In the course of its visit to the National Assembly, the a delegation of the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic headed by Committee Chairman Ondrej Benesik met with the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Committee Deputy Chairperson Dubravka Filipovski spoke about the two countries’ traditional friendship, both politically, as evidenced by the recent 16 reciprocal visits, and economically speaking, evidenced by the many Czech investments in Serbia.
Serbia, she said, has clearly defined foreign policy goals – EU accession, strengthening regional cooperation and maintaining peace in the region, as well as continuing the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina to come to a mutually satisfactory solution. Cooperation with the US, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China and African countries is also one of Serbia’s strategic foreign policy goals, Filipovski added. She stressed that, as a military neutral country, Serbia enjoys excellent cooperation with NATO.
The Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Ondrej Benesik said that a retraction of the recognition of Kosovo by the Czech Republic is at present doubtful if not impossible, but the Czech Republic is ready to support Serbia by preventing Kosovo from joining international institutions. He believes that, to resolve the outstanding issues in its relationship with Pristina, Serbia should focus on countries with a “reserved” stance on the issue or are insufficiently informed about the situation in the region.
Filipovski said that Serbia is ready to continue the talks when the representatives of so-called Kosovo institutions abolish the customs taxes on Serbian goods. She hopes dialogue would lead to a compromise solution and lasting reconciliation, but stressed that Serbia would never recognize the self-declared independence of the southern province. Filipovski reminded the guests that the Serb List achieved notable results in the elections in Kosovo by which the Republic of Serbia proved that it wanted to participate in work of the institutions and fight for the rights of Serbs living in Kosovo-Metohija.
Committee members Ljiljana Malusic and Jelena Vujic Obradovic also took part in the meeting. They believe that the Czech Republic should think again about retracting its recognition of Kosovo independence and follow the example of the 16 countries that have done so, plus the additional four that will, according to announcements, do so by the end of the year. Committee member Dragan Sormaz asked the Visegrad Group to send a strong message to Pristina to approach the negotiations in a constrictive and civilized manner or, as he said, there can be no statehood.