Addressing the participants of the 3rd meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments in Turkey, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic said that Serbia is determined to continue working on a comprehensive improvement of friendly relations and cooperation with the countries of the Eurasian region.
Gojkovic stressed that Serbia, as a country pitched between the East and West, historically understands and recognizes how important initiatives are for strengthening cooperation to everyone’s benefit and underlined the significance of the continued work of this forum, launched at the initiative of the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, which offers a framework for a comprehensive and open exchange of opinions and experiences among the countries of the Eurasian region so that they can take a stance on the most current issue of national, regional and global importance.
Gojkovic said that EU accession is Serbia’s number one foreign policy goal, but the country also strives to make sure this process parallels the country’s desire to advance cooperation with partner and friendly countries at the international regional and global scene.
Gojkovic said that Serbia, as the biggest country in the Western Balkans, and its National Assembly take part in all regional initiatives, develop relations with the neighbours, even where there have been none for a long time, as well as strengthen dialogue and cooperation with geographically distant, but essentially close countries and nations.
Gojkovic said that, in addition to many bilateral cooperation and strategic partnership agreements with the countries of the Eurasian region, Serbia also takes part in the “One Belt, One Road” and “China – Central and Eastern European Countries” initiatives, which is a concrete and tangible expression of its dedication to multilateral progress in the domain of infrastructure, trade, culture, science technology, etc.
Talking about economic cooperation, the environment and sustainable development, the Serbian Assembly Speaker said that sustainable development can best be understood in the face of obstacles such as threats to peace and stability, natural disasters, deepening economic rift, unequal distribution, imbalance between degree of development and relation to the environment, forcible migration and many others.
Gojkovic said that, faced with many contemporary global troubles and challenges, it becomes clearer that sustainable development is not a utopia, but the only way to responsibly overcome common problems with a degree of solidarity.
“For us, parliamentarians, that means, first and foremost, eliminating the obstacles to free trade, movement of people, investment, skills and innovative technologies and all other forms of cooperation, all the while respecting one another’s differences and distinctions be they political, cultural or any other”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic stressed that Serbia is now more than ever committed to continue to consistently and unequivocally champion the fundamental principles of international relations, and as a pre-requisite of sustainable development, she said that Serbia is a country that has unfortunately many times in its history, relatively recent too, felt the consequences of the politics of force and disregard of international law such as in the case of NATO’s 1999 illegal military aggression and its grave consequences to human lives and the environment.
The 3rd meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments was opened by the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Binali Yildirim, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Moon Hee-sang and the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, who spoke in favour of better cooperation in the region in terms of economic cooperation, trade, networking and infrastructure, sustainable development and urged for a peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue.
The meeting, attended by more than 20 speakers of parliament, 15 deputy speakers, as well as several hundreds of parliamentarians, will be completed by the adoption of a final statement.