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Serbia suggests Putin, Trump meet in Belgrade

Belgrade has passed its proposal to both sides, the Serbian foreign minister said

BELGRADE, April 2. /TASS/. Belgrade has suggested hosting a meeting between the Russian and US presidents, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic told Pink TV on Monday.

"As for a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Serbian, it depends on the current diplomatic situation," Dacic said. "Serbia would probably make the best place for such a meeting. We have passed our proposal to both sides, they will now decide if a meeting takes place at all. Many countries have been taking advantage of Serbia’s position and holding dialogue on our territory," the Serbian top diplomat added.

Dacic also said that a while ago, Serbia hosted confidential peace talks "aimed at resolving problems facing a county, which surprised global powers." However, he declined to say which country he was referring to, noting that it would reveal itself if considered it appropriate.

The Russian and US presidents held a telephone conversation on March 20. Trump said later that he had called Putin to congratulate him on winning the presidential election. According to the US president, Russia "can help solve problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, ISIS, Iran and even the coming arms race."

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the two leaders "agreed to hand instructions to the Russian foreign minister and the US state secretary to contact each other as soon as possible and start considering practical matters concerning preparations for a summit."

Serbia’s foreign policy targets include joining the European Union, at the same time maintaining friendly relations with Russia and China, as well as boosting relations with the United States. Belgrade plans to preserve military neutrality, refraining from joining NATO and other military blocs. Such a position raises objections in Brussels but provides Belgrade with the opportunity to act as "a diplomatic bridge" between the West and Russia. In particular, Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov and US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker held meetings in Belgrade on October 7 and November 13, 2017.