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25. September 2017

Serbian defense minister at NATO HQ: We won't join NATO

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin visited NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday, where he met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller. Vulin also met with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Camille Grand. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that Vulin and Gottemoeller "exchanged views on the political and security situation in the region, as well as the current issues of cooperation under the Partnership for Peace Program and the Serbian Army's cooperation with the KFOR forces. " Vulin "thanked his interlocutor for the efforts she is making on the overall stabilization of the security situation, as well as for the support and understanding of the position of the Republic of Serbia in the region and beyond." "I once again repeated to our hosts that Serbia is not interested in becoming a member of NATO, or any other military alliance, that it will continue with the policy of military neutrality, but we will take care to improve our cooperation with NATO through Partnership for Peace, that everything that is useful for our country and for our army, we will take. We accept everything that will make our army develop better, progress, but also everything that benefits our country and our people," Vulin said. During the conversation, the minister also "thanked NATO for its participation in KFOR" and said that Serbia "cannot at all accept the formation of a Kosovo army." "We consider it a security threat and a big problem for the entire region, but we strongly support KFOR and the role of NATO in it, and we consider that the role of KFOR cannot be reduced in any way, and in no way should the lack of its influence be felt in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Mrs. Gottemoeller especially thanked President Vucic for the courage with which he is leading Serbia and the courage with which he is conducting the internal dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija. His role is appreciated very much here and everybody highly respect our position of military neutrality and our the view that we will always maintain a balanced policy when it comes to the stance towards NATO, and any other military alliance," Vulin said. In a separate meeting with Camille Grand, Vulin conveyed our country's commitment in the process of normalizing civilian air traffic over the Balkans, the statement said. "He stressed the necessity to continue talks aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution in the process, which should be based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Military Technical Agreement. The improvement of air traffic safety and control in this area should be a priority in this joint venture," said the minister. Preuzeto sa: www.b92.net

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