The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic began her visit to the Republic of Kenya, first in the history of parliamentary relations with the country, with a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya Justin Muturi, who had invited her.
Gojkovic and Muturi signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two parliaments, institutionalizing the parliamentary cooperation and opening up new opportunities to intensify cooperation between the parliamentary committees and friendship groups, as well as at the multilateral level.
Gojkovic stressed that this is a historic visit being the first parliamentary visit in the history of relations between the two countries and the first visit of any kind in decades. The two countries share more than just historic ties, they continue to build their friendship to this day, said Gojkovic thanking Kenya for not making decisions contrary to Serbia’s interests in international forums.
Gojkovic thanked Kenya for not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija and respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. She went on to brief Muturi on the situation in Kosovo-Metohija and Pristina’s unilateral acts such as the establishment of the so-called Kosovo Army and imposition of a 100% customs tax on goods from central Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Speaking of the two countries’ long historical ties, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Kenya Justin Muturi urged to keep developing them, deeming the Serbian Assembly Speaker’s visit to be the first step in that process.
Muturi said that Kenya respects UNSC Resolution 1244 and as a country that believes in and respects international law does not recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija. Muturi said that Kenya’s stance on the matter will remain firm, adding that he supports dialogue and finding a sustainable, peaceful solution.
Gojkovic and Muturi agreed that the Memorandum of Cooperation opens a new chapter of the two countries’ shared history as it makes it possible to intensify cooperation between the committees on foreign affairs, defence, agriculture, education, health, culture as well as between parliamentary friendship groups, and to exchange experiences of the legislative process and the parliament’s supervisory role. Gojkovic said that the goal is to encourage the MPs and governments to work toward advancing overall cooperation and have it reach and exceed heights it previously had in the Non-Aligned Movement. Gojkovic said, to encourage this cooperation, the Serbian Parliament established a friendship group with Kenya, and invited Parliament Speaker Muturi to come and visit Serbia.
Gojkovic and Muturi also discussed cooperation in other areas of mutual interest such as agriculture, IT, civil engineering, education and culture, and spoke about the importance of fighting terrorism, which, Muturi said, Kenya, which had recently suffered a terror attack, remains determined to combat.
Gojkovic also met with the Speaker of the Kenyan Senate Kenneth Lusaka who opined that the long and friendly relations between the two countries, dating back to the times of Kenya’s independence and cooperation in the Non-Aligned Movement, are an excellent basis to keep developing the relationship further in the changing new world. Speaking of the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo-Metohija, Lusaka restated that Kenya respects international law and stands firm by its position.
The Senate Speaker thanked Serbia for awarding scholarships to Kenyan students under the auspices of the World in Serbia programme. Gojkovic and Lusaka also discussed the cooperation in international organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union where the two countries’ respective delegations are very active, and Gojkovic invited the Senate Speaker to the 141st IPU Assembly to be held in Belgrade in October.
The National Assembly delegation also comprises Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Zarko Obradovic and the member of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Kenya Dragomir Karic.