The Head and members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Greece met today at the National Assembly House with the Minister of Tourism of the Hellenic Republic to discuss intensification of bilateral cooperation and the current epidemiological situation regarding the Corona virus.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Head of the PFG with Greece Veroljub Arsic highlighted the amply developed and substantial bilateral relations between the two countries, raised to an especially high level in 2019 with the signing of the Joint Declaration on strategic partnership between Serbia and Greece in Athens.
Arsic thanked the Greek leadership for its principled position on Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, especially in Pristina's efforts to secure membership in international organisations.
Veroljub Arsic said that the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries is developed, dynamic and continuous, and referred to the successful first meeting of the Commission for Cooperation of the Hellenic Parliament and the National Assembly, held in Thessaloniki on 29 and 30 November 2018. On the occasion, the parliamentarians discussed, among other things, the possibility of increasing the tourist exchange between the two countries. Speaking of European integration, Arsic thanked Greece for its support of Serbia’s European path, underlining the country’s strategic commitment to EU membership.
In the course of the meeting, Arsic praised the signing of a Joint Statement of Cooperation between the two ministries in overcoming the situation caused by the pandemic. He also reminded his guest that Serbia is the second country in Europe in terms of the number of vaccinated citizens and is the only country that can choose between four vaccine manufacturers.
The Minister of Tourism of the Hellenic Republic Harry Theocharis was most pleased with his visit to the National Assembly House and agreed with Arsic that the relations between the two countries are at a high level, fraternal and friendly. He also thanked the Serbian leadership for its continuous work and efforts on developing good relations between the two countries.
Teocharis said that all vaccines against COVID-19 will be accepted for trips to Greece from Serbia, and PCR and antigen tests will be recognised. He added that children under the age of ten will not need border tests, while children over the age of ten who have not been vaccinated will need negative tests.
He said that the tourist season in Greece will start on 14 May and he expected that all border crossings will be open for passengers from Serbia at that time. Minister Teocharis added that Serbian tourists are welcome in Greece, with the hope that the epidemiological situation will calm down and that the two countries will continue to develop cooperation in the field of tourism.
The officials agreed that the overall cooperation is at a high level, but that there is room for further improvement of economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as increase in trade.
They also discussed the intensification of parliamentary cooperation through mutual visits of MPs, as well as development of cooperation in the field of culture, tourism and sports.
The meeting was also attended by PFG members Honorary Consul of Greece in Serbia Dragan D. Markovic, Tijana Davidovac and Zivota Starcevic.