Thursday, 25 July 2013. PDF Print E-mail
Lithuania will help Serbia open negotiations by end of year
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Mrkic - Linkevicius Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said today in Belgrade that his country, which is currently holding the EU Presidency, would do all it could so that Serbia may formally begin its membership negotiations by the end of the year.
"Our task, as the Lithuanian EU Presidency, by year's end is to do everything possible to facilitate cooperation between Serbia and the EU and ensure that under our Presidency, Serbia formally opens membership negotiations", said Linkevičius at a joint news conference with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić.
Minister Linkevičius reiterated his country's position that it fully supported Serbia on its European integration path.

Minister Mrkić also expressed hope that everything that would happen in the coming months would enable Serbia to formally start its accession negotiations with the EU in December 2013.
"We talked about how to proceed to the formal part of the negotiations as soon as possible, though the negotiations actually started with the visit of Herman Van Rompuy to Belgrade", commented Mrkić.
He thanked his counterpart for the efforts made to have Serbia "understood as a serious candidate country" for European Union membership.
Mrkić explained that he talked with Linkevičius less about bilateral relations, pointing out, though, that Serbia and Lithuania, which were "two geographically distant countries, are bound by true friendship".

Minister Linkevičius followed-on by noting that the intensity of bilateral contacts should be given "new quality", and that the same went for economic cooperation where there was plenty of room for improvement.

The two Ministers also opened an exhibition of photographs "Applied Nostalgia" at the National Bank of Serbia that Linkevičius said symbolically reflected what the two countries shared in common, regardless of their remoteness.
"This common link should constitute the basis on which to build our relations in the future", assessed Minister Linkevičius.
He commented with a smile the basketball game between the national teams of Serbia and Lithuania to be played in September at the European Championships, saying that he hoped that the game would not jeopardize the friendly relations between the two countries.

In 2012, Serbia and Lithuania were rivals in the race for the post of President of the UN General Assembly that was, in the end, won by the former Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.
Lithuania was the last country to ratify, in June this year, the 2008 Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia.

Mrkic and Linkevicius

Mrkic meets Lithuanian Foreign Minister

Mrkic: We are hoping for the start of accession negotiations with the EU in December this year

Linkevicius:Lithuania fully supports Serbia's European integration path