On the sidelines of the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Snezana Paunovic had a series of bilateral meetings with the delegations of Bahrain, Cyprus, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and Japan. At the very beginning of the meetings, she conveyed the greetings of National Assembly Speaker Dr Vladimir Orlic.
In the course of their meeting, Snezana Paunovic and Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives of the Parliament of Bahrain Abdulnabi Salman assessed that there is room to improve bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as economic cooperation. Paunovic congratulated the hosts on the excellent organization of the 146th IPU Assembly in Manama.
Paunovic and the Chairperson of the Cypriot House Standing Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs Christiana Erotokritou agreed that the two countries enjoy a high level of relations, expressing hope that the successful cooperation would continue in the future and that the exchange of visits at different levels would be more intense, especially in term of parliamentary cooperation. Paunovic thanked Cyprus for its consistent and principled support of Serbia’s sovereignty and integrity.
The National Assembly Deputy Speaker and Italian MP Deborah Bergamini opined that the two countries enjoy good bilateral relations, adding that there is room to improve overall cooperation. Paunovic informed Bergamini about the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The Republic of Serbia is determined to resolve this major issue through dialogue. None of what was agreed, which concerns the rights of the Serbian community, has been fulfilled. As someone who has been living for 23 years, by someone else's decision, as an internally displaced person from Kosovo-Metohija, without the possibility of returning home, this is nothing but a serious violation of human rights. It is important that this message be sent from such a gathering as the IPU as the oldest international organisation that champions these values - the defence and promotion of human rights, peace, dialogue, resolving disputes by peaceful means, said the Parliament Deputy Speaker.
In the meeting with the Head of the Turkish delegation to the IPU Ravza Kan, Snezana Paunovic said that Serbia and Turkey enjoy traditionally good and friendly relations, which should be nurtured and improved further. She emphasised that the bilateral parliamentary cooperation between Turkey and Serbia is intensive and fruitful, as evidenced by the large number of visits at the highest and inter-parliamentary levels. The Head of the Turkish delegation to the IPU thanked Serbia and the Serbian rescuers who helped the victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey, deeming Serbia's action invaluable.
In the meeting with the Speaker of Egyptian Parliament Hanafy Gebaly, the officials discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as the situation in the region. Paunovic thanked Egypt for its support on issues of particular importance for our country. She informed the Egyptian Parliament Speaker that the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Friendship Group with Egypt has 51 members which speaks volumes about the traditionally friendly relations between the two countries.
Paunovic, who is also the Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Japan, expressed her gratitude to that country for their attitude regarding the membership of so-called of Kosovo in international institutions and invited her interlocutor Ito Shintaro to visit Serbia. Ito Shintaro said that economic cooperation is gaining intensity with the growing number of Japanese companies on the Serbian market.
On the sidelines of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly, Paunovic also had meetings with the delegations of Angola, Senegal and Tanzania. She stressed that the Republic of Serbia is firmly committed to political dialogue with African countries and that improving cooperation with these countries is of particular importance for us.
In the conversation with the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Angola, Carolina Cerqueira, the Parliament Deputy Speaker congratulated Angola on receiving the hosting of the 147th IPU Assembly, which will be held in Luanda. Cerqueira stressed that her country is interested in strengthening political dialogue, as well as cooperation in other areas, with a special focus on the "World in Serbia" student scholarship programme, as an important factor in the cooperation between the two countries.
The National Assembly Deputy Speaker used this unique opportunity to invite the officials from the member countries of the International Bureau of Exhibitions, to support Belgrade in its efforts to become the organiser of the specialised exhibition EXPO 2027, firmly believing that Serbia has the capacity for it, as evidenced by the organisation of the 141st IPU Assembly in Belgrade.
Snezana Paunovic is currently in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, where she is taking part in the 146th IPU Assembly. The Serbian delegation also includes MPs Milan Radin, Nikola Dragicevic and Sanda Raskovic Ivic, as well as the National Assembly Secretary General Srdjan Smiljanic.