Greece "wants to help Serbia's EU integration"Source: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- When Greece takes over the EU presidency it will invest all its efforts into promoting the accession talks with Serbia and developing the Western Balkans.
Greece believes Serbia should start the accession talks with the EU no later than January and without any new requirements, the diplomat was quoted as saying.
"As to how the issue of Kosovo will be included in the framework for the talks with Serbia, Greece thinks it should be done in a balanced and productive way that will not divert or obstruct Serbia's reforms," he pointed out.
Greece feels the EU and Serbia should solidify their cooperation and mutual trust in order to make the negotiations predictable and reliable, he noted.
Greece supports the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Priština from April 19 and looks forward to its speedy implementation, which is important for Serbia's EU integration, Ikonomidis stated.
Commenting on media claims that Athens was under pressure from some western countries to recognize Kosovo, the ambassador stressed that Greece's foreign policy was based "solely on its national interest."
The priority of Greece's EU presidency will be economic development through the creation of new jobs, especially for the young people, he remarked.
To that end, Greece is prepared to improve competition, development and employment in the Western Balkans and connect the region with the EU through infrastructure, energy and transport projects, Ikonomidis explained.