4 August 2017 The National Assembly Deputy Speaker and the Head of the PFG with Qatar in meeting with the Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs
Friday, 4 August 2017
Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Visits National Assembly
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic met today in Belgrade with the Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi to discuss promoting overall bilateral cooperation between Serbia and Qatar, intensification of cooperation between the parliaments in particular.
Deputy Speaker Arsic stressed that the National Assembly is ready to intensify parliamentary cooperation particularly as regards ratification of inter-state agreements as evidenced by the recent ratification of two treaties relating to mutual stimulation and protection of investment and taxation. He added that these ratifications strengthened the framework for economic cooperation between the two countries and the National Assembly is ready to support all other ratifications that find their way to its agenda, to improve relations with the State of Qatar.
“We consider the State of Qatar a friendly state even though we do not share the same stance on all issues as the case is with the issues concerning our southernmost province of Kosovo-Metohija, which does not mean that we cannot cooperate on issues where we do share the same stance”, said Arsic asking the Qatari official for his country’s support for the continuation of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and implementation of the Brussels Agreement.
Deputy Speaker Arsic stressed that Serbia would like to strengthen economic cooperation with the State of Qatar, mentioning the fact that the country is conducting reforms to improve the overall business environment. He also urged to improve cooperation in the fields of tourism, agriculture, energy production and mining where Serbia offers enormous potential for foreign investment, and to also intensify cultural exchange which has been facilitated by an agreement signed in 2014.
“The Republic of Serbia follows the developments in the relations between the Gulf states with great care and concern and asks all the parties to show maturity and restraint and eliminate the causes which had led to the crisis through dialogue and cooperation and normalize relations as soon as possible since the current situation is not in the Gulf states’ interest and threatens the economic relations in the region. Serbia applauds the Kuwaiti Emir’s readiness to take on the role of moderator to help tackle the crisis”, said Arsic speaking of Serbia’s position on the Persian Gulf crisis.
Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi commended the ratification of the agreement with his country by the National Assembly stating that it provides a framework for the improvement of cooperation between Serbia and the State of Kuwait. He hopes that the relations would follow an upward trend through the realization of the two signed memorandums of cooperation in the fields of education and technological development, IT and telecommunication, since Serbia is the leading country in the region in these fields. He added that Qatar encourages the private sector to invest abroad and briefed the host on its countries’ activities since the outbreak of the Persian Gulf crisis. He invited Serbian colleagues to visit the Consultative Assembly of the State of Qatar and talk to Qatari parliamentarians about how best to improve cooperation.
The Head of the PFG with Qatar Muamer Zukorlic who attended the meeting said that the Parliamentary Friendship Group he heads would make sure there a return visit takes place as soon as the conditions for it are met. He stressed that there is vast potential for Serbia-Qatar cooperation especially in the field of education, especially higher education. He restated that Serbia is following the developments in the Persian Gulf very closely and hopes the crisis will soon be over, adding that the country is ready to support all and any constructive solutions to it.