Zaev and Brnabikj on press conference: Let us lead inclusive dialogue in the interest of the citizens of both countries while maintaining traditional friendship and development of the economy and standard of life for the citizens

Today Presidents of the Governments of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia, Zoran Zaev and Ana Brnabikj, after the official visit of the Serbian delegation to our country, had a joint press conference. 

On the press-conference Prime Minister Zaev underlined that this visit is another contribution to the process of nurturing traditionally goodneighbourly relations between the two friendly countries that are mutually committed to enhancing the regional cooperation, integration of our region into the EU, all based on individual merits and results of each country.

“On the meeting between the two delegations and the tête-à-tête meeting with Prime Minister Brnabikj, I emphasized our efforts for maintaining continuous political dialogue on highest level. I expressed our strong interest for having a third joint meeting between the two Governments in order to stimulate further overall cooperation. This will provide addition stimulus to today’s important event – the launching of joint border crossing Tabanovce-Preshevo using the principle One-Stop-Shop. This project is fulfillment of one of the objectives of several-years action plan for creation of Regional Economic Area in the Western Balkan”, stated Prime Minister Zaev and added that this project is yet another proof of the friendship and good-neighbourliness between the two countries. 

On the press-conference the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia Zaev, informed of the three agreements that were signed today: the Agreement for Recognition of Confidential Information used in the countries, in cooperation with the Ministry of Information Society and Administration on our side and the IOA and the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications from Serbia. In practice, this means that the electronic documents issued by the institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia will be equally accepted in Serbia and vice versa. This will help the citizens of both countries and will reduce the administrative procedures and the time needed for issuances of such documents. 

The second document is the Agreement between the ministries of finance and customs offices of North Macedonia and Serbia for mutual recognition of issued authorizations for authorized economic operator, while the third is Agreement for cooperation in phyto-sanitary area and safety of food and veterinary, signed between the ministries of agriculture of both countries. 

“Our intentions for deepening of the infrastructural connectivity continue in the process of identifying shared interests and events for gaining support for transport, infrastructural and energy projects of mutual interest in pursuance with the Berlin Process. These are expected to improve the economic component through continuous B2B meetings on sector level, on business forums and with networking for appearance on third markets”, underlined Prime Minister Zaev while adding that the cooperation in tourism and mutual promotion of tourist offers of both countries on third markets is of exception interest and there are great expectations from the initiative for mutual opening of cultural and info centers in Belgrade and Skopje. This will be yet another segment that will enhance the traditional friendship between North Macedonia and Serbia.  

“Our permanent and adamant effort is to resolve all open issues in the region through inclusive dialogue in the interest of all citizens, all in order to keep the permanent peace, development of democracy, economy and standard of life”, said Prime Minister Zaev in his closing remarks on the press conference with Prime Minister Brnabikj. 

The President of the Government of Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabikj, focused on the importance of the agreements that were signed by the representatives of both governments; the former are expected to provide direct support to the work of the One-stop-shop – joint border and customs management on the border crossing Tabanovce/Preshevo.

Brnabikj said that this event was a historic one and should inspire all other Western Balkan countries to pursue this type of cooperation that will bring the countries closer to the EU member-states – something that is wanted by all countries from the region. 

Prime Minister Brnabikj agreed with Prime Minister Zaev that exceeding 1 billion EUR in 2018 in trade exchange of both countries is a strong motive for the cooperation to continue while focusing on future and the future of both countries lies in the EU membership. On that note, Prime Minister Brnabikj expressed her hopes that North Macedonia will soon start negotiations with the EU and underlined that Serbia is ready to provide its support in that direction. 

Prime Ministers of both countries answered questions from journalists of both countries.