Selaković: Traditional friendship and historical closeness between Serbia and Cuba

29. Aug 2022.
Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selaković, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla in Belgrade.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Selaković said that Serbia is interested in maintaining the highest dynamics of bilateral dialogue and cooperation in matters of mutual importance.

Recalling that this is his fourth meeting with Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla in the past 11 months, Selaković stated that the exchange of visits in the short term is of great significance, since Serbia and Cuba are celebrating the 120th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in November.

“Today, we re-affirmed our traditional friendship and the historical closeness of our peoples, and showed a clear determination to make our relations even stronger, more substantial, and higher in quality through further activities in the future,” said Selaković, noting that this is the first time a Cuban foreign minister visited Belgrade in 33 years.

Selaković pointed out that he was particularly pleased that he had the opportunity to propose to the President of Serbia to award Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla one of our highest state decorations.

“We both noted the need to strengthen our political dialogue at all levels, through the implementation of visits by officials from both countries. We are also interested in improving economic cooperation with Cuba. There are great and reliable ways to go about it as well as unused potentials that we want to put at the service of strengthening our relations,” Selaković said.

At the meeting, he added, there was talk of strengthening cooperation in various other areas, such as agriculture, sports and youth, tourism, health and pharmacy.

Minister Selaković re-iterated his expressions of deep gratitude for the consistent support that Cuba provides for preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia, stressing that Cuba's principled position on not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of “Kosovo” is a reflection of that country's adherence to the basic principles of international law.

 “Cuba’s support is not only principled but also very active. In all international forums and organizations in which Priština appears as an applicant for membership, our Cuban friends are not only someone who raises their hand and votes against it, but also stands up against it, drawing attention to how important it is to preserve the international legal order,” said Selaković.

The head of Serbian diplomacy informed his Cuban colleague about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija and the efforts that the state leadership led by President Vučić is investing in finding a compromise solution.

Selaković emphasized Serbia's deep understanding for full support of Cuba's efforts to seek modalities in multilateral frameworks to overcome the situation related to the lifting of the US economic, financial and trade embargo.

“Serbia, as a country that has been exposed to economic sanctions for years, knows all too well the difficulties faced by the Republic of Cuba and its citizens due to the decades-long embargo,” said Selaković.

The Cuban minister, speaking to journalists after the meeting, stated that Serbia and Cuba are historically friendly countries and that our peoples traditionally share feelings of mutual respect and friendship.

According to him, during the conversation, Cuba's support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia was affirmed, and he expressed his gratitude for Serbia's support regarding the embargo to which Cuba is exposed.

Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla stated that the agreements signed today are an example of the will and interest in the development of bilateral relations.

Opportunities for the development of economic cooperation are, according to him, on the rise, and Cuba appreciates that there is great potential for cooperation between the two countries in numerous other areas.

“We also discussed the complex international situation and we agree that there is a common desire to preserve peace and international law,” said Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla.

As part of the visit of the Cuban minister, a Memorandum was signed today between the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia and the Higher Institute for International Relations “Raúl Roa García” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of sports.