NICOSIA - Cyprus and Serbia will set up a Joint Committee aiming to provide the Serbian police with Cyprus’ experience on the European Union level.
The decision was taken during a meeting between Cypriot Minister of Justice and Public Order Loukas Louka and Serbian Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, held in Belgrade in the context of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias’ visit in Serbia.
In statements, Louka said the Committee is provided for in a previous Agreement signed with Serbia on Police cooperation.
The agreement, he said, will provide the Serbian Police with the experiences of the Cypriot Police on the EU level and especially the experience acquired during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2012.
"This would assist Serbia to adapt with the EU acquis communautaire on police issues," he said.
Louka and Dacic also discussed issues concerning the combating of organized crime, drugs trafficking and combating trafficking in human beings.
Louka, acting as Minister of Commerce, also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of External and Internal Trade Ljiajic with whom he discussed issues concerning trade and investments.
"We decided to encourage the competent commerce chambers and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency to intensify their contacts aiming at increasing the volume of trade and investment transactions between the two countries," Louka said.
Meanwhile Cyprus and Serbia held on Wednesday their first intergovernmental meeting, making one more step in enhancing their bilateral relations.
The meeting was held in Belgrade under the presidency of the Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic. The two countries also signed two bilateral agreements, namely an Agreement in the field of Maritime Transport and a Readmission Protocol.
In statements following the summit, Christofias reiterated his country’s support to Serbia EU perspective, while the Serbian Premier branded Cyprus as Serbia best friend in the European Union.
"This summit constitutes the culmination of the long-standing and traditionally friendly relations between the peoples and our countries," Christofias said, adding he and Dacic discussed ways for the strengthening of the bilateral ties in the fields of trade, the economy, energy, the environment and culture.
The Cypriot President added that the competent services of the two countries have already started consultations so that more bilateral agreements in a wide range of fields will be signed in the next intergovernmental summit between the two countries to be held in Nicosia.
"These agreements will provide the necessary legal foundation for the further strengthening of our ties," he added.
The Cypriot President reiterated his country strong support to Serbia’s efforts to join the EU. "I told my interlocutors that the Serbian government and the Serbian people can consider Cyprus as their best ambassador in the EU," he said.
Noting that Nicosia observes a principled position in the UN-lead dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, Christofias expressed hope that "this process will lead to a mutually acceptable solution in the issue of Kosovo which would amply facilitate Serbia’s EU prospects."
On his part, Dacic praised Cyprus’ stance on Serbia’s EU perspective, stating, "We do not have a better friend in the EU than Cyprus."
He said his country would continue to provide a contingent for the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus, adding that Serbia is consistent in its position for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Dacic said that Cyprus and Serbia share the same views and positions on a number of regional and international issues and thanked Cyprus for its continued and consistent stance on the issue of Kosovo.
Referring to the financial transactions between the two countries, Dacic said Cyprus holds the sixth place concerning investments in Serbia, adding that last year the volume of these transactions was more than 100 million euro, a low figure compared to the existing possibilities.
Concluding, Dacic said there is room for further strengthening of the cooperation in the fields of culture, economy, education, defense, energy, agriculture, transport and construction.