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COE supports Serbian aspiration of being Balkan leader, EU integration

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rene Van der Linden said on Thursday that the Council of Europe (COE) supports and can help Serbia in its aspiration to play leading roles in the Balkans and to join European Union.

"This is why the chairmanship of the COE Ministerial Committee is a unique opportunity for Serbia to present itself as a European country, one that is dedicated to democratic values, and the guarantee of this is its readiness to fulfill its international obligations, primarily those toward the international tribunal in The Hague," said Rene Van der Linden during talks with newly elected Serbian Parliament Speaker Oliver Dulic.

Dulic noted that Serbia is facing serious tasks, including the continuation of the negotiations on stabilization and association, and cooperation with The Hague tribunal, but above all the resolving of the status of Kosovo and Metohija. The status negotiations should be resumed so that a mutually acceptable solution for this issue could be found, he said.

PACE President Rene Van der Linden is on a two-day visit to Serbia which opened a session of the Permanent Committee of PACE on Thursday for the first time since Serbia assumed the presidency of the Committee of Ministers of COE on May 11. (