The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:
Administrator Samantha Power met virtually with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić to discuss USAID’s ongoing support for the democratic and economic aspirations of the Serbian people and current challenges to peace and stability in the region. President Vučić and Administrator Power discussed the investments and positive impact resulting from USAID’s over 20 years of partnership with the people of Serbia, and agreed on working to further strengthen this partnership in the coming years. They also discussed Serbia’s economic progress—the country’s GDP increased by over 7% last year, among the highest in Europe—and opportunities for enhancing inclusive growth, local entrepreneurship, and anti-corruption initiatives.
Administrator Power discussed her recent trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). She offered the United States’ appreciation for President Vučić’s commitment to the territorial integrity of BiH, and encouraged his support for promoting constructive dialogue among BiH’s political leaders. She noted how the paralysis of BiH’s national institutions was damaging efforts to spur economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and catalyzing widespread out-migration of young people from BiH.
President Vučić underscored Serbia’s long standing support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, and Administrator Power and President Vučić agreed on the importance of efforts to promote peace and prosperity throughout the region.
During the meeting, the Administrator underscored that Serbia’s progress on its stated strategic foreign policy priority of joining the European Union will continue to depend on making sure that citizens have space to engage in the democratic process, that independent media can thrive, and that all levels of government are committed to countering corruption and removing barriers to economic growth.