National Assembly Deputy Speaker Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic met today at the National Assembly House with the Ambassador of Burkina Faso H.E. Dieudonné Kere to discuss advancing overall cooperation.
Speaking of the two countries’ 50 years of diplomatic relations, Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic said that the Republic of Serbia and Burkina Faso should develop stronger bilateral cooperation especially in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, education and security. He opined that the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Friendship Group with the Countries of Sub-Saharan Africa could help advance interparliamentary relations. Since both countries are active in the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker said their respective delegations can easily reach out and cooperate. He went on to say that Serbia will be hosting the 141st IPU session in October next year and expects a high-level Burkina Faso delegation to be in attendance.
Marinkovic thanked Burkina Faso for abstaining from the vote on Kosovo-Metohija’s INTERPOL bid. Though Burkina Faso had recognized the independence of Kosovo-Metohija in 2008, since such recognitions make it difficult to come to a compromise on the whole Kosovo-Metohija issue and the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, as well as the fact that ten countries had retracted their recognition of the so-called state of Kosovo, he asked Burkina Faso to reassess its recognition of the unconstitutional state and support international law, UN Security Council decision and Resolution 1244. The Deputy Speaker went on to say that the biggest number of foreign fighters per capita in Europe who joined the so-called Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East and North of Africa come from the territory of Kosovo-Metohija. He expressed concerns about Pristina’s open announcement that it is radicalizing its relations with Serbia at the detriment of the dialogue Belgrade is pushing for. This is evidenced by its violation of the tenets of free trade and imposition of a 100% customs tariffs on Belgrade goods i.e. violation of the Central European Free Trade Agreement.
The officials also spoke about advancing economic cooperation since trade between the two countries is pretty poor, as well as cooperation in the spheres of education and culture and providing scholarships for students from Burkina Faso via project “World in Serbia”. Marinkovic also said that Burkina Faso had submitted eight draft agreements in a variety of areas which could spur the development of economic and overall bilateral relations.
H.E. Dieudonné Kere thanked the National Assembly Deputy Speaker for the opportunity to discuss the wide variety of areas the two countries could advance cooperation in. The Ambassador assured the Deputy Speaker that Burkina Faso would be more than willing to do so, adding that it would be a good idea to set up a Parliamentary Friendship Group with Burkina Faso alone to foster closer ties between the two countries’ MPs. He said that a delegation of his country will undoubtedly take part in the IPU session in Belgrade since Burkina Faso is very active in the organization. He believes that the Serbian authorities are very open to cooperation and suggested drafting an agreement on interparliamentary cooperation which would be the cornerstone for other agreements in different fields. Speaking of cooperation between the two parliaments, he suggested that the National Assembly Speaker address the members of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso at its next regular session. As regards Kosovo-Metohija, the Ambassador said that the pro-Kosovo-Metohija campaign is strong and it would be good to strengthen interparliamentary cooperation and inform the parliamentarians of Burkina Faso on the situation.
Prof. Dr Vladimir Marinkovic said that he would convey what was said in the meeting to his colleagues to make sure the constructive suggestions are put into action as soon as possible, and the Ambassador said he would personally urge for the advancement of cooperation between the two countries.