BELGRADE - Director for Security Policy and Partnerships James Mackey visited Serbia and attended the reception marking the handover of the responsibilities of the NATO Contact Point Embassy from the Embassy of Norway to the Embassy of the Netherlands.
Attendees were greeted and addressed by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Serbia H.E. Jørn Gjelstad, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Serbia H.E. Gilles Beschoor Plug, NATO Security Policy and Partnership Director James Mackey and Assistant Minister for Security Policy at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Branimir Filipović.
The reception was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, diplomatic and military-diplomatic corps, civil society institutions and organisations.
During the reception Director Mackey gave a speech underlining the importance of cooperation and partnership NATO and Serbia have.
NATO and Serbia have a very strong partnership
Recently renewed the Individual Partnership Action Plan between NATO and Serbia forsees more than 200 activities that NATO and Serbia will do together. "All of these activities are in full respect of Serbia’s military neutrality, but the reason that we engage in these activities, the reason we work on these goals is that we’re neighbours. And when neighbours work together and neighbours have shared security concerns and they work together on them, all of us are safer, all of us are more prosperous," said Mackey.
"NATO highly values the relationship that it has with Serbia. Serbia is a long-standing partner. We work with Serbia to build up the capacity and the capability of the Serbian Armed Forces, so that Serbia and its people are safer. We work with Serbia in the regional context, on things like preparation for disaster management and earthquake disasters, so that all of us can work together when these types of disasters happen. And we work with Serbia on the international stage, so that Serbian forces can contribute to international peacekeeping operations. Serbia has in the past actually contributed to the training of army medics in Iraq, and NATO highly values these contributions that Serbia is making to not just NATO activities, but also the European Union and the United Nations," said Director Mackey.