The Head of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Egypt Dubravka Filipovski and the PFG members met today at the National Assembly with the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Amr Aljowaily.
At the very beginning of the meeting, Ambassador Aljowaily and the MPs were greeted by National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic.
Serbia and Egypt have traditionally friendly relations, dating back to the Non-Aligned Movement, with Egypt and the former Yugoslavia as the founders and pillars of the organisation, said PFG Head Dubravka Filipovski.
She thanked Egypt for supporting Serbia in international organisations and forums, stressing that, although Egypt had formally recognised the independence of the so-called state of Kosovo, that recognition has remained "frozen" because no bilateral relations were established. Filipovski added that Egypt is known for respecting international law and UN resolutions.
Speaking about the parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, Dubravka Filipovski pointed out that it is continuous and dynamic, adding that there is room to further cooperation between the parliamentary friendship groups and working bodies. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two parliaments, signed in 2019, also contributes to more intensive and concrete inter-parliamentary cooperation, Filipovski said expressing confidence that an exchange of visits of parliamentary friendship groups would be organised this year, despite the corona virus pandemic. In the current legislature, the PFG with Egypt boasts 44 members, which is proof of the MPs’ interest in cooperation with Egyptian parliamentarians, she added.
The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Egypt also opined that Serbian and Egyptian parliamentarians enjoy a high level of cooperation within international parliamentary organisations.
In the conversation with the Egyptian Ambassador, Filipovski pointed out that there is room to further the economic relations between Serbia and Egypt and increase trade, which in the previous year amounted to 90 million EUR, about 33 million of which were our exports and the rest imports.
Ambassador Aljowaily stressed that Egypt greatly appreciates the good diplomatic relations with Serbia, established 130 years ago, especially emphasising the fact that the first Serbian Embassy in the Arab world was opened in Cairo. He said that the friendship between the two countries is based on four pillars - parliamentary, diplomatic, economic and cultural.
He agreed with Dubravka Filipovski that a lot has been done at the parliamentary level, pointing out that the Memorandum of Understanding between the two parliaments provides room for close cooperation between the parliamentarians as well as the secretariats of the two parliaments. The cooperation between the executive authorities is also at a high level, said he opining that it would result in greater cooperation between the two countries’ business sector and companies.
The meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador was attended by great many members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group who presented various ideas and proposals for cooperation through a constructive conversation.
The officials agreed that further improvement of cooperation in the field of culture, art, education and tourism is of exceptional importance, which would be helped by the re-introduction of direct flights between Belgrade and Cairo. The also agreed that cooperation in the field of defence, combating terrorism and organised crime is important.