priority of Greece's EU presidency in 2014 is to produce specific dates for the full accession of all western Balkan states.

On his part, Mladenov referred to a "historical responsibility" on the part of Bulgaria and Greece to substantively help the accession process of regional candidate-countries, adding that the latter must also fulfill all criteria for accession and prove their devotion to democratic values and principles, in practice. He also referred to an increased emphasis on regional cooperation, one of main topics of discussion during Saturday's meeting.

Moreover, Mladenov said good-neighbourly relations in the region are an "extremely important" ingredient in solving bilateral or multilateral problems.

Finally, Serbian FM Jeremic repeated that EU membership for his country is a "strategic priority", before thanking Sofia and Athens for their support towards Belgrade.

The Serbian foreign minister cited the importance of the Thessaloniki EU Council of 2003 for the accession process of western Balkan states and the subsequent Greek initiative "Agenda 2014" to provide specific dates for full accession.