Austria would continue to support Serbia on its path toward European Union (EU) membership, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said here Friday.
After his meeting with Serbian President Boris Tadic, Fischer told reporters that Austria's policy was to provide a European option to the entire Western Balkan region, of which Serbia is the largest country, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.
Fischer said Austria had strongly advocated for Serbia receiving the candidate status for the EU membership in early March.
"You can be assured that our policy, which is directed toward the success of required negotiations, remains unchanged," stated Fischer. "Austria has no reason to be interested in delaying negotiations."
He said the same conditions required of two former Yugoslav republics of Croatia (scheduled to join the EU next year) and Slovenia (already a member) would apply to Serbia.
According to Fischer, Austria has been the largest investor in Serbia for many years, with bilateral trade expected to reach 900 million euros (1,194 million U.S. dollars).