Monday, 16 October 2006

20th sitting of the Foreign Affairs Committee

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia held its 20th sitting, chaired by Gordana Comic, on 16 October.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia held its 20th sitting, chaired by Gordana Comic, on 16 October. Ms Comic informed the Committee of the Assembly’s international activities implemented so far and planned for the second half of 2006, including the participation of Assembly delegations at sittings of international institutions and organisations, and bilateral meetings with foreign parliamentary delegations.

Speaking of visits made abroad, Ms Comic singled out the participation of the National Assembly’s standing delegations at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Annual Meeting, held in Strasbourg from 2 to 8 October. In addition, members of the National Assembly’s Permanent Representation to the Permanent Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) took part in two meetings of the PACE Political Affairs Committee, as well as in a meeting of the PACE Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.

The National Assembly was, in the reporting period, visited by MPs from Great Britain, Germany, Bulgaria, and Estonia, as well as ambassadors of several countries.

Ms Comic announced that a parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Korea, headed by the parliamentary Speaker, Lim Chae-Jung, would pay a visit to Serbia from 18 to 20 October; Bulgarian and Belgian Flemish parliamentary delegations are expected to visit Serbia in November.

The National Assembly has been invited to attend several international conferences – NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Rose-Roth Seminar is to be held in Chisinau from 19 to 21 October, while the Parliamentary Assembly of the Central European Initiative is to sit in Tirana from 2 to 4 November. Invitations have also arrived for Assembly delegations to take part in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session, to be held in Quebec City, Canada, from 13 to 17 November, and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly sitting, which is to take place from 17 to 20 November in Malta.

The Committee did not have a decision-making quorum and could not rule on who would serve on delegations to attend these events; it was proposed that the National Assembly Chairman should rule on this. Committee members reiterated that the Assembly Rules of Procedure stipulated that the National Assembly had to verify the composition of all standing representations, while the Foreign Affairs Committee or the Chairman could approve delegations for foreign visits.

The sitting also discussed the formation of ‘deputies’ friendship groups’. Ms Comic proposed that deputies’ groups should nominate members to serve on ‘friendship groups’ as soon as possible.

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