Selaković: Partnership cooperation between Serbia and NATO

14. Sep 2021.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Nikola Selaković, talked today with the head of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, General Tommaso Vitale.

Selaković expressed satisfaction with the mutual understanding and regular dialogue between Serbia and NATO and said that our country is interested in further improving partnership cooperation and continuing political dialogue and practical cooperation in all areas of common interest.

The minister underlined that the personal relationship between President Aleksandar Vučić and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a special contribution to such a partnership.

The head of Serbian diplomacy thanked for the position of NATO, which respects the military neutrality of Serbia, and pointed out that Serbia and NATO should continue to further improve partnership cooperation in the common interest – which is to preserve peace and stability in the region.

The interlocutors also pointed out that at the end of the year it will be 15 years since Serbia became a member of the NATO program "Partnership for Peace" and expressed their readiness to mark that jubilee in an appropriate way. They also added that the successful implementation of the second cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) of Serbia and NATO for the period 2019-2021 is underway.

Selaković emphasized that Serbia supports and highly appreciates the engagement of the International Security Forces KFOR in Kosovo and Metohija in the implementation of the mandate determined by UNSC Resolution 1244, which includes ensuring a stable and safe environment and freedom of movement.

He expressed expectation that KFOR forces would maintain a status-neutral position and act proactively in order to prevent any violation of the security situation on the ground.

The minister pointed out that the security situation in Kosovo and Metohija is still very fragile, and that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija face security risks on a daily basis. He pointed out the continuous threats and attacks on members of the Serbian community, their property, cultural, historical and spiritual heritage, which happened 96 times so far in 2021.

In that regard, he reminded of the fact that the monastery of Visoki Decani and its monks still have to be under the constant security of KFOR members, and especially thanked the members of the contingent of the Italian Armed Forces who have been engaged in securing this medieval Serbian shrine since 1999.

Selaković also informed his interlocutor about the state of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, noting that our side has fulfilled all the undertaken obligations, while Pristina has been refusing to implement everything agreed for more than a hundred months, with the intention of returning the dialogue process to the beginning.