Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia hosted a luncheon with the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. PM Vucic is on a four-day visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the first time a Serbian Prime Minister has visited India in 30 years.
The meeting at Gateway House addressed the ever-relevant topic; “Eurasia: Coherence in a tumultuous world.” Serbia is a land-locked small nation of 7 million which is geographically located between Europe and Asia, and therefore has a keen interest and engagement with both continents.
Prime Minister Vucic said that Serbians liked Indians, and both were “freedom-loving peoples.” He admired Indian entrepreneurship, saying that his country would like to improve and embrace such entrepreneurship.
PM Vucic highlighted Serbia’s will to improve economic ties with India, and further “attract Indian investors to our country”. He desired a boost in trade between the two countries, and discussed a long term goal of creating a visa-free regime between the two. The meeting also touched upon Serbia’s view on terrorism. On this front the Prime Minister mentioned that Serbia shares India’s sentiment on terrorism and has consistently condemned terrorist attacks in the territory of India.
On the European Union, PM Vucic said that being positioned at the crossroads of West and East, behooved the country to have a balanced relationship between Europe and Russia. Said Prime Minister Vucic: “Serbia’s strategic goal is to be a full member state of the European Union”, and it will also then be “the only country within the EU which hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia”.
In conclusion, Prime Minister Vucic thanked Gateway House for organizing the event for him, and wished for a similar institutional focus and concentration in Serbia on foreign policy. “I would like it if we would be able to boast ourselves of having such a great think tank as you have here in Mumbai,” he stated.