Belgrade to host 141st IPU meet in October
April 09 2019 01:58 AM
Olga Gekic and Ana Kovacevic
Olga Gekic and Ana Kovacevic brief delegates about Serbia, the next host of the IPU conference in October. PICTURE: Ram Chand

Serbia is expected to attract more visitors from the Middle East, including Qatar, when it hosts the 141st Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly scheduled from October 13 to 17. The 140th IPU Assembly, currently taking place in Doha, has brought together over 1,000 delegates from various countries to discuss an array of global issues and find ways to resolve them.
“There is an increasing number of visitors from the Middle East because there are lots of investments from this region in Serbia,” Olga Gekic, the Adviser to Serbia’s National Assembly Speaker, told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the 140th IPU conference yesterday. She was joined by Ana Kovacevic, adviser to the general secretary.
“We have a direct connection to Doha (Doha – Belgrade Qatar Airways flight) and that says a lot, it tells you there is a demand,” she noted. IPU, dubbed as the largest parliamentary organisation established in 1889, will mark its 130th anniversary in Belgrade, which hosted the conference 56 years ago. The Assembly will gather more than 100 Speakers and Deputy Speakers of parliaments, and more than delegates from different countries globally. Gekic said Serbia, according to a popular travel site, has become the leading tourist destination in Europe, attracting more domestic and foreign visitors, including those from Asia and the Middle East.
The Serbian delegation has set up a booth at Sheraton Doha aimed at promoting their country as a business and tourist destination. “Our delegation is participating in this conference (140th), but this time the news is that we are hosting the next Assembly, the 141st IPU in Belgrade, so if people would like to visit Serbia before and after the conference they can take information from here,” Gekic said, adding that they are ready to welcome parliamentarians from around the world and “offer the best we have.”
She added that Serbia has several festivals, which makes it an enticing destination from people from all over the world including Asians, many of whom are Chinese.
One of the popular annual events, the ‘Exit’ summer music festival every July, is described as the biggest and the best festival in Europe for young people, according to Gekic. The Trumpet festival, she noted, attracts a large number of visitors especially from France, featuring “very traditional music”, shows, activities, and a wide variety of cuisines, she added.
Serbia, Gekic added, is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches and mountains, Unesco heritage sites, and some of the oldest architectures and other urban attractions.

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