On the last day of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Belgrade, attended by over 2000 delegates from around the world, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic met with the Deputy Parliament Speaker of Cuba and the parliament speakers of Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Bhutan.
Gojkovic met with the parliamentary delegation of Cuba headed by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Ana Maria Mari Machado. The officials agreed that the two countries’ political relations are characterized by friendship and mutual support in priority matters, as well as commitment to the development of overall cooperation.
Gojkovic thanked Cuba for its principled position on Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty viz. the issue of Kosovo-Metohija, and support in international forums.
Gojkovic said that the Serbian Assembly is ready to further parliamentary cooperation both at the level of working bodies, especially those in charge of healthcare, culture and education, and parliamentary friendship groups, adding that the Memorandum of Cooperation signed during the presidential visit to Cuba and Serbia, was an incredible impulse to the existing relations.
Machado said that Serbia has a special place in the hearts of Cubans and that they share traditional generational ties, highlighting Cuba’s firm support for Serbia is the matter of Kosovo-Metohija and adding that Cuba stands by UNSC Resolution 1244. Machado thanked Serbia for its support of Cuba adding that the two countries should continue to build their relationship and all-round cooperation which a visit of the Serbian Parliament Speaker to Cuba would further strengthen, she said and invited her Serbian counterpart to visit. Gojkovic and Machado also commented on the interest in cooperation in the spheres of agriculture, food industry, medicine and the drug industry.
National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojkovic met with the parliamentary delegation of Zimbabwe headed by National Assembly Speaker Jacob Francis Mudenda and Speaker of Senate Mable Memory Chinomona whom she thanked for the participation and the fact that the speakers of both houses of parliament are taking part in the assembly.
Gojkovic extended her condolences on the devastation cyclone Idai caused in Zimbabwe, adding that the bilateral relations have traditionally been friendly and that this is an opportunity to consider developing parliamentary and economic cooperation which is not sufficiently developed. The Serbian Assembly Speaker proposed the formation of parliamentary friendship groups and signing of a memorandum of cooperation. Gojkovic thanked Zimbabwe for not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija and for respecting Serbia's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and acquainted the guests with the unilateral acts of Pristina, as well as the recent ROSU incursion in northern Kosovo-Metohija.
Mudenda said Zimbabwe remembers Serbia’s support on the international scene in the country’s fight against colonialism and for freedom and independence, and stressed that his country would continue to support Serbia in international forums in matters concerning international law, its sovereignty and territorial integrity and UNSC resolution 1244. Mudenda pledged to establish stronger bilateral cooperation and agreed that it is important to form friendship groups and sign a memorandum of understanding that would provide the basis to build good relations between the parliaments.
The Speaker of Zimbabwe’s National Assembly also spoke about the fallout of cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe and the neighbouring countries, hoping that aid would continue to come because the infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and new settlements constructed.
Gojkovic also met with the Parliament Speaker of Sierra Leone Abass Chernor Bundu and pointing out that there is room to advance bilateral relations and foster and promote cooperation in the fields of economy, education and culture. The Serbian Assembly is committed to promoting parliamentary relations through the establishment of parliamentary friendship groups and the only European country to have an Agreement of Cooperation with the Pan-African Parliament.
Gojkovic thanked Sierra Leone for taking part in the 141st IPU Assembly, attended by a large number of parliament speakers and deputy speakers, and stressed the importance of strengthening international law and the Belgrade Declaration.
Bundu pledged to advance relations, recalling the strong relationship from the time of the Non-Aligned Movement and opining that the spirit of these firm ties should be revived, and adding that Sierra Leone is interested in developing cooperation, especially in the fields of education and healthcare.
Gojkovic met with the Parliament Speaker of the Kingdom of Bhutan Tashi Dorji whom she thanked for Bhutan’s parliamentary delegation’s participation in the 141st IPU Assembly, stressing that the two countries enjoy excellent political relations with no outstanding issues and thanked the Kingdom of Bhutan for its principled position on Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty viz. the issue of Kosovo-Metohija.
Gojkovic said that the Serbian Assembly is ready to advance parliamentary cooperation at all levels and that it would be smart to consider developing economic cooperation as well.
Dorji congratulated the host on the organization of the 141st IPU Assembly, noting that this is the first visit by a delegation of the Kingdom of Bhutan to Serbia and as such the starting point of the two countries’ relationship, also adding that the governments would follow the development of parliamentary relations and inviting the Serbian Assembly Speaker to visit the Kingdom of Bhutan.