Austrian president on Thursday said Serbia has a key role in the stability and security of the Western Balkans as well as in the European Union (EU) membership.
Speaking at the 8th Belgrade Security Forum held in Serbian capital Belgrade, Alexander Van der Bellen said the Western Balkan countries need courage and vision to be part of the EU.
Bellen said the countries of the region have undergone major economic and political changes, adding they need to find solutions to their problems before joining the EU.
“Countries that are on their way to becoming an EU member should take many steps. I hope [accession to] EU continues to exist as their goal,” said Bellen.
“Serbia will move towards the EU”
Speaking at the panel, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stressed the EU should strengthen its influence in the region, otherwise it would move away from the dream of democracy and freedom.
Vucic said peace and security over the next 20 years could not be maintained if important steps are not taken in the Western Balkans.
He said Serbia will take firm steps towards its EU membership but they have disagreements with the U.S. over Kosovo.
The Belgrade Security Forum will conclude on Friday.
By Talha Ozturk