Minister Selakovic expects a meeting between Presidents Vucic and Biden by the end of the year

21. Jan 2021.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selakovic stated today that he was convinced that there would be a bilateral meeting held between President Vucic and the newly elected U.S. President Joseph Biden, by the end of the year.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy pointed out that this was not only his wish and that he was convinced that the meeting would take place owing to the strong and serious contacts that President Vucic had made in previous years.

Furthermore, Selakovic recalled that President Vucic had previously maintained contacts and a very serious and good relationship with the newly elected U.S. President and that he sent him a message of congratulations, but also that our representative, Ambassador Marko Djuric, was one of a thousand people who had the opportunity to attend the very inauguration ceremony.

"The Ambassador of Serbia was there in the company of numerous members of the House of Representatives, Congress, Senators, friends. I think that is important for us, that this is an important message to Serbia itself, but also a message from Serbia to America", the Serbian Foreign Minister told RTS.

Speaking about possible changes in the U.S. foreign policy, Minister Selakovic pointed out that there were people in President Biden's administration who had dealt with our region and who were well acquainted with the situation, but also that this was very difficult to talk about at the moment.

"Whether and when the United States will look at our region in its foreign policy agenda, time will tell. I would like to remind you of a sentence uttered by President Vucic, when he met with Mr. Biden a few years ago - he said that he was one of the best prepared and best informed interlocutors with whom he had the opportunity to talk, when it comes to our region", the Minister stressed.

According to him, in addition to the inauguration of the new U.S. President, the previous days on the foreign policy scene were marked by the election of the new president of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Armin Laschet, who, as he said, was also an acquaintance and friend of our President's which was of great importance for our country.

In addition, Minister Selakovic pointed out that Minister President of Hesse federal state, Volker Bouffier, became the CDU deputy leader, who was also a good friend of our President, whom Laschet had to thank for becoming CDU leader.

"Messages were exchanged with both of them, congratulations were extended and I think that this will be very important, given the role and importance of Germany in the context our foreign policy position, our position in the region, and resolving some issues that are of great importance for Serbia", Minister Selakovic pointed out.

Discussing the region, the Head of Serbian diplomacy said that he had visited Bulgaria yesterday and that our relations with that neighbouring country had taken on a new shape, thanks to the good relations our President had with President Rumen Radev and especially with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, and that it was more than clear that the relations, which once abounded in contradictions, had a new dynamic today.

The Minister emphasized that this was not only the case because the Balkan Stream, i.e. TurkStream gas pipeline was completed but also due to the completion of the Vienna-Istanbul motorway.

"On that section that goes from Belgrade, as of the end of this year - when the Bulgarians finish the remaining 17.4 km from the border, i.e., from Kalotina to Dragoman, we will have a highway and be able to travel from Belgrade to Sofia, to Istanbul, without traffic lights - on a full-profile motorway", Selakovic pointed out.

He added that, other than the Balkan Stream and the motorway, the gas interconnection was also very important, which was partly financed from EU funds, and which would enable energy diversification in Serbia and gas supply from other sources.

Also, Selakovic pointed out the modernization of the Nis - Dimitrovgrad railway line as important, which was underway, and that the Belgrade - Nis railway line would be modernized as well, where fast trains would run at about 200 km/h.

The Serbian Foreign Minister emphasized that Hungary and Bulgaria supported EU enlargement and Serbia's European integration path, as he was unambiguously informed by his counterparts Szijjártó and Zaharieva during the visits he paid to Budapest and Sofia.

The Minister added that Serbia opened no chapters in negotiations with the EU this year due to technical issues, but that it enjoyed substantial support of Hungary and Bulgaria on European integration, and that this support would continue to be present in the future as well.