The National Assembly House hosted a video meeting between the members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Kazakhstan, Kazakh Ambassador to Serbia and the members of the Kazakhstan-Serbia Interparliamentary Cooperation Group.
At the beginning of the meeting, Berik Abdigaliuly, Head of the Kazakhstan-Serbia Interparliamentary Cooperation Group, noted that meetings of this kind contribute to the development of friendship between the two countries. He said that December of last year marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, adding that Serbia has a reliable partner in Kazakhstan and that their political relations are grounded in mutual respect.
He stressed that there are no disagreements on the bilateral level and that Kazakhstan is committed to upholding Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, underlining importance of mutual support in international organisations.
Berik Abdigaliuly said that there is ample room to improve cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and the humanitarian sphere.
Dragomir Karic, member of the PFG with Kazakhstan, opined that bilateral relations are very good, and above all friendly, honest and open, as evidenced by 25 years of diplomatic relations. Karic said he greatly appreciated Kazakhstan's support of Serbia’s integrity, especially since he was born in Pec, and the support means very much to him.
Karic said how pleased he was about the opening of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Belgrade and took the opportunity to praise the work of the first Kazakh Ambassador to Serbia, Gabit Syzydikbekov.
Karic opined that meetings such as this one should be an incentive for diplomatic relations, both political and business, adding that political cooperation is at a high level, while business relations are lagging.
Dragomir Karic said that Serbia is a multi-ethnic and multicultural state that respects the rights and interests of national minorities. He added that six languages are spoken in Serbia and the National Assembly includes MPs from minority communities.
MPs Dr Marko Bogdanovic and Momir Stojilkovic also took part in the meeting and informed the Kazakh MPs about the situation in Serbia caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the cooperation in the field of economy and agriculture.
Dr Bogdanovic said that four types of vaccines are available in Serbia and that the country is close to the goal of vaccinating 60% of the population. He stressed that the Serbian leadership had provided our compatriots with the opportunity to be vaccinated in Serbia. He also pointed out that the Health and Family Committee, which he is member of, holds sittings outside the National Assembly seat in order to raise the awareness on the importance of vaccination.
The members of the Kazakhstan-Serbia Interparliamentary Cooperation Group spoke about the current political situation in Kazakhstan, the parliamentary elections held earlier this year and the fight against COVID-19.
They informed the members of the PFG that this year Kazakhstan marks the 30th anniversary of the declaration of sovereignty, an occasion planned to be celebrated through a series of events. Speaking of the pandemic, they said that 2.5 million people had received the first dose of the vaccine, while 1.4 million had also received the second. They reminded the participants that Serbia and Kazakhstan had established a free trade, that there is no double taxation and that a visa-free regime is also in force.
Kazakh Ambassador to Serbia Gabit Syzydikbekov also addressed the meeting, stressing that his country sees Serbia as an important foreign policy partner in the Balkan region and adding that parliamentary cooperation is a basic component of overall bilateral relations. Syzydikbekov expressed hope that the parliamentarians would soon be organising an exchange of visits.