BELGRADE – Serbia’s incoming prime minister says his new government will include an openly gay minister for the first time in the Balkan state, RFE/RL reports.

Aleksandar Vucic, whose government is expected to formally take office later this week, announced on August 8 that his minister of public administration would be Ana Brnabic, 40.

Vucic said he was aware the decision might draw public attention in a country where gays often face harassment.

“Her personal choices do not interest me. She is welcome in the Serbian government,” Vucic told reporters when asked about Brnabic’s sexuality.

Vucic’s center-right government is expected to be formally confirmed by the end of this week, more than three months after the April 24 snap elections.

Serbia has pledged to boost gay rights as it seeks to join the European Union. Gay marches in the past few years were held under police protection.