Bulgaria, Greece: Serbia Must Be EU Member by 2018

Bulgaria, Greece: Serbia Must Be EU Member by 2018

The foreign affairs ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia held a trilateral meeting in Sofia Saturday at which they expressed a strong committment to the EU integration of the Western Balkans.

At the talks, the three Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopted a joint declaration expressing their desire that by 2014 final dates and specific time-tables for the EU-accession of all Western Balkans countries be adopted.

Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas said that his country has the ambition to convene a Thessaloniki 2 summit during his EU rotating presidency in 2014.

He stated that 2018 is a good year for Serbia to join, coinciding with Bulgaria's presidency and the end of the first world war.

Bulgarian foreign minister Nikolay Mladenov agreed with him and stressed that all countries in the region must unite for peace and stability, to which according to him EU membership is indispensable.

On his part, Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vuk Jeremic reiterated his position that EU membership is a "strategic priority" for his country.

He expressed the hope that accession negotiations will start in the coming 2011.

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