Secretary General underlines the importance of NATO’s partnership with Serbia
On November 21, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had discussions in Belgrade with President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia. Mr Stoltenberg and President Vučić addressed the latest security developments in the Western Balkans, NATO’s role in the region, and strengthening Serbia’s partnership with the Alliance.
The Secretary General called on Belgrade and Pristina to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated dialogue, as this is the only path to a lasting peace and stability. Mr Stoltenberg stressed the importance of NATO and Serbia’s partnership: “Serbia is an important regional actor and a long-standing partner of NATO. A good example of our cooperation is the joint work we have done over the past 10 years through NATO’s Science for Peace Programme, in different fields, including energy and environmental security, advanced technologies, and cyber-defence.”
The Secretary General also highlighted the role of NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission: “For two decades, KFOR has ensured a safe and secure environment in Kosovo for all communities. We will continue to do so impartially, and in line with our UN mandate. In May, our KFOR troops were attacked. Ninety three of them were wounded, some suffered life changing injuries. In September, we saw another outbreak of serious violence in Kosovo, this is unacceptable. The facts must be established, the perpetrators must face justice. Therefore I welcome that Serbia is prepared to cooperate in these efforts.”
The Secretary General also discussed with President Vučić the possibility of resuming joint military exercises, and training for civil preparedness: “We would welcome the possibility of resuming these kind of exercises in the future, and I look forward to further strengthening our cooperation.” While in Belgrade, Mr Stoltenberg also met with Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and saw the latest examples of NATO-Serbia scientific cooperation.