Italian Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli assumed the position of the Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade from Italian Brigadier General Lucio Batta at the Change of Command ceremony held at the Serbian Army Hall.
The event was attended by Chief of Staff of the Joint Force Command Naples, Lieutenant General Leonardo di Marco, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense Zoran Djordjevic, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Jovica Draganic, members of the Serbian government and military, as well as diplomatic, media, and NGO representatives.
"NATO and Serbia are engaged in many practical cooperation programs and the Alliance remains dedicated to deepening our relations in areas of common interest,” said Brigadier General Marinelli. "I am especially looking forward to continue working with the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces in further supporting their defense reform activities.”
Brigadier General Batta completes a two-year mandate as the Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office in Belgrade, which he also headed in 2008. "I commend the commitment and professionalism of the Serbian authorities in developing our partnership and I wish every success to Brigadier General Marinelli and his team in future endeavors,” said Brigadier General Batta.
Brigadier General Marinelli is the seventh Chief of the NATO MLO Belgrade since its establishment in December 2006. The Office facilitates Serbian cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program, supports Serbia’s efforts in matters of defense sector reform, and provides assistance to NATO’s public diplomacy activities.