First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic had a meeting today in Belgrade with Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for the Civil Service and Sport of the Republic of Austria Heinz-Christian Strache.
At a joint press conference, Minister Dacic and Vice-Chancellor Strache pointed out that today’s meeting discussed bilateral relations, economic cooperation between the two countries and Serbia’s European integration process.
Minister Dacic highlighted that the relationship with Strache had been friendly even before he became Vice-Chancellor, adding that Serbia wanted to have the best possible cooperation with the new Government of Austria.
Serbian Foreign Minister thanked Austria for the support it lent to Serbia on its European path, adding that he expected the support to be maintained, and that in line with the EU Strategy up to 2025 Serbia would become a full member of the European Union.
Minister Dacic stated that the issue of Kosovo was not over, but that its solution required the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue.
“As for Kosovo and Metohija, we are aware that Austria recognized its independence. We expect them to understand our position that by the decision of independence that issue has not been resolved, that dialogue must be held and that a compromise solution must be sought. In this regard, I expect support to dialogue, and not reinforcement of the position that everything has been resolved”, Minister Dacic emphasized.
Austrian Vice-Chancellor stated that the problem of Kosovo had not been resolved on a long-term basis, and that it was necessary for Belgrade and Pristina to reach compromise acknowledging the needs of the Serbs, too. The Vice-Chancellor added that “nothing can function unilaterally”.
Vice-Chancellor Strache emphasized that he attached profound importance to friendship and cooperation with Serbia, conveying his country’s support to Serbia’s European integration process.
“Austrian companies have invested EUR 2.3 billion, creating 20,000 jobs, with the tendency to grow. We have more than 260,000 persons of Serbian descent in Austria, and they constitute an important element of our society. We want to lend our full support to Serbia regarding its European integration path”, Austrian Vice-Chancellor explained.