Joint statement

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić

  • 19 Jul. 2023 -
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  • Last updated 24 Jul. 2023 12:13

(As delivered)

President Vučić, dear Aleksandar,
It is good to see you again.
And I appreciate this opportunity to meet with you and to be able to address the challenges we face in northern Kosovo.
As you know, NATO has been there for many years with our peacekeeping mission, the KFOR mission.
Our mission there is based on a UN mandate.
We conduct our mission there in an impartial way.
We ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities.
In May, our troops were attacked and 93 were injured, three of them seriously. This is unacceptable.
NATO has increased its presence with around 500 troops in response to the increased tensions and the difficulties we see in northern Kosovo.
We will continue to ensure that we conduct our mandate in an impartial way and ensure that we have the forces available to implement the UN mandate.
It is important that tensions are reduced so we call on all parties to reduce tensions and to refrain from escalatory actions and rhetoric. 
We strongly believe that the only path forward is to engage in dialogue, in the EU-facilitated dialogue, with is strongly supported by NATO.
Serbia is a long-standing partner of NATO and we trust that you will engage in this dialogue in a constructive way.
So once again, welcome. I look forward to our meeting and to our discussions and welcome again Mr President.