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Mission of The Republic of Serbia to the NATO
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Serbia regional factor of stability

Brussels, 23 Nov 2016 – Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated today that Serbia is militarily neutral, but that it wants to continue cooperation with NATO because without that cooperation there is no peace and stability in the region, which are a prerequisite for further economic growth and prosperity of our country.

Speaking at a joint press conference after meeting with Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels, Vucic conveyed gratitude to Stoltenberg on respecting the decisions of Serbia and the Serbian parliament on the military neutrality of our country.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Secretary General of NATO on his statement that he regrets for the innocent victims of the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia. He said that the Serbian public has to know that we are surrounded by NATO countries and countries that would like to be in the Alliance, which is why we must build good relations with people from NATO if we want peace and stability, higher economic growth and better living standards.

Serbia is militarily neutral, respects the decisions of the parliament, but for rational reasons, for the sake of the future, and not the past, it wants to develop relations with NATO, Vucic stated. The Prime Minister said that he and Stoltenberg discussed all key issues, the fight against terrorism, migrant crisis and Serbia's participation in peacekeeping operations, noting that he made a request to NATO to help clear mines, especially at the Kopaonik mountain.

Vucic said that after the relaxation of the air zone in the Ground Safety Zone, the lower layer of airspace over Kosovo-Metohija was also discussed, noting that experts will meet soon and that he believes there will be positive solutions in the future. He said he is grateful for the estimates that Serbia is working on stabilizing the whole region, and reiterated that it is a condition for our progress in every other field.

We wish to continue this kind of cooperation within the framework of Partnership for Peace and IPAP. This is of great importance for the citizens and I believe that we will be able to boast about such good relations in the future because they mean peace and stability in the Balkans, Vucic concluded.

The Secretary General of NATO said that the North Atlantic Alliance respects the military neutrality of our country, and expressed regret for innocent victims of the 1999 NATO bombing of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. According to him, the Prime Minister of Serbia had an excellent meeting with representatives of NATO, which is the first meeting of Vucic with members of that body.

We had an excellent meeting with the Council of NATO, and it shows that we are working on strengthening the cooperation between NATO and Serbia. I am proud of friendship with you and grateful that you are here. We talked about a variety of issues, including our common security challenges, Stoltenberg said.

He said he is impressed by the reforms implemented by Serbia, and added that NATO and he personally commend the efforts of Serbia in the situation related to the migrant crisis. We also commend the fact that Serbia has contributed to peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, Lebanon and Africa.

Serbia is an integral part of the European family and we share the same values. I strongly believe in the potential of cooperation between NATO and Serbia, the Secretary General of NATO stated. He said that NATO supports the efforts of Serbia towards the EU, and that it is good for Serbia, and for the stability and cooperation in Europe.

According to him, the two sides are working to strengthen bilateral cooperation through IPAP, and will work on further development of cooperation and the fight against ISIS. Serbia is an exporter of stability and a close partner of NATO, Stoltenberg concluded.


NATO respects Serbia's military neutrality

Brussels, 23 Nov 2016 – Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Brussels after meeting with the Council of NATO, our country wants to promote good cooperation with the Alliance in a variety of fields – from peacekeeping, fighting terrorism, migrant crisis, to joint trainings.

After a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Alliance's Brussels headquarters, he thanked Stoltenberg for respecting the decision of Serbia and its parliament to keep the country militarily neutral.

NATO is one of the first partners of our country when it comes to maintaining peace, stability and economic progress, he said and noted that during the meeting with the North Atlantic Council of NATO he stressed that Serbia is on its European path, but that it wants to have good relations to the Russian Federation and that it wants to promote good cooperation with the Alliance.

We talked about how to maintain peace and stability, because the citizens of Serbia should know that we are surrounded by countries of the North Atlantic Alliance and that it was one of the first partners with whom we should work together if we want to have peace, full stability and to develop our economy at free way, the prime minister noted.

Vucic said that during the talks at the headquarters of NATO an agreement was reached on organizing civilian trainings in emergency situations in 2018.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the members of KFOR on the fact that a Serbian boy from the village of Laplje was transported to Belgrade, pointing out that, according to the latest information, the general situation of the boy is improving.


KFOR conducts medical evacuation of newborn baby from Pristina to Belgrade

Pristina/Belgrade, 21 Nov 2016 – A helicopter assigned to NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeeping operation has performed an emergency medical evacuation of a newborn baby boy from a hospital in Pristina to a hospital in Belgrade.

The child was born in Gracanica with a serious heart infection that quickly spread to his lungs. KFOR first helped bring it to the Kosovo University Clinical Center in Pristina, where doctors managed to stabilize the young patient.

Following a request by the child's family to continue treatment at a Belgrade hospital, a U.S. helicopter MEDEVAC UH 60 of MNBG- E (Multinational Battle Group - East) carried out the medical evacuation on Monday (21 November).

The emergency operation was made possible by the swift cooperation between the Serbian authorities and KFOR. NATO-led operation KFOR continues to contribute to a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement, working in close cooperation with the local authorities and with the European Union.


Discussions on the implementation of Serbia - NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan in Brussels

Brussels, 4 November 2016 - Acting Assistant Minister for Security Policy, Ambassador Branimir Filipović visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels to participate in the meeting of NATO Deputies Committee (DPRC) on the assessment of the hitherto implementation of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) between the Republic of Serbia and NATO.

Also, Ambassador Filipović had a separate meeting with Ambassador Alejandro Alvargonzalez, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, and Mr. James Appathurai, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy.

The discussions reviewed the level of implementation of IPAP activities and objectives in the areas of foreign and security policy and the potential for further improvement of the partnership and cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and NATO in the framework of the Partnership for Peace Programme, especially in the field of public diplomacy. They exchanged views on the European integration process of the Republic of Serbia, strengthening of regional cooperation, as well as the activities of the KFOR Mission in Kosovo and Metohija. The importance of the forthcoming visit of Mr Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, to NATO Headquarters was particularly emphasized.


Security in Western Balkans common interest of Serbia and NATO

Belgrade, 13 Oct 2016 – First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic spoke today at a panel discussion dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the participation of Serbia in the Partnership for Peace programme, which was held as part of the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.

Dacic said during the panel discussion, which was attended by Minister of Defence Zoran Djordjevic and Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO James Appathurai, that the Partnership for Peace is the optimal framework for Serbia for its relations with NATO.

This framework, he explained, enables our country to realise the full potential of military and other forms of political and practical cooperation while confirming its position of military neutrality, which is fully respected by the Alliance and its members. In this regard he stated that Serbia's membership in NATO is not an issue of state policy of Serbia, nor does NATO expect such candidacy from our country.

According to him, this organisation, on the other hand, in the light of increasing global security challenges, represents for Serbia an important interlocutor, which is why our country will seek to deepen political dialogue on all issues of common interest.

Dacic pointed out that Serbia and NATO share a common interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Western Balkans, which is the basis for economic and every other progress and prosperity of all who live there, which is why it is very important nowadays to preserve stability and not let inflammatory rhetoric and irresponsibility prevail.

The First Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that Serbia achieves meaningful practical cooperation with NATO through the Individual Partnership Action Plan - IPAP, especially in the field of scientific technological research and emergencies. A good example of practical cooperation is the project of strengthening the capacity of the Technical Repair Bureau of Kragujevac, dedicated to destroying surplus obsolete ammunition, through the NATO Trust Fund, which brings together several member states and partner countries, Dacic concluded.


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