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04:08, 17 August 2018 Friday
21:53, 15 January 2018 Monday

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Japanese premier backs Western Balkans’ EU integration
Japanese premier backs Western Balkans’ EU integration

Shinzo Abe becomes first Japanese premier to visit capital Belgrade since 1987

World Bulletin / News Desk

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed strong support for the integration of Western Balkans in the EU.

Abe on Monday became the first Japanese premier to visit capital Belgrade since 1987.

"Japan firmly supports the solidarity of Europe and the process of further integration, and wants to actively assist the reforms of Serbia and the Western Balkan countries that intend to become members of the Union," he said.

Serbia is a key country for the stability of the Balkans and has a significant geopolitical position, he said.

"Relations between Japan and Serbia have potential for further development," he said, adding he had agreed on better economic cooperation in talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Both leaders agreed the first project would be the construction of a desulphurization facility at the Nikola Tesla Thermal Power Plant.

Vucic described Abe's visit as a turning point in relations between Serbia and Japan.

"Today, I had the privilege to talk with representatives of 16 very important Japanese companies and I sent them a call and said that Serbia is the best place to invest in this part of Europe, that Japanese businessmen can make the biggest profit, and for us it is significant to reduce unemployment and learn Japanese business ethics," he said.

Abe is leading a delegation of Japanese businessmen as part of a five-day European tour launched on Jan. 12, covering Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania.

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