National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic met today with a delegation of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) attending the 13th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean at the National Assembly House, in the course of which the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean.
Deputy Speaker Arsic supports all the activities of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy which he sees as a forum for strengthening Orthodoxy as a cultural and spiritual identity. He said that since it joined the IAO in 1995, the National Assembly had been investing enormous efforts to contribute to the operation of the international parliamentary organization.
Speaking of the situation in the region, Arsic said that Serbia is struggling to keep its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Supporting so-called Kosovo’s independence, its membership in international organizations and transformation of the security into armed forces, does not contribute to peace and stability in the region, stressed Arsic. He added that since the beginning of the Brussels dialogue Serbia has one all in its power to find a lasting solution for Kosovo-Metohija and fulfilled all of its obligations under the Brussels Agreement, while Pristina has failed to fulfil the one obligation it had – to establish a Community of Serb Municipalities, which was the condition and guarantee of the survival of the Serbian people on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija.
The establishment of armed forces only exacerbated the situation, as did the 100% customs fee imposed on all goods for Serbia, stressed Arsic concluding that this has blocked the continuation of the dialogue, damaged the security in the region and put the Serbian community living in Kosovo-Metohija into a difficult position.
Support of everybody who wants to see the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina resume is very important to Serbia, said the National Assembly Deputy Speaker adding that finding a solution to the issue would lead to peace in the region and then we can turn to the development of the economy and improvement of the living standards of the people living here.
Arsic said that Serbia’s southern province is the centre of the Serbian people’s spirituality and Orthodoxy which is why it is so important that Serbs continue to live on the territory of Kosovo-Metohija.
IAO Secretary General Andreas Michailidis said that the National Assembly had greatly contributed to the continued activity of the international parliamentary organization, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and highlighted the important role the National Assembly’s standing delegation plays in the IAO. Michailidis went on to add that the IAO cooperates with international organizations, national parliaments and civic groups.
Speaking of the situation in the region, he shared his support for Serbia, saying that dialogue is the only way to find a lasting solution. Dialogue should also help strengthen religious freedoms in Kosovo-Metohija, stressed the IAO Secretary General.
IAO President Sergei Gavrilov also supported the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and drew attention to the emergence of global extremism which can only be resolve by political means.