The members of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Greece, headed by Veroljub Arsic, met today with the Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias and a delegation of the Hellenic Parliament.
The Head of the PFG with Greece Veroljub Arsic welcomed the guests from the country, which he said was one of the few with which Serbia has never had any problems and shares a sincere friendship and common history. He highlighted the exceptional diplomatic cooperation between the two countries, evidenced by the exchange of top state level visits and good interparliamentary cooperation. He went on to say that the 101 strong PFG with Greece, one of the largest ones in the parliament, is further testament to Serbia's desire for stronger cooperation with Greece.
The Head of the PFG with Greece said he believed that there is ample room to improve cultural cooperation and special attention should be paid to this segment connecting the two nations.
Arsic stressed that Serbia’s chief strategic goal is full membership in the European Union, thanking Greece for providing full support to our country on that path, as well as for supporting the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia.
"We would also like to thank you for the principled position concerning the formation of the Kosovo-Metohija army because we believe that it would jeopardize the security in the region and the much needed peace in the Western Balkans", said Arsic, hoping that Greece would not fail to provide support in the future. He asked Greece to refrain from cooperating with the provisional Kosovo institutions, when the Pristina side sabotages the negotiations, as was the case during the unilateral introduction of sanctions on the import of goods from Central Serbia.
Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias agreed that Serbia and Greece share a sincere and long-lasting friendship and that Greece would always provide support to our country, as it has done throughout history. He expressed interest in strengthening mutual tourist cooperation.
"The Greek people like to travel abroad and in Serbia they would be interested in visiting farms and estates, wellness and SPA centres, skiing. Establishing flights throughout the year, not only during the tourist season, would contribute to it a lot", said Kikilias. Speaking about the upcoming season, he said that he expected exceptional numbers of Serbian tourists, with the travel agencies estimating that about 900 thousand Serbian tourists would be visiting the Greek seaside this year. He said that all visitors would only need a passport to enter Greece and they need not bother with unnecessary bureaucracy, i.e. no PCR test, vaccination certificate or a green passport. He added that negotiations are underway with private mobile operators to cancel roaming charges for Serbian citizens, which he hopes would receive a positive response as soon as possible.
PFG member Milovan Drecun said that Serbia has made major steps to improve conditions for mutual cooperation, namely the construction of a highway to the border with North Macedonia, with the renovation of the railway to North Macedonia underway to accommodate speeds of 160 kph. Drecun believes that, through the prism of tourism, attention should be focused more on the attitude towards young people who see tourism in a new way, not only as going to the seaside, but as visiting music festivals, environmental workshops, IT sector as well.
PFG members Andrijana Avramov and Aleksandar Markovic also attended the meeting.