The members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Spain, headed by Dr Balint Pasztor, met today with Spanish Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Raul Bartolome Molina.
Dr Palint Pasztor thanked the Ambassador for taking the time to meet with the PFG, adding that since their last official meeting, with the new legislature the Group had been amended and expanded to include new members. Pasztor said that the PFG with Spain has 93 members and is the seventh largest in the National Assembly. He went on to say that the sizer of the PFG is not surprising, considering that Serbia and Spain share a sincere friendship and good bilateral relations, based on mutual trust. He pointed out that territorial integrity and sovereignty are topics that connect the two countries, and thanked the Ambassador for the principled position of non-recognition of the so-called Republic of Kosovo. He took the opportunity to express gratitude for Spain's support of Serbia's European integration, stressing that Serbia considers the stability of the region to be one of the country's key priorities. The Head of the PFG said that trade with Spain has been growing in the past few years, which is a good indicator, but there is always room to further cooperation. Speaking of deepening relations, he drew attention to parliamentary cooperation, which he believes to be underdeveloped, and represents one of the potential aspects for the development of cooperation. "We are open to more active cooperation in the field of parliamentary relations, which would provide a solid foundation to deepen relations at the level of state governments," Pasztor said. The Head of the PFG pointed out that, as the President of Subotica City Assembly, he is very proud that the company "Labiana", as one of the biggest Spanish investors in Serbia, acquired the city’s Veterinary Institute and with it became one of the leading companies on the market.
H.E. Raul Bartolome Molina thanked the PFG for the invitation, saying that the pandemic had paralyzed contacts and visits at the parliamentary level, but since the easing of measures, three Serbian ministers have paid an official visit to Spain, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence and the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. The Ambassador pointed out that the political relations between the two countries are extraordinary and reaffirmed that Spain would not change its position on the Autonomous Province of Kosovo-Metohija, emphasising that the Kingdom of Spain respects international law. He said that, at the Intergovernmental Conference of the European Union on 22 June Spain supported the opening of new chapters with Serbia and expressed hope that this would happen during the Slovenian presidency. The Ambassador said that a general agreement on cooperation between the two countries is being prepared, which will support infrastructural cooperation, especially the use of European IPA funds, cultural cooperation and at the same time promote trade. The Ambassador went on to say that parliamentary friendship groups do not exist as a concept in the Spanish Parliament, but that during the Serbian Foreign Minister’s visit to Spain, there was talk of forming a kind of forum that would connect the parliamentarians of the two countries.
The meeting also touched on cooperation and connecting the different regions of the two countries, as a new impetus for economic and cultural cooperation.