Thursday, 27 December 2007

Eleventh Sitting of the Foreign Affairs Committee

At the sitting held on 27 December, the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee conducted an interview with the newly appointed Serbian Ambassadors to Finland and Italy, Vera Mavric and Sanda Raskovic-Ivic, as part of the duty established under the new Foreign Affairs Bill.



At the sitting held on 27 December, the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee conducted an interview with the newly appointed Serbian Ambassadors to Finland and Italy, Vera Mavric and Sanda Raskovic-Ivic, as part of the duty established under the new Foreign Affairs Bill. The sitting was chaired by Dr Dragoljub Micunovic.

Presenting her work plan, Ambassador Mavric stressed that Finland is one of the richest countries in the world, and thanks to a highly educated workforce and developed technology its economy has been declared the most competitive in the world for the third year running. Finland supports the development and expansion of the European Union as an economic, political and security community and the Western Balkans countries joining the EU, if the candidate countries consistently meet the set conditions for joining the EU. Finland is a member of the Partnership for Peace, but is not a member of NATO, and in 2008 it will chair the OSCE.

Ambassador Mavric stated that her main task will be representing Serbia’s official positions in the solution of the Kosovo issue, considering that Finland supported Ahtisaari’s plan, as well as improving political, economic, cultural and other types of cooperation with Finland.

Elaborating her main positions in the final interview with the Committee members, Ambassador Raskovic-Ilic pointed out that keeping Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in Kosovo and Metohia and the process of Serbia joining the European Union are two processes that should be conducted separately, so as to avoid situations in which “Serbia might be blackmailed”. The new Ambassador stressed that the most important thing at the moment is to win the support of Italy in the process of determining the future status of Kosovo and Metohia, adding that the House of Representatives of the Italian Parliament passed two resolutions this year obligating the Government not to bring unilateral solutions and to support a compromise solution of the future status of Kosovo and Metohia acceptable to both Belgrade and Serbia.

Italy is one of the countries that advocated the continuation of the negotiations on Kosovo, although, as she pointed out, there are different positions on the matter on the Italian political scene. In this respect, she expressed her belief that there is still room for Serbia to change things to its advantage.

The Ambassador pointed out that Italy’s support to Serbia’s joining the EU will her other priority stating that Italy does not insist on full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal as a condition for joining the EU.

Raskovic-Ivanovic pointed out that Italy is Serbia’s first foreign trade partner and one of the most important investors into Serbian economy, particularly the financial sector. Italy is also interested in the realisation of large infrastructural projects in Serbia, as well as participation in the privatisation of companies. Trade with Italy is rapidly developing, and thanks to the rapid growth of export it is becoming more and more balanced through the years. The Italian Government’s credit lines to the Serbian private sector contribute to the development of this cooperation.

The Committee members posed several questions to the new Serbian Ambassadors stressing that their main task must be advocating the protection of Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in light of the newly adopted Resolution of the National Assembly, as well as the improvement of overall cooperation with Italy and Finland.

At the sitting, the Committee members adopted several reports on realised parliamentary visits.

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