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Tue September 17, 2013

Serbian Prime Minister Visiting New Orleans

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic is on an economic and political mission.

The prime minister of Serbia is wrapping up his first visit to New Orleans. The mission is aimed at building trade relations and improving political ties with the United States.

Prime Minister Ivica Dacic says his Baltic country is interested in what southeast Louisiana has to offer. Through an interpreter, he said he’s looking at several options.

“Serbia is interested in several comparable fields, like energy, agriculture — which is our forte — also infrastructures: roads, ports, anything to do with civil engineering," Dacic said. "Also, IT technologies.”  

Dacic also met representatives from Freeport McMoRan. The international company, with offices in New Orleans, is exploring copper and gold reserves in eastern Serbia.

The visit was arranged by the economic development group Greater New Orleans, Incorporated, with Gregory Rusovich of New Orleans, the honorary consulate general of Serbia.

He says Serbia wants to improve relations with the US, which hit bottom with the NATO bombing campaign in 1999 during the Kosovo War.

The late former leader Slobodan Milosevic was handed over to The Hague for war crimes, and the country is now led by a democratically elected government.

“I think we’re back on track now," Rusovich said. "I think there’s still some misunderstandings that we have to work on which we’re trying to do, but I think now a foundation’s being laid. I mean, Vice President Biden was in Serbia recently. Secretary Clinton’s been there several times.”   

Dacic also met with officials of the World War II museum for a possible exhibit of Serbia’s assistance to Allied forces.

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