The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic, currently attending the 139th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, had a number of meetings with the heads of the parliaments of participating states to discuss parliamentary cooperation and improvement of bilateral relations.
Gojkovic met with the Speaker of the Parliament of Guinea-Bissau Cipriano Cassama. The two heads of parliament agreed that the relations between the two countries are coming along nicely and that the recent visit of the Speaker of the Parliament of Guinea-Bissau to Serbia in May of this year was of extreme importance for the two countries’ bilateral relations.
Cassama thanked the Serbian Assembly Speaker for everything she has done to promote cooperation, especially during his official visit to Serbia, describing the two countries’ relations as brotherly.
Cassama said that the Parliament of Guinea-Bissau has not nor will it ever recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, reminding that the previous recognition of the independence of Kosovo-Metohija was done without the Parliament’s approval.
Gojkovic thanked Guinea-Bissau for its clear stance on the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, adding that the Serbian side is committed to dialogue with Pristina.
Gojkovic said it is very significant that the parliamentary cooperation is developing as agreed during Cassama’s visit to Belgrade, as confirmed by the recent visit of a delegation of the Parliament of Guinea-Bissau.
Gojkovic and Cassama also spoke about the good bilateral relations in the Non-Aligned Movement, agreeing in their belief that the trust between the two countries will continue to build, with Gojkovic adding that the Serbian Assembly is the only parliament in Europe to have a Cooperation Agreement with the Pan-African Parliament which speaks volumes about how important Serbia considers cooperation with African countries.
Gojkovic also met with IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong who congratulated her on the election of Serbian National Assembly standing delegation member Mladen Grujic to the IPU Executive Committee and thanked the Parliament Speaker for encouraging the delegation members to take active part in the IPU bodies, which can serve as a good example to the parliaments in the region and other parts of the world.
Chungong thanked Serbia for its readiness to host the IPU plenary in Belgrade in October 2019, and Gojkovic said she hoped the Secretary-General would encourage the Executive Committee to start preparing the event as soon as possible. Gojkovic reminded him that the country hosted the IPU session in 1963 adding that it would be good to see a European state, excluding Geneva, to host the plenary after a long time.
Chungong spoke about the excellent organization of the regional seminar on the Sustainable Development Goals in May of this year in Belgrade, stressing that the National Assembly has achieved enormous progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, setting up a Focus Group and being the first parliament in the region to be using the IPU/UNDP Sustainable Development Goals Self-Assessment Toolkit.
Chungong also said that no participation of the so-called Assembly of Kosovo is planned nor can be considered since it is not an IPU member.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker also met with the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Gabriela Cuevas Barron, Egyptian Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, Kuwaiti Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Republic of Korea Parliament Speaker Moon Hee-sang, Ecuadorian Parliament Speaker Elizabeth Cabezas Guerrero, Namibian Parliament Speaker Peter Katjavivi, Paraguayan Senate President Silvio Adalberto Ovelar Benítez, Bangladeshi Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, UAE Parliament Speaker Amal Al Qubaisi, Vice-Chairperson of the Chinese National People's Congress Qilin Baim, Cuban Deputy Parliament Speaker Ana María Mari Machado, OSCE PA President George Tsereteli, and the heads of the Slovenian and Croatian delegations.