The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee headed by Chairman Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic met today at the National Assembly with the Georgian parliamentary delegation currently in study visit to the Republic of Serbia to discuss the traditionally good and friendly relations between the two countries and how best to advance interparliamentary cooperation.
Committee Chairman Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic welcomed the Georgian parliamentarians, saying that there are no outstanding issues in the two countries’ relations as evidenced by the series of reciprocal high-tier visits. He went on to say that there is ample room to advance interparliamentary cooperation, especially in the fields of economy and agriculture.
Obradovic briefed the Georgian parliamentary delegation on Serbia’s problems concerning its territorial integrity and sovereignty, stressing that the latest developments in Kosovo-Metohija are bad for the Balkans and Europe at large, still the Republic of Serbia stands fast by its stance that this issue needs to be resolved peacefully through dialogue. The dialogue process with Pristina has been slowed down by Pristina’s violation of the rules of free trade and the provisions of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) viz. its imposition of a 100% tax on goods from Serbia.
The Committee Chairman thanked Georgia for standing by its principles and not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, showing that it respects international law which is the prerequisite of peace and security in the world.
He also said that EU accession is Serbia’s number one foreign policy goal and the country has so far opened 14 of the 35 chapters, however the talks are difficult because each chapter is conditioned on the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.
Seeing how Serbia’s EU talks have been going on for 18 years and that Georgia is progressing in the accession process with the help of the EU’s Eastern Partnership, Obradovic said that Serbia is ready to offer technical and political help. Obradovic went on to say that it is essential for the two countries’ to support one another in international organizations.
Chairperson of the Georgian Parliament’s Committee on European Integration Tamar Khulordava was interested in the cooperation between the between the Ministry of European Integration and the European Integration Committee and the process of opening negotiation chapters.
She said that Georgia is in a similar position concerning the preservation of its territorial integrity and added that Georgia stands by its principled stance of non-recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija.
Georgian Ambassador on non-residential basis H.E. Ioseb Nanobashvili thanked the Committee Chairman for the exceptional cooperation hoping that Georgia would open a consular office in Serbia at the beginning of next year.
MP Dusica Stojkovic briefed the Georgian parliamentary delegation on the scope of the European Integration Committee, stating that EU accession is Serbia’s priority, one supported by the parliamentary majority. According to latest polls, 55% of the Serbia citizens are in favour of EU accession and 70% support the ongoing reforms.
MP Ljiljana Malusic went on to inform the Georgian delegation on the current situation in Serbia.
Finally, the officials concluded that the two countries share the same commitment to the European perspective and mutual respect of territorial integrity, and that there is ample room to advance interparliamentary cooperation, especially in the fields of economy and agriculture.
MP Tijana Davidovac also attended the meeting.