The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic met today with Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil. The officials highlighted the traditionally good and friendly bilateral relations, which the two countries are ready to strengthen and advance across the board.
Gojkovic said that the cooperation between the two countries dates back to the times of the Non-Aligned Movement, reminding the Minister that the National Assembly House hosted the founding summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, attended among others by representatives of Lebanon.
Gojkovic said it was very important to maintain that friendship today to make sure the two countries can rely on each other, stressing that Lebanon has always been on Serbia’s side and never voted against its interests.
Gojkovic thanked Lebanon for its firm principled stance on respecting international law i.e. Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and especially for voting against so-called Kosovo’s INTERPOL and previously UNESCO bid. The Serbian Assembly Speaker said there is a trend of retractions of recognitions of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, 10 countries so far.
Gojkovic expressed concern about the situation in Kosovo-Metohija caused by Pristina’s decision to impose a 100% customs tariff on goods from central Serbia i.e. violation of the tenets of free trade and CEFTA, briefing the guest on the dire situation as regards the procurement of medicines, oxygen and basic foodstuffs.
The Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants said that Serbia and Lebanon are friendly countries that share the same common values and supporting Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is a matter of principle and of the values Lebanon hold dear.
Bassil said that Lebanon understands Serbia’s stance and position and will continue to stand by it in future.
Gojkovic and Bassil spoke about the development of parliamentary cooperation stressing that parliamentarians can contribute a great deal to advancing overall cooperation between the two states. Gojkovic said that the Serbian Parliament is ready to contribute to strengthening ties by ratifying the agreements the two governments are about to sign.
Gojkovic invited the Lebanese Parliament to take part in the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Belgrade in February 2019, as well as the session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in October, to be held in Belgrade after 56 years and gather the heads of parliament from all over the world.
Gojkovic and Bassil agreed that it is important to advance economic cooperation and strengthen business ties, as well as agricultural cooperation and trade, and the Serbian Assembly Speaker briefed Bassil on the economic reform in Serbia which had enabled the stabilization of public finance and in turn led to economic growth and the ability to raise pensions and salaries in the public sector.
Speaking about the fight against terrorism, the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants said that his country is faced with many different forms of the modern threat.