Serbia counts on Palestinian support on Kosovo

BELGRADE -- Palestinian support in solving problems in Kosovo in accordance with international law is significant, Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said on Friday.

 Jawad Naji (C) is seen in Belgrade on Friday (Beta)
Jawad Naji (C) is seen in Belgrade on Friday (Beta)

He made the statement during a meeting with Palestinian Minister of Economy Jawad Naji.

According to the government office for media relations, Dačić stated he expected to see positive effects from the Palestinian view in other Arab, Islamic and non-aligned countries as well.

Palestine supports Serbia's efforts to solve the issue of Kosovo peacefully and through dialogue, the statement says.

Dačić and Naji also underscored that the long tradition of friendly relations between the two nations called for better economic cooperation.

The two officials expect the trade and economic cooperation to improve between Belgrade and Ramallah and Belgrade and the rest of the Arab world.

There are great possibilities of cooperation in trade, industry, agriculture and information technology, the two official were quoted as saying.

Serbia thanks Palestine for backing its integrity

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić expressed his gratitude to Palestinian officials for their principled support to the preservation of Serbia's territorial integrity.

Palestinian Economy Minister Jawad Naji thanked Nikolić on Serbia's support in the vote to grant Palestine observer status at the United Nations (UN).

During the talks he had with Naji and Palestine's Ambassador to Serbia Mohammed Nabhan, Nikolić said that the friendship between the two peoples has a long history, but unfortunately, it was interrupted for a time, according to a statement from the press office of the Serbian president.

“We want to renew the friendship and develop its potential in all areas, particularly in the economic field," Nikolić said.

The Serbian president underlined the comparative advantages of investing in Serbia, recalling that in addition to excellent foreign trade agreements with many countries, Serbia has a government that is completely committed to supporting foreign investors and creating optimal investment conditions.

Naji conveyed cordial greetings to President Nikolić from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, pointing to Abbas' great respect and warm feelings of friendship for Nikolić and sincere love for Serbia and the Serbian people.

Thanking Serbia for its support in the vote to grant Palestine observer status at the UN, Naji stressed that Serbia made a dual contribution as a voter and as the chair country.

The Palestinian economy minister said he is leading a large delegation of businessmen in an attempt to bring economic cooperation between the two countries to a higher level.

He said that the trade between Palestine and Serbia could reach USD 500 million in a very short time.

Room for business cooperation

The economic cooperation between Serbia and Palestine is lagging behind the two countries' good political relations but there is a lot of potential for its enhancement, especially in the construction sector, agriculture and food industry, as well as the IT sector, officials stated at the First Serbia-Palestine Business Forum.

During the meeting in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS), Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade Rasim Ljajić said that the two countries' good relations constitute the condition for all other modes of cooperation but the bilateral exchange has so far been modest.

Ljajić recalled that the talks on closing two agreements, on economic cooperation and mutual investment protection, have been launched so that the documents could be signed during the visit of Serbia's business delegation to Palestine.

Palestinian Minister of Economy Jawad Naji expressed gratitude to Serbia for its support to the people of Palestine and agreed that there is still a lot of room for enhancement of bilateral economic cooperation.

He noted that Palestine is offering considerable benefits to the private sector for business initiation, and called on Serbian businessmen to visit Palestine.

There are many products from Serbia that could be promoted on the Palestinian market, but there are also certain products from Palestine that could be interesting for the Serbian market, Naji stated.

PKS President Miloš Bugarin pointed out that for a very long time, there has been no economic interaction between Serbia and Palestine and recalled that the latest visit and meeting of businessmen was organised back in 2000 when the PKS delegation visited Gaza and several cities on the West Bank.

Bugarin noted that there are huge possibilities for business cooperation, primarily in the construction sector, agriculture, food industry, forestry, wood processing industry and the IT sector.

The business forum organised in PKS was attended by around 20 companies from Serbia and Palestine.