The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic met today to discuss advancing parliamentary and overall bilateral cooperation with the parliament speakers of Burundi, Ireland, Rwanda, the Philippines and Montenegro, whom she thanked for participating in the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Belgrade, 13 to 17 October.
In the meeting with the Parliament Speaker of Burundi Pascal Nyabenda, Gojkovic said that the relationship between Serbia and Burundi is advancing and developing apace and thanked the country for retracting the recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija and supporting Serbia in so-called “Kosovo’s” attempts to join international organizations such as INTERPOL. Gojkovic said that so-called “Kosovo” joining international organizations, such as INTERPOL, is absolutely unacceptable because it goes against international law, UN Charters and the UNSC Resolution 1244, undermines the potential continuation of the dialogue and opposes the rules and objectives of INTERPOL itself.
The Parliament Speaker of Burundi said that his country is ready to continue developing its friendship with Serbia, stressing that Burundi respects Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and will continue to support its positions.
Gojkovic and Nyabenda said that the two parliaments are prepared to strengthen ties, to which end the National Assembly established a parliamentary friendship group, and also emphasized the importance of developing economic cooperation, infrastructure and cooperation in the field of education through the “World in Serbia” study programme.
Gojkovic also had a meeting with the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of Rwanda Donatille Mukabalisa with the officials stressing that the visit to Serbia opens up new prospects for the development of parliamentary cooperation and opining that geographical distance is no obstacle for the development of relations between the two nations. Gojkovic said that it is Serbia’s wish to advance political dialogue with Rwanda and to work together on fostering ever better economic ties.
Gojkovic thanked Rwanda for not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija and respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and with it international law, which is an important topic of the 141st IPU Assembly.
In the meeting with the Senate President of the Philippines Vicente Sotto, the Serbian Assembly Speaker thanked the Philippines for not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, thus respecting international law and UN resolutions, adding that the southern Serbian province joining international organizations such as INTERPOL is unacceptable and contrary to international law.
Sotto said that Serbia has always been a good friend to the Philippines, adding that his country has always supported Serbia’s stance in the UN and would continue to do so. Gojkovic and Sotto agreed that it is important to advance parliamentary relations through the establishment of parliamentary friendship groups, deepen economic cooperation and sign agreements to foster closer ties between the two countries.
Gojkovic said that the National Assembly is ready to develop cooperation across the board and pointed out that the two countries have a shared interest in developing cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and education.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker also met with the Chairman of the Irish Senate Denis O’Donovan. She said that there is potential to advance cooperation between working bodies, friendship groups and parliamentary delegations.
O’Donovan agreed that it is important to develop the relationship between the parliamentary bodies via more intensive meetings between parliamentary delegations and that in the cooperation Serbia and Ireland should focus on their similarities. Gojkovic and O’Donovan discussed viable options for cooperation in the spheres of economy, IT and tourism, as well as the burning issues concerning Serbia’s Euro-integration and Brexit.
Gojkovic thanked the Montenegrin Parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker Ivan Brajovic for taking part in the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade and the two heads of parliament emphasized the importance of the Belgrade Assembly both because of the many parliament speakers in attendance and the potential for dialogue between parliamentarians from all over the world.
Though the parliamentary cooperation in the previous period was good, Gojkovic and Brajovic opined that there is room to develop it further at the level of working bodies, especially since EU accession is a priority for both countries, and Brajovic invited the Serbian Assembly Speaker to visit Montenegro.