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Vladimir Bilčik, MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur For Serbia

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Maja Gojković, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister And Minister Of Culture And Information

Jubilee Year Of Successful Cultural Cooperation

We greatly appreciate the support and clear position of the Kingdom of Morocco in preserving Serbia’s cultural, historical and religious heritage in Kosovo and Matohija, which is exceptionally important to Serbia

I would describe cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco in the field of culture as having been good in general from the outset, with a clear upward trend. This level of cooperation is primarily reflected in the bilateral documents signed between the two countries in the last decade covering the fields of culture, higher education, scientific research, education, professional training, communications, youth and sports.

The fact that the dialogue between Serbia and Morocco has particularly intensified this year, when we are celebrating 65 years of diplomatic ties, indicates the importance our two countries attach to strengthening our bilateral ties, nurturing friendly relations and promoting understanding between the two peoples. In this sense, we greatly appreciate the support and clear position of the Kingdom of Morocco in preserving Serbia’s cultural, historical and religious heritage in Kosovo and Metohija, which is exceptionally important to Serbia.

It has been well recognised that cultural cooperation is a pillar of international relations. Thanks to the very active embassies and ministries of culture on both sides, the “Year of Morocco in Serbia” and “Year of Serbia in Morocco” programmes were organised to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between our two countries. This significant anniversary provided additional impetus to the development of cultural cooperation and the exchange of experiences in the field of culture and art in both countries.

In addition to several events initiated by the Embassy of Morocco in Serbia, I would like to highlight two events at which Serbia presented itself in Morocco. The first is the exhibition Two faces of the Pirot Rug, organised by the Ethnographic Museum of Belgrade and presented at the Dar Si Said National Museum of Weaving and Carpets in Marrakech (169 rugs), which confirmed the similarity of elements of our cultures and intangible cultural heritage. The Roads of the Roman Emperors, a joint exhibition of the Archaeological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Science and Arts and Viminacium Archaeological Park, is currently in Rabat and will soon move to Tangier. Both exhibitions were implemented in cooperation with the National Foundation of Museums of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Preparations are underway for an official visit to the Kingdom of Morocco by a delegation of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, which is planned for early 2023, when agreements are to be signed covering the field of cultural heritage protection and cooperation in the field of film and audio-visual activities.

The Republic of Serbia, as a country that is deeply invested in global trends and the agenda for international cultural cooperation, is also fully dedicated to developing cultural cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco on a multilateral plain. As an illustration, a very important event will be held in Rabat during the coming weeks that relates to intangible cultural heritage, which is a topic of growing interest worldwide.

I would also point out that the Serbian public most often receives opportunities to get acquainted with the culture of Morocco through the activities of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Serbia, such as translations of the works of Moroccan writers into the Serbian language. The Moroccan Film Days event, held at the Yugoslav Cinematheque Film Archives, introduced the local public to Moroccan cinematography, as well as to Moroccan music and gastronomy and traditional Moroccan crafts.

Last, but certainly not least, the Embassy of Morocco regularly organises programmes within the framework of Francophonie Month in the Republic of Serbia, which has been part of the international organisation of La Francophonie since 2006 and has been an affiliated member since 2018. As the clear political will exists for Serbia to soon become a full member, we see an extended friendly hand in Morocco.

Given that we are approaching the end of 2022, we have a realistic basis to declare this year one of the most successful to date within the framework of cooperation in the field of culture.

Morocco is a country that captivates with colour and sound, with its rich history and long tradition of the written word that resonates far and wide. In the coming period, the Republic of Serbia will continue to be committed to enhancing cultural cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco in various fields, but also to strengthening our bilateral relations in general.