Dacic: Serbs and Greeks are friends and brothers

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Serbia’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic met in Athens on Monday with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.

Dacic said that he particularly wanted to point out that “Serbs and Greeks are friends and brothers” – something “confirmed by our historic friendship and mutual solidarity through centuries.”

“Two Serbian holy places that every Serb needs to see in the territory of Greece are (monastery) Hilandar and Corfu – the island of Vido,” Dacic said.

“This shows how connected we are. It is the obligation of politicians to follow this attachment that exists between our two nations,” the minister said, adding that he was looking forward to Thursday’s meeting in Thessaloniki of the High Council for Cooperation between Serbia and Greece.

In that meeting, the delegation of Serbia will be led by President Aleksandar Vucic, Dacic said, adding that the discussion will focus on “the most important topics in our mutual relations, relations in the region, as well as large infrastructure projects that are ahead of us.”

“Greece is one of the biggest investors in Serbia, these investments exceeded two billion euros. Last year, economic exchange was about 400 million euros, it is increasing, and we expect an even higher level of economic exchange in the coming years,” Dacic said.

Serbia and Greece, Dacic said, must support and assisted one another.

“Serbia is firmly behind the defense of the territorial integrity of Cyprus and we are grateful to Cyprus and Greece for the support they give to the territorial integrity of Serbia, for their stance when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija,” the minister said.

It is very important, he continued, to have “a regular communication dynamic,” to discuss regional issues – such as the influence of Turkey in the region and the migrant crisis.

“We need to discuss cooperation in the fight against terrorism, but also the negative impact of the Greater Albania factor on the Balkans, and the problem regarding the name and relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” Dacic said, according to a statement issued by the Serbian MFA.

“We agreed to meet twice a year, once in Serbia, the other time in Greece, for our sectors to consult regular,ly, and to regularly align our positions in order to better support one another,” Dacic concluded.

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