Regional ministerial conference kicks off in Belgrade

BELGRADE, Oct 23 (Tanjug) - An informal meeting of foreign and finance ministers of Western Balkan countries on economic management and ties started in Belgrade on Thursday.

The meeting is attended by Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs Jyrki Katainen, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele, Special Representative of the Italian EU Presidency Andrea Orizio, and Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council Goran Svilanovic.

Serbia is represented by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and Minister of Economy Zeljko Sertic, and the participants are expected to issue a joint final statement.

Ministers in the government of Albania have also arrived in Belgrade, while Kosovo will be represented by Foreign Minister Enver Hodzaj and Minister of Economic Development Fadilj Ismajli.

As announced earlier, the conference will be an informal 'Gymnich' meeting, and it will not address any status-related issues, particularly with reference to Kosovo.

"We want all these conferences to have a goal and a conclusion, and we do not want to organize meetings where no agreements can be reached," said Dacic.

The meeting of regional foreign and economy ministers was arranged at the Conference on the Western Balkans in Berlin, held on August 28 at the initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which brought together leading politicians from the region.

Photo Tanjug Video, camera operator Marko Trosic

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