Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Vienna on Friday, during a visit by a Serbian delegation headed by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, that his country was grateful for Serbia's contribution in curbing the migrant wave, press agencies have reported.
Closing the Balkan route has contributed significantly to reducing the number of migrants coming to Austria along that route, Kurz told reporters, noting that Serbia had done so at a moment when there was significant resistance in the European Union to closing that route, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.
Thank you for also being with us during that phase of resistance, Kurz added, expressing special thanks to Prime Minister Vucic who today reiterated that Serbia continued to be prepared to support Austria in maintaining the low influx of migrants.
Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic underscored that Vucic had come to Austria the day after the new government was appointed, which he said indicated the importance of Austria's and Minister Kurz's role in regional relations and how much importance Serbia attributed to Austria.
He recalled that Austria was a large and significant trade partner for Serbia and expressed hope that Austria would continue to support Serbia on its path to the European Union.
"We expect and hope that Austria will contribute to relieving tension in the region. Serbia will play a constructive role and will be a factor of stability because that is in our common interest," Dacic added.
Vucic is expected later in the day to meet with his Austrian counterpart, Chancellor Christian Kern.