Serbia key to Balkan peace

  • 2011-10-05
  • From wire reports

LET’S GET STARTED: Toomas Ilves (right) tells Boris Tadic that EU accession talks should begin.

TALLINN - President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said during his meeting with Serbian head of state, Boris Tadic, in late September that Estonia supports the start of accession talks between Serbia and the EU, reports LETA. “Estonia fully supports the granting of candidate member status to Serbia by the European Union and the launch of accession negotiations with Serbia,” confirmed the president during his meeting with Tadic.

“We are 100 percent certain that the EU needs Serbia and that Serbia needs the EU,” he exclaimed.
President Ilves said that Serbia was a key without which problems in the Balkans could not be unlocked, and praised the country for its success in implementing the reforms needed to integrate with the EU.
Touching upon the subject of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, the Estonian head of state remarked that here, too, as in the EU, the key words were: constructive neighborly relationships; a desire and ability to reduce tension; regional cooperation; and dialogue.

Presidents Ilves and Tadic also spoke about economic relations between Estonia and Serbia, where, for example, cooperation in the field of the development and use of oil shale processing technology is very important.
The Estonian president, who was in New York for the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations, also attended the receptions held by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Finnish President Tarja Halonen.