Selaković: A new beginning of long-established relations between Serbia and Eswatini

29. Jul 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selaković met with Head of Diplomacy of the Kingdom of Eswatini Thulisile Dladla in Belgrade today.

Minister Selaković assessed the visit as historic since this was the first official visit of a Head of Diplomacy of Eswatini to Serbia in the 32-year-long history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Minister Selaković echoed the fact that the two countries had significantly longer relations, as the former Yugoslavia had been one of the protagonists of the anti-colonial struggle for the liberation and emancipation of the fraternal peoples of Africa.

“That friendship grew stronger during the years of Serbia`s active participation in the work of the Non-Aligned Movement, and from this moment today, which we marked by signing five very important documents, we have shown our commitment to strengthen our relations in the future”, Minister Selaković said.

As Minister Selaković said, Serbia and Eswatini were yet to experience a period of more intensive cooperation, including visits at a high and the highest level, recalling that there was an invitation from President Aleksandar Vučić to King Mswati III to visit Serbia.

Minister Selaković particularly pointed out that students from Eswatini, who were staying in Serbia as part of the "World in Serbia" programme, were among the best foreign students at Serbian universities, adding that, after completing their studies, they would be able to do professional practice in the Serbian state authorities, companies, and institutes.

During the conversation, as Minister Selaković added, the interlocutors also talked about the modalities for improving cooperation in various fields, such as agriculture, sports, and tourism.

“This is just a new beginning of our relations that started a long time ago, and we will build those relations and invest in them so that they will be of benefit and a source of pride to both Serbia and Eswatini”, Minister Selaković said.

Head of Diplomacy of Eswatini thanked Minister Selaković for the warm and cordial welcome and stated that the students from that country also received a warm welcome in Serbia every day.

“The Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Serbia have long bilateral relations dating back to the time of the SFRY. The ties between the two countries have always been based on mutual support, solidarity, and understanding, and we admire the way Serbia embraced the legacy of Yugoslavia when it comes to Africa”, said Minister Dladla.

According to her, it was high time to further strengthen the long-standing brotherly relations between the two countries.

Minister Dladla expressed her special gratitude for the scholarships awarded to the students within the "World in Serbia" program, stating that educated young people would secure the future of Eswatini.

Also, Minister Dladla conveyed the gratitude of the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the food aid that Serbia had provided during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are convinced that this new era in our friendship will result in the strengthening of our friendship. Although we are grateful for what has already been done, we are aware that there are still opportunities for a substantive cooperation”, said Minister Dladla.

Minister Selaković and Minister Dladla signed a set of documents today - Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini on Cultural and Educational Cooperation; Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini on mutual cancellation of visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports; Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture, and Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Protocols.

In addition, Minister of Youth and Sports Vanja Udovčić signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Minister Thulisile Dladla on cooperation in the field of youth and sports.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia opened its doors today to the students from Eswatini studying in Belgrade, and following a tour of the Museum of Diplomacy, Minister Selaković and Minister Dladla addressed the students.


Selaković hosted the students from Eswatini

The scholarship programme for foreign students "World in Serbia" is good because it unites people and provides an opportunity to get to know different cultures, say the students from the Kingdom of Eswatini who are studying in Serbia through this programme, and who have visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

After visiting the Museum of Diplomacy, they had the opportunity to talk with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Selaković and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Eswatini Thulisile Dladla, who is on an official visit to Belgrade.

Eighteen students visited the Ministry, on which occasion Minister Selaković told them to use the opportunity of studying in Belgrade and to make their parents and homeland proud.

“We are proud to have you all here”, Minister Selaković said and pointed out that the Serbian people loved the African people.

Minister Selaković added that he assumed that the Serbian language was not easy for the students from Eswatini, but also said that every time they learned a new language, they would become richer people.

Rudolf Tschabalala is one of the students from Eswatini who is studying at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, and who came to Belgrade in January 2020.

He told Tanjug that he really liked the Serbian capital, especially the cultural and historical sights of Serbia.

“I like various places of culture, Kalemegdan, I like places that show the historical part of Serbia, that is fascinating for me”, he said.

He says that the "World in Serbia" programme is good since, as he points out, it unites people.

“Even though we do not come from the same countries, we are the same people”, Tschabalala emphasised and added that he was planning to stay in Belgrade after completing his studies.

His colleague, who is studying at the Faculty of Medicine, says that this programme is fantastic and that she appreciates the opportunity to study in Belgrade.

“I know many young people in my country who would give anything to study in Serbia. Your country is beautiful, and the programme allows us to get to know different cultures”, she said.

Although she originally planned to return to her country after completing her studies, she will still consider the possibility of staying in Belgrade because, as she says, it is a great city with wonderful people living in it.

“Belgrade is great, Kalemegdan especially, and I love being here. I also visited the shopping center "Delta City" and I can say that you have great malls that I have not seen in my country” added this twenty-year-old student from Eswatini.