NATO appreciates Serbia’s commitment to regional and global security and stability
During his visit to Serbia (2 – 3 March), General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee acknowledged the enhancement in NATO-Serbia relations and the importance of cooperation and dialogue in a strong partnership. The Chairman met with General Diković, Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Mr. Ivica Dacic, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zoran Đorđević, Minister of Defence and Mr. Igor Bečić, National Assembly Deputy Speaker.
Over the past decade, NATO and Serbia have shared a common interest: to build a stable, secure and prosperous Western Balkans. This has been possible through mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation, including through NATO's full respect of Serbia's policy of neutrality.
NATO-Serbia cooperation has been recently further enhanced with the signature of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) in 2015 and the implementation of the new Trust Fund in 2016. The IPAP allows NATO to further support Serbia in core elements of its defence and security sector reform. Other IPAP areas of activity include regional cooperation, the fight against terrorism, cyber defence, and democratic control of the armed forces, civil emergency planning and the protection of classified information.
Earlier this year, NATO launched its fourth Trust Fund with Serbia. Trust Funds are projects in which NATO Allies and Partners voluntarily assist a country in addressing a particular challenge. In this case, the trust fund will help Serbia safely dispose of up to 2,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition.
During his press conference with General Diković (Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces), General Pavel highlighted the ongoing effort in “interoperability between NATO and Serbia which helps Serbian military personnel work effectively and safely within EU and UN-led peacekeeping operations as well as cooperate with NATO in areas such Civil Emergency and Crisis Management, NATO’s Building Integrity Programme and Defence Education Enhancement Programme”. He also commended the Serbian Armed Forces for “their significant contributions to multinational peacekeeping operations, especially in the medical domain. NATO highly appreciates your commitment to regional and global security and stability”.
General Pavel concluded his statement by saying that "NATO puts a lot of effort in building a broad cooperative security network where common interests are shared," while stressing NATO's commitment to the Balkan region and the important and constructive role played by Serbia.