Serbian FM Jeremić: Mixed signals on EU application

Serbia is getting mixed signals from EU countries on when to formally apply for membership, Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić told Reuters in New York.

He also added that “a decision soon will be made soon”.

Jeremić said that EU membership was Serbia’s “central strategic priority”.

He described as “really great news for Serbia” Monday’s EU decision to unblock a trade agreement with Belgrade.

He said a formal application for membership would put an end to a debate, both domestic and international, as to the path Serbia had chosen.

“Right now there are no technical obstacles for doing it,” Jeremić said. But, he added, “we are not going to make this step before we finish thorough consultation with our friends and partners from the European Union.”

“There are mixed signals coming out of the European Union, with some voices being very strongly in favor of our submitting the application immediately, (but) with some people saying that they don’t believe this is such a good idea,”  Jeremić said.

Jeremić pledged that Serbia would keep up “full steam engagement” with the Hague-based tribunal for war crimes indictees from former Yugoslavia noting that Chief Hague Prosecutor Serge Brammertz was due to report again in six months’ time.

“Of course we will have to see what happens in the next six months,” he said. “I hope that we will not even have to have this conversation because there will be no indictees at large at that time.”

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