Serbia, Spain, Turkey Hope for Successful EU-Balkans Summit

The foreign ministers of Serbia, Spain and Turkey, – Vuk Jeremic, Miguel Angel Moratinos and Ahmet Davutoglu, respectively – have expressed their readiness to find suitable solutions to outstanding issues so that the forthcoming EU-Western Balkans summit in Sarajevo is a success.

The Spanish and Turkish foreign ministers were in Belgrade on Tuesday night to meet with their Serbian counterpart.

Serbia’s participation in the gathering, set to be held in Sarajevo on June 2, hinges on finding a solution for the representation of Kosovo at the summit.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Serbia’s Jeremic pointed out the importance of the conference and said that Serbia will do everything possible to make it successful.

“I hope that we will find solutions to all outstanding issues. We have not yet succeeded, but we are working hard,” Jeremic said.

The last such gathering of leaders of Western Balkan countries in Brdo near Kranj, Slovenia, which was set to be the first meeting of all the political leaders in the region in 18 years, was overshadowed by the absence of Serbian President Boris Tadic and some invitees from Brussels and Madrid, including representatives of the Spanish EU Presidency. Spain is one of the five EU member states that have not recognised Kosovo.

Serbia’s Tadic refused to participate in the gathering due to a dispute over the manner in which the Kosovo delegation was to be represented. Serbia asked that Kosovo be represented under the banner of Kosovo-UNMIK, while Pristina officials said that they would participate as representatives of a ‘sovereign country’.

The three foreign ministers also shared their vision of the Western Balkans integrated into the EU.

“Spain is one of the oldest European states, and it now holds the EU Presidency. Turkey is a bridge between Europe and other continents, and Belgrade is halfway between Madrid and Ankara and is a centre of gravity in the Western Balkans,” Jeremic said at the press conference after the meeting.

His Spanish counterpart said that they not only share a “common vision, but a common commitment of the three countries,” to ensure that in the coming years “the Balkans become stable, prosperous and fully integrated into the EU.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu added that such meetings are one of the most adequate means to achieve such aims.

Moratinos arrived in the Balkans yesterday on a trip aimed at discussing the EU perspectives of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro with the leaders of those countries.

Moratinos visited Skopje on Tuesday morning, where he met with Macedonian FM Antonio Milososki, President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Vice Premier for European Affairs Vasko Naumovski and several MPs. The Spanish FM is scheduled to end this trip on Wednesday in Podgorica.

Serbian President Tadic also met separately with the Spanish and Turkish foreign ministers. They discussed bilateral relations, as well as all relations between Serbia and countries in the region, the president’s cabinet announced.

According to the statement, Tadic and Davutoglu expressed satisfaction with the development of relations between Serbia and Turkey, especially economic relations.

Tadic also thanked Moratinos for Spain’s support for the European integration of Serbia and for not recognising the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.

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