Mrkic is on a one-day visit to Cyprus, his first official visit to a country after assuming the foreign minister office.
During its presidency of the EU Council, Cyprus will make every effort to promote the European perspective of Serbia, said the Cypriot foreign minister. In line with our aim, we hope that Serbia will be able to get a date to start EU membership negotiations by the end of the Cypriot's EU presidency, Kozakou-Marcoullis said. It is a challenging but attainable goal, she added.
In order to achieve it, Kozakou-Marcoullis said, it is necessary to meet the criteria set out by Brussels in December, including the one concerning the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
The next European Commision report will be published in October and it is of crucial importance, Kozakou-Marcoullis observed.
As Mrkic stressed, Serbia will continue making firm steps towards the EU.
We expect our steps to be recognized and evaluated appropriately, he stressed.
Speaking about Kosovo, Kozakou-Marcoullis reiterated that the national position of Cyprus, as a state that did not recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo, remained unchanged.
However, as the chair of the EU, Cyprus will adopt a balanced approach, taking into account the views of all member states - both those that have recognized Kosovo and those that have not done that, said the Cypriot Foreign Minister.
Cyprus has always showed strong support for the territorial integrity of Serbia, Mrkic said.
We have always supported and will continue to support a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, said the Serbian foreign minister.
In this regard, Kozakou-Marcoullis stressed the need for a solution to be based on relevant UN resolutions.
The two officials discussed the situation in Egypt and Syria, and Markulis said that the military intervention in Syria should be avoided by all means and that a political solution should be found that would be based on the plan of former UN special envoy Kofi Annan and the conclusions from the conference recently held in Geneva.
In the evening, Mrkic will meet with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.(ANSAmed)