NATO Deputy Secretary General discusses partnership during visit to Serbia
NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, discussed the security and stability of the Western Balkans and partnership between Serbia and NATO in Belgrade when she appeared onstage at the Belgrade Security Forum with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.
Photo credit: BSF 2017
Ms. Gottemoeller also discussed NATO’s mutually beneficial cooperation with Serbia when she met with students at Belgrade University. "NATO fully respects Serbia’s neutrality and we will not put any pressure on Serbia to choose between partners,” she said. "I believe we have entered a new era of cooperation and partnership between NATO and Serbia. We are doing a lot together and – for NATO’s part – we want to do more.” Ms. Gottemoeller added.
"NATO wants a strong, democratic and prosperous Serbia because that is good for the stability of the Western Balkans. And if the Western Balkans are more stable, then we are all more secure,” the Deputy Secretary General said.
The Deputy Secretary General also had meetings with President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin. The importance of maintaining strong practical cooperation and political dialogue was emphasized in all meetings.
Serbia joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme in 2006 and practical cooperation has been increasing steadily since then. NATO has supported Serbia in the reform of its national security forces and institutions. Serbian officers have received NATO training, preparing them to participate in peacekeeping operations. NATO has also helped Serbia dispose of over 2,000 tons of dangerous surplus munitions. Cooperation between NATO and Serbia also extends from scientific research through disaster response preparedness to participation in military exercises.