Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Serbia, Albania "should focus on topics that connect them"

TIRANA -- Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić met on Tuesday in Tirana with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Foreign Minister Edmond Panariti.
Mrkić and Panariti address reporters (Beta)
Mrkić and Panariti address reporters (Beta)
Mrkić, who was greeted with protests as he arrived in Albania on Monday, said that the meetings today concluded that Serbia and Albania should focus on topics that bring them together, rather than on those dividing them.
According to Mrkić, it is well known how deep the differences between the two countries are when it comes to certain issues, but today most of the time is dedicated to topics of mutual interest.

"The main message is that we should cooperate and be led by common interests in the future. We should recognize what brings us together, since in the past we lost pace in many things," Mrkić told Tanjug.

This refers to economic and parliamentary cooperation and Serbia and Albania's common future in the EU, said the minister who is paying a two-day visit to Albania.

"I conveyed the message that Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has invited Prime Minister Sali Berisha to Belgrade. My counterpart Panariti will, I believe, also come to Belgrade, perhaps even next spring," Mrkić said.

Kosovo, over which there are "known differences", was also discussed, but we did not discuss in detail the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, since Belgrade's platform is yet to be formed.

When it comes to investigation of illicit trafficking into human organs, this topic is fully present in the Albanian political public, he noted.

"I received assurances that they will cooperate maximally in this investigation. I was told that the Albanian parliament has adopted a decision which obliges the administration and the government to do so and that they will allow investigating authorities to investigate about everything and anywhere," the foreign minister pointed out.

While in Tirana, Mrkić also conferred with representatives of the Serb minority "about the approach to the Albanian partners", in order to improve their living conditions, activities, education and contacts with their homeland.

"We hope that the results of this meeting will be visible in the near future," he added.

Mrkić's visit is the first visit by a Serbian foreign minister to Albania after many years.

"Cooperation should improve"

Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Panariti said Tuesday after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivan Mrkić that his country is ready to foster cooperation with Serbia in the spirit of good neighborly relations, the Albanian media reported.

"We agreed that the relations between the two countries have improved and that they should develop in a more dynamic, open and sincere way," Panariti told a joint press conference with Mrkić.

Commenting on a recent meeting between Ivica Dačić and Hashim Thaci,, he said that this was "an indicator of good will for cooperation".

Panariti, however, said that Albania "would welcome Serbia's decision to recognize the independence of Kosovo", adding that "this would be a sign of readiness to break with the past of violence and repression from the time of Slobodan Milošević", the, ATA news agency reported.

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