31 August 2022 National Assembly Deputy Speaker Snezana Paunovic in meeting with Italian Ambassador to Serbia

31 August 2022 National Assembly Deputy Speaker Snezana Paunovic in meeting with Italian Ambassador to Serbia

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Snezana Paunovic Meets with Italian Ambassador to Serbia

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Snezana Paunovic met today with the Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Luca Gori to discuss the situation in Kosovo-Metohija, as well as deepening bilateral and economic cooperation.

At the beginning of the meeting, Paunovic stressed she felt obliged to extend special thanks to Italy, which protected the non-Albanian population, primarily in Metohija, as part of the KFOR forces, which came to this area in 1999. "The Italian contingent had the most humane approach to the events that took place on the streets of Kosovo-Metohija immediately after the signing of the Kumanovo Agreement. The Italian contingent was given the most difficult task under those circumstances - to protect the Patriarchate of Pec and the non-Albanian population in Pec and its surroundings. It seems to me that noone even had the capacity to recognise the value of the holy places we are talking about or the danger they were in," said the Deputy Speaker. She pointed out that Italy's respect for Serbia's traditions cannot go unnoticed, and extended gratitude on her own and the behalf of the people who remained in the region, as well as all those who were displaced all over central Serbia and did not have the opportunity to return.

The Ambassador thanked the Deputy Speaker for the words she addressed to Italy, adding that his country would again be taking command of KFOR in October of this year and that the contingent would be expanded to include 1,000 people. He added that Italy supports the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, saying that it is clear that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has had an extremely constructive approach. He pointed out that Italy would continue to have a balanced attitude and follow the continuation of the dialogue carefully, because, as he said, Italy understands Serbia’s needs and realizes how important it is that relations be normalised, leaving no room for any unilateral moves. In an open conversation, the Ambassador also said that as a member of the Quint, Italy insists on the formation of a Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo-Metohija. "We do not ask for mutual recognition, we are asking for a normalisation of relations and it is up to you what that normalisation of relations will entail. We always emphasise how important dialogue is as the only instrument of negotiation, and we absolutely condemn and believe that there can be no unilateral moves that only lead to instability in the region". He added that Italy will be watching the National Assembly session where the Office for Kosovo-Metohija will submit a report, with great interest.

In the continuation of the meeting, the officials agreed that bilateral relations are at an enviable level, with Gori stating that his task, among others, would be to establish contacts between MPs, following the parliamentary elections in Italy scheduled for September.

Paunovic and Gori also agreed that deepening of economic cooperation between the two countries, given that Italy is one of the largest investors in Serbia, is definitely a common goal. The Deputy Speaker said that Serbia has reached the level of a stable country for potential investors, expressing confidence that the economic relations would continue on their upward trajectory. At the end of the meeting, Paunovic stated that she would support any initiative by the Embassy that would result in deepening cooperation.

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wednesday, 4 october
  • 9.00 - sitting of the Committee on Finance, State Budget and Control of Public Spending (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 2)

  • 10.00 - the National Assembly Speaker meets with the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 1)

  • 12.00 - sitting of the Culture and Information Committee (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, hall 4)

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