NATO strengthens political dialogue with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Javier Colomina completed a trip to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Serbia, he met the First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Milos Vucevic. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, he held talks with the Chairman of the Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Josip Brkic, and the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Defence Zoran Sainovic.
In Serbia, Mr. Colomina highlighted the scope of NATO-Serbia long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership and its development on different domains of cooperation, in full respect of Serbia’s stated policy of military neutrality. In light of the current situation in northern Kosovo, he emphasised the continued stabilising role played by the NATO-led and UN-mandated KFOR mission, which guarantees a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities living in Kosovo. KFOR also provides the security framework in support to the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Mr. Colomina underscored NATO’s commitment to stability across the Western Balkans region and its strategic importance to the Alliance, as made clear in NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Colomina welcomed the adoption of the 2021 and 2022 Reform Programmes by the country’s Council of Ministers, with the view to strengthening its cooperation with the Alliance. He also welcomed the recent extension of the mandate of EUFOR Althea and reiterated that NATO continues to support the EU-led operation, under the Berlin Plus arrangements. He pointed out NATO’s firm commitment to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and its state structures, which remain key for lasting security and stability across the region. He also underscored the importance of continued efforts for moving reforms forward, for the benefit of all people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Discussions also touched on the consultations between NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the finalisation of a package of enhanced support aimed at enhancing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s resilience and the modernisation of its defence and security structures. Mr. Colomina also met with the Principal Deputy of the High Representative, Jonathan Mennuti, reiterating NATO’s firm support for the efforts of the Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo.