The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee met today with Ugandan Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic praised the Ugandan parliamentary delegation’s participation in the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union that Belgrade hosted, as well as Serbia and Uganda’s friendly relationship dating back to the times of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Obradovic opined that by signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the Serbian National Assembly and Ugandan Parliament institutionalized their cooperation and set the groundwork for the further improvement of relations.
Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic thanked the Ugandan delegation for the clear stance and support for Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty stressing that the Kosovo-Metohija issue is a matter of respecting international law.
“With its energetic diplomatic activity in the last few years our country managed to impress the importance of dialogue for the resolution of the situation in the southern province on the international public. Many countries understood Serbia’s activity and in the last 18 months 15 of them retracted their recognition of Kosovo”, said Obradovic.
According to him, there is ample room for political cooperation between the two states, as well as a number of other areas - economy, culture, agriculture, education, science and innovation and technology. Belgrade, as one of the educational centres of South-Eastern Europe can offer a range of quality study programmes for Ugandan youth.
On behalf of the Serbian delegation, the guests were also addressed by the Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee Dubravka Filipovski, and Committee members Ljiljana Malusic, Dragan Sormaz and Nemanja Radojevic.
The Deputy Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee Dubravka Filipovski said that at present the Committee has four main foreign policy goals – EU accession, cooperation and maintenance of peace with the countries of region, preservation of territorial integrity and the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, as well as cooperation with big powers and other countries in the world. She also spoke of the work of the Women’s Parliamentary Network emphasizing the importance of economic empowerment of women, their education and combating violence against women.
Commenting on Africa’s rapid growth, the Committee members said that Serbia, as fourth in Europe by its number of IT workers, has the potential to invest in Uganda, especially in that sphere.
Ugandan Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala opined that National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic’s visit to Uganda was historic and it helped set the high objectives of parliamentary cooperation. The economic relations between the two countries are slow to develop, she added, and they need to be improved.
“Uganda is an agricultural country and we would really like to improve our agricultural production and foster ties between our and Serbian entrepreneurs, but we also welcome cooperation in other areas”, said the Ugandan Parliament Speaker, adding that promoting scientific cooperation would also be useful for her country.
“The people of Uganda are innovative, but they cannot develop their innovations because they lack the technology”, Alitwala explained.
The Ugandan parliamentary delegation said that their country’s stance on Kosovo-Metohija would not change and that Serbia can count on Uganda in this and many other areas.