Serbia, Saudi Arabia establish diplomatic ties

Serbia has established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia for the first time since the 1990s break-up of the former Yugoslav federation, aiming to "step up economic cooperation", a foreign ministry statement said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia was the only country in the Arab world with which Serbia did not have diplomatic ties, the ministry said.

Faced with a decrease of foreign investments necessary to revive its ailing economy, Serbia has recently stepped up contacts with Arab countries.

Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic recently said Belgrade would propose a number of investment projects to Riyadh, without elaborating.