|Updated: 15-Dec-2006||NATO Press Releases|
(2006)158 15 Dec. 2006
NATO to open Military Liaison Office in Belgrade
On Monday, 18 December 2006 the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade will be opened by NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alesandro Minuto Rizzo and the Serbian Minister of Defence Mr. Zoran Stankovic .
The NATO Military Liaison Office will establish a liaison with the military authorities of Serbia on the practical aspects of the implementation of the Transit Agreement, signed on 18 July 2005, in order to improve the logistical flow to and between NATO’s operations in the Western Balkans. The Transit Agreement between NATO and Serbia mirrors similar arrangements between NATO and other countries across and beyond Europe and specifically provides for the establishment of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade.
The Military Liaison Office will also support the Serbia/NATO Defence Reform Group, which has been working since February 2006. The Defence Reform Group, which is co-chaired by Serbia and NATO, was established to provide advice and assistance to the Serbian authorities to enable them to reform and modernise Serbia’s armed forces and to build a modern, affordable and democratically controlled defence structure in Serbia.
Following the signature of the Partnership for Peace Framework Document by President Boris Tadic in Brussels on 14 December, the Military Liaison Office will also facilitate the implementation of Serbia's new cooperation programme with NATO in the framework of the Partnership for Peace Programme and provide assistance to NATO’s public diplomacy activities in the region.
The NATO Military Liaison Office will be located in the Serbian Ministry of Defence building and will have a multinational military staff of nine personnel, contributed by various NATO members, as well as locally employed civilians. Brigadier General Yannick Asset of the French Army has been appointed as the Head of the Military Liaison Office.
The opening of the Military Liaison Office is a further sign of NATO’s commitment to long-term stability and security and co-operation in the Western Balkans.
Monday, 18 December 2006