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Chairman of the NATO Military Committee stresses value of partnership with Serbia

The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel visited Serbia on 15 and 16 March 2018, where he met with Minister of Defence, Mr. Aleksandar Vulin and Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Ljubisa Dikovic and other high level political and defence officials.

Upon arrival in Belgrade, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel met with Minister of Defence, Mr. Aleksandar Vulin to discuss NATO and Serbia’s partnership. General Pavel added that "Serbia and NATO work together on common areas of interest, such as defence, training, disposal of ammunition and innovative solutions to common security problems as delineated in the 2015 Individual Partnership Action Plan. Our practical cooperation has come a long way and is progressing well. NATO makes sure to respect Serbia’s neutrality in all ongoing cooperation”.

General Pavel then visited the NATO MLO and thanked Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli for his leadership and for the important role the MLO has been playing as a conduit between NATO and Serbia.


After a short welcome ceremony, General Pavel and General Ljubisa Dikovic, Chief of SAF General Staff, discussed the productive mil-to-mil cooperation and the ongoing Serbian defence reforms. General Pavel welcomed the progress made so far and highlighted that "at Serbia’s request, NATO will continue working with the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence to assist them in their reforms and transformation”. The Chairman and General Dikovic also stressed the mutual benefit of the NATO - Serbia partnership. Speaking about the Kosovo Force (KFOR), General Pavel reaffirmed "no changes are foreseen in KFOR’s force posture. This has always been a conditions-based process.”

The Chairman also engaged the students of the Advance Security and Defence Studies highlighting the challenges NATO and the Balkans are currently facing. "We live in a changed security environment, facing re-emerging challenges and new challenges but we will only be able to overcome these if we work together”, stressed General Pavel.

While visiting the Simulation Training Centre at the Training and Doctrine Department of the Serbian General Staff, General Pavel was briefed on two upcoming exercises being held in Serbia, this year’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EARDCC) exercise jointly organised by NATO and Serbia, and REGEX 18. General Pavel acknowledged the importance of exercises, "exercises help NATO and Partners build interoperability, making us more efficient, more deployable and more flexible”.

General Pavel concluded his visit by meeting with Assistant Foreign Minister for Security Policy, Ambassador Branimir Filipovic. Both men agreed that the NATO - Serbia partnership should focus on the future and the work that can be done on common challenges.


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