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Sep 16 2019

NATO's Highest Ranking Military Official visits Belgrade

BELGRADE - Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC), Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach visited Serbia where he met with top state and military officials – the President, the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs and the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces. In an open and frank discussion, mutual satisfaction with the development of cooperation and the number of joint activities was emphasized. Air Chief Marshal Peach also spoke with his hosts about the current situation in the region. 

NATO respects a mutually beneficial and close partnership with Serbia, with full respect for its military neutrality

During his meeting with President Aleksandar Vucic, Air Chief Marshal Peach reiterated that NATO appreciates a mutually beneficial and close partnership with Serbia, with full respect for its military neutrality. As one of the indicators of close and mutually beneficial cooperation, Air Chief Marshal Peach recalled last year's “SRBIJA 2018” joint disaster response exercise, where NATO and partner countries' officers gave a practical example of how to help the population in the event of natural disasters. He also conveyed to President Vucic greetings of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. With regard to Kosovo, Peach stated that KFOR, as a NATO mission, continues all its tasks in accordance with the United Nations mandate.

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Mutually beneficial cooperation – President Vucic and Air Chief Marshal Peach during the meeting in the Serbian Presidency

President Vucic emphasized that KFOR is a guarantee of safety in Kosovo and pledged to maintain regular communication between the Serbian Armed Forces and KFOR. President Vucic stated that Serbia wants a lasting and sustainable compromise with Pristina. Regarding partnership with NATO, Vucic underscored the significance of harmonization of the new cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan and emphasized that the Serbian Armed Forces are improving their interoperability through joint activities with NATO.

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee began his visit by meeting with the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilovic. He also met with Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. During these meetings, they discussed the level of partnership, with the possibility of closer cooperation through existing mechanisms such as Partnership for Peace, which Serbia joined in 2006.

The CMC used the opportunity to visit the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, where he thanked the Chief of the Office, Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli and his team for the efforts invested in bringing NATO and Serbia closer.

This is the second visit of Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach to Serbia after assuming duties as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee. He visited Serbia last October, when he accompanied Secretary General Stoltenberg, who, together with President Vucic, opened the NATO exercise "SRBIJA 2018".


Story by NATO MLO Belgrade

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