National Assembly Deputy Speaker Veroljub Arsic welcomed the Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi Ezechiel Nibigira to Belgrade on behalf of the National Assembly Speaker and himself.
Deputy Speaker Arsic praised the two countries’ traditionally good relations dating back to the times of former Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement, hoping that they would continue to expand in the future.
In addition to bilateral and parliamentary cooperation, Arsic said that there is room to advance cooperation in the fields of economy, education, science and defence. It would be especially good to develop cultural cooperation, Arsic said, and bring the two nations closer together through cultural exchange.
The Deputy Speaker thanked the Republic of Burundi for retracting the recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of so-called Kosovo and respecting Serbia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, stressing that this shows that Burundi respects the tenets of international law and the basic principles of the United Nations.
Arsic went on to brief the Minister on the current situation in Kosovo-Metohija stressing that Serbia is pushing for a constructive dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, but recent events do not seem to be going in that direction. He spoke about the violation of UNSC Resolution 1244 by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Pristina i.e. the establishment of the so-called Kosovo Army and imposition of illegitimate 100% customs fees on Serbian goods.
The Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation of Burundi Ezechiel Nibigira said that his country has always been on Serbia’s side and that is why it retraced the recognition of the unilaterally declared independence of so-called Kosovo, adding that Burundi has always been against secession. Nibigira said that the previous visits and talks with Serbia’s high dignitaries were successful, hoping to advance the overall relations between the two countries.
The officials agreed that the two states should exchange parliamentary visits, adding that parliamentary relations can also be advanced through the work of parliamentary friendship groups. Arsic and Nibigira emphasized the importance of pursuing common interests in international organizations and of economic cooperation which could stand to be improved.