Dacic: "Comprehensive relations" with Albania

BELGRADE -- Serbia is willing, "despite the existing differences," to develop "comprehensive relations" with Albania as a neighboring country, Ivica Dacic has said.


Such cooperation would be to the benefit of both sides, Serbia's first deputy prime minister and foreign minister said on Monday as he received Albanian Ambassador Ilir Bocka.

Dacic and Bocka "discussed how to ensure better cooperation between the two countries in mutual interest," the Serbian MFA said in a statement.

The Serbian foreign minister said it would be "useful for a relaxation of relations that the two countries sign an agreement on the protection of minorities in the foreseeable future, adding that Serbia is interested in setting the legal groundwork for cooperation agreements in all fields."

"Several visits that have been made recently illustrate Belgrade's commitment to developing relations with Albania, starting from the visit by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, followed by ministerial level visits, to the Serbian parliament speaker's forthcoming visit to Tirana," he said.

Dacic and Bocka "agreed that the big potential for trade is still mostly untapped."

They said that a meeting of the intergovernmental committee on trade and economic cooperation and the holding of a business forum in April "should help overcome the obstacles in trade."

Dacic said that Serbia is interested in cooperation on several regional projects, especially bilateral projects in the fields of infrastructure, energy, tourism and others.

The officials considered the bilateral cooperation at multilateral level, and Serbia's OSCE chairmanship, the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.