The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojković met today with a number of parliament speakers taking part in the coming 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Belgrade, 13 to 17 October.
Today, Gojković had meetings with the parliament speakers of Seychelles, South Africa, Namibia and the Arab Republic of Egypt, whom she welcomed to Belgrade, thanking them for their participation in the annual assembly.
In the meeting with the Speaker of Parliament of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ali Abdel Aal, Gojković emphasized the importance of promoting the two countries’ long-standing history of traditionally good and friendly relations crowned by the 110th anniversary last year.
Gojković and Aal opined that the fruitful cooperation dating back to the Non-Aligned Movement is an excellent starting point to continue to develop a comprehensive cooperation in modern times and the two parliaments are ready to open a new chapter in the relationship between Serbia and Egypt.
Gojković and Aal talked about the modern challenges the two countries face and the significance of mutual support on matters of importance for Serbia and Egypt. Aal thanked Serbia for the support it gives Egypt in all international forums, adding that the two countries’ joint committee headed by their respective foreign ministers is testament to their growing relations.
Gojković informed the Speaker of Parliament of the Arab Republic of Egypt about the situation in Kosovo-Metohija and Pristina’s unilateral moves, stressing that it is crucial that Pristina recognize the importance of dialogue.
Gojković and Aal opined that the two countries’ commitment to strengthening parliamentary ties and cooperation in general was confirmed both during the National Assembly Speaker’s visit to Egypt, and the Egyptian Parliament Speaker’s participation in the IPU Assembly in Belgrade.
Gojković also met with the Parliament Speaker of the Seychelles Nicholas Prea whom she thanked for taking part in the IPU Assembly in Belgrade, opining that the high-level political representation and open dialogue on burning global issues provide a strong platform to face key global processes. Gojković thanked the Parliament Speaker for the Seychelles not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija and showing that they respect international law, which is an important topic that will be discussed at the IPU Assembly.
Gojković said she stood ready to develop interparliamentary cooperation at all levels, stressing that it would be smart to utilize the growing importance of parliamentary diplomacy in the development of bilateral relations and that it is up to the parliament to encourage the governments to develop cooperation as well.
The Parliament Speaker of the Seychelles said that, though geographically distant, Serbia and the Seychelles, both countries and peoples, know one another and share a friendship, adding that the Seychelles have a Serbian community.
Gojković also talked strengthening cooperation with the Parliament Speaker of South Africa Thandi Ruth Modise, with the two parliament speakers highlighting the good political relationship between the two countries, with no outstanding issues, opining that they should work on developing a comprehensive cooperation in the coming period. Gojković thanked South Africa for respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and for its support during so-called “Kosovo’s” attempts to join international organizations. The two parliament speakers also stressed the importance of dialogue.
Gojković said that Serbia is ready to strengthen parliamentary ties, mentioning that it is the only European country to have a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Pan-African Parliament, which testifies to its commitment to cooperation with traditional friends such as the African countries. Parliament Speaker Thandi Ruth Modise said it was an honour to visit Serbia, one of the founders of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, stressing that Serbia has a lot of friends in South Africa.
Gojković also met with the Parliament Speaker of Namibia Peter Katjavivi. The two heads of parliament opined that their respective countries’ traditionally good relations should continue to grow, and Gojković thanked Namibia for its support of Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and during so-called “Kosovo’s” attempts to join international organizations.
They also spoke about potential cooperation in the spheres of economy, education, trade, agriculture and fight against organized crime and terrorism.
Katjavivi said it was a pleasure to visit Serbia, adding that Namibia hopes to strengthen the friendship between the two peoples and advance cooperation between the parliaments and the private sector, and praised Serbia’s cooperation with the Pan-African Parliament. Katjavivi said that he had come to Belgrade during Namibia’s fight for freedom and independence and he truly appreciates the Serbian people’s support and solidarity, strong ties from the past and cooperation in the Non-Aligned Movement.
Gojković and Katjavivi spoke about the historical ties and the fact that the National Assembly House was the host of the very first, founding summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Belgrade will be host to parliamentary delegations from 150 countries, among them 80 parliament speakers, 60 deputy speakers and more than 2000 parliamentarians and delegates.