Serbia is “a major player in the region,” Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday.
Wrapping up her visit to Budapest, Hungary, Brnabic said her bilateral meetings with Hungarian and Chinese counterparts Viktor Orban and Li Keqiang had shown this.
She told Tanjug that she and Orban agreed to hold a joint session of their cabinets on February in Hungary.
Brnabic underlined that, as far as China is concerned, Serbia was one of the central countries in the One Belt One Road initiative.
“We had two excellent meetings this morning, very good for Serbia,” she stressed.
The prime minister revealed a detail from her meeting with Keqiang, which she said showed “how much China appreciates Serbia.”
“All delegations had five, maximum 15 minutes for their meeting with Prime Minister Keqiang, and during the meeting we were given a signal that we can extend the talks, so the meeting went on for slightly longer than 20 minutes,” Brnabic said.
She said that she and her Chinese counterpart discussed a number of joint projects.
The prime minister recalled that more than 15 projects have been implemented so far by Serbia and China, citing the examples of the Zemun-Borca bridge, the first phase of the Kostolac power plant, that has been completed, while some projects are still in their implementation or planning phases.
“It was important that we talk about the Belgrade-Beijing air route, as well as about the abolition of visas and more Chinese tourists,” she added, pointing out that this was also an opportunity to thank China once again for the politically support it provides to Serbia, “both in our European integrations, and our internal issue of Kosovo and Metohija, where they are one of the biggest partners that back us.”
Brnabic added that her meeting with the Hungarian prime minister focused mostly on energy, but also on cross-border cooperation, the use of European funds, and public-private partnerships.
“Both meetings were substantial, not merely protocollary, and showed that Serbia is an important regional player – and as far as China is concerned one of the central countries in One Belt One Road project,” said Brnabic, who was on Monday in Budapest for the China-Central and Eastern Europe summit, and a number of bilateral meetings.