Home International Relations President Droupadi Murmu’s State Visit to the Republic of Serbia

President Droupadi Murmu’s State Visit to the Republic of Serbia

On the invitation of H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia, President Smt. Droupadi Murmu conducted a state visit to the Republic of Serbia from June 7 to 9, 2023. This was her first trip to Europe, as well as the first visit by a head of state from either country.

Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Rural Development, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution; Smt. Rama Devi, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha; and an official delegation accompanied the President.

As her office tweeted, President Murmu was greeted warmly upon her arrival in Belgrade. This was the first visit to Serbia by an Indian president. President Murmu was met at the airport by Serbian President @avucic as a special gesture. She was greeted with a guard of honour upon her arrival.

The President offered floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi’s bust in Belgrade upon her arrival. She interacted with the Indian community and Indian friends. In her speech, she emphasized India’s emergence as an economic force and the plethora of opportunities it provides, and she urged them to contribute positively to the strengthening of the India-Serbia partnership.

On June 8, 2023, the President’s engagement began with a ceremonial Guard of Honour at Serbia Palace, followed by restricted-level conversations, bilateral delegation-level discussions, a joint address to the media, an address to a joint business event, a call-on by the Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, Dr. Vladimir Orlić, and the placing of a wreath at the ‘Monument to the Unknown Hero’ above Mount Avala. President Vučić subsequently hosted a dinner feast in honour of the president at his palace house.

Highlighting the significant potential for India-Serbia trade and investment, President Murmu has urged the two countries to “take advantage” of their mutually beneficial economic relationship.

President Vučić was joined in bilateral talks by eight ministers from his government (Defence; Culture; Agriculture; Mining and Energy; Health; Transport and Infrastructure; Construction; Trade; and Tourism and Youth). Potential reciprocal engagements in sectors such as defence and military-tech collaboration, industrial cooperation, pharmaceuticals, A.I., information technology, agriculture, and cultural cooperation, such as film production and cinematography, were discussed.

Ms. Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of Serbia, hosted a luncheon in honour of the President, during which discussions focused on prospective commercial, economic, tourism, and cultural cooperation. She showed a strong interest in digitization and cyber security.

President Murmu told the audience at the gathering of the Indian community that India and Serbia are ancient countries. India’s relations with Serbia were notably determined in the contemporary era within the context of the Non-Aligned Movement. She stated that India and Serbia have traditionally shared an awareness of each other’s essential interests.

Serbia, according to President Murmu, has been a key partner in India’s sustainable development partnership programs. She emphasized that India is known globally as a first responder, a responsible development partner, and an advocate for the global south. She said each of these areas represents their aspiration to become a leading power, referring to India’s leadership role in climate change, financial inclusion, counter-terrorism, maritime security, connectivity, and food security.

The President expressed gratitude to the Serbian Friends of India for showing their love and admiration for India. She stated that their contribution to the promotion of mutual respect, friendship, and comprehension between India and Serbia is priceless.