NATO leaders: Serbia is a dependable accomplice

EPA/Toms Kalnins

Relations between Serbia and the Alliance are great, the head of the permanent delegation of Serbia in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Dragan Shormaz, assessed today, summarizing the speeches in the introductory part at the opening of the three-day seminar “Rose Roth”.

In addition to the Prime Minister and Speakers of Parliament Ana Brnabić and Ivica Dačić, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Gerald Connolly and the Deputy Secretary General of the Alliance Mircea Geana spoke at the gathering.

Today, NATO is “much more strongly committed to the region than ever before,” said Connolly and Geana, who addressed the participants in the House of the National Assembly via a video link, including parliamentarians from Luxembourg, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and the region. countries that emerged from the collapse of the SSR.

They also stated that Serbia’s contribution to regional stability, but also to transnational security, is significant, and that Serbia is an important and reliable partner.

Connolly reminded that Serbia is an active member in holding the Rose Roth seminar, which he assessed as very important for abandoning prejudices, in order to strengthen mutual understanding.

He reminded of the global dangers and the fact that the American Congress was attacked on January 6, which additionally shows the importance of organizing and preserving democratic values.

– We must unite in the fight against challenges that want to violate democratic values ​​and faith in institutions – said Connolly, who, as Shormaz reminded, was also the head of the cabinet of President Joseph Biden.

– Our democracies are stronger when we learn from mutual experience – Connolly added and emphasized that the Alliance plans to create a Center for Democratic Resilience.

Both Connolly and Gena emphasized that the security and stability of the region are of great importance for Euro-Atlantic stability, such as the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina and the situation in BiH.

We want to play an important role in that goal together with the parliaments from the region, Connolly said.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that Serbia’s partnership with the Alliance is good for its citizens, for stability in the region and for wider transatlantic security, and that this fall marks a special jubilee, the 15th anniversary of Serbia’s participation in the Partnership for Peace.

– I know that we can count on the constant support of Serbia, I believe that we will have a constructive partnership in the next 15 years. You can count on us – he said and added that NATO will continue to fight instability and terrorism and deepen relations with other countries that share a common vision and democratic values.

Geana stated that Serbia and NATO have “deepened and strengthened the partnership” in recent years, and added that the Alliance supports the reforms of Serbian security forces and institutions.

He reminded that Serbia and the Alliance work together in various areas, from the fight against terrorism to energy security, but also on the improvement and planning of activities in cases of emergency situations.

– We continue to support efforts to normalize relations between Belgrade and Pristina, we want to build a lasting peace that would guarantee a more prosperous future for all – he said.

Both Connolly and Geana stated that NATO respects Serbia’s decision to be militarily neutral, and added that the partnership with the Alliance is increasingly important in the light of global, dangerous challenges and given that the global balance of power is changing.

He reminded of numerous challenges such as cyber attacks, terrorist threats, climate change, and stressed that no one has the luxury of deciding and choosing which challenge to respond to.

– We have to react to everything, that is why NATO leaders made brave decisions this summer in order to face difficult problems together – he said.

The seminar, which the NATO PA has been holding for three decades, and for the fourth time in Belgrade, was an opportunity for Dacic and Brnabic to point out the importance of Serbia’s military neutrality and cooperation with the Alliance, among other things in preserving peace and stability in the region. .

– Just as Serbia has no plans to join NATO, so NATO does not have a “secret plan to join us”, as the then high-ranking NATO official told me a few years ago – said Dacic and assessed that membership in An optimal framework for cooperation for the Partnership for Peace.

Brnabic reminded that Serbia, in cooperation with NATO, has successfully realized more than 40 projects, and that it is especially satisfied with the implementation of the project aimed at the new generation of batteries based on carbon, and not on lithium.

She reiterated that peace and security in the region are a basic condition for progress for each country, but also for the entire region as a whole.

– Any instability in any part affects the entire region – said the Prime Minister of Serbia and added that Serbia respects its neighbors and consistently respects the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of neighboring countries.

The gathering was an opportunity to recall the importance of the Open Balkans initiative, as a chance for the region in terms of strengthening infrastructure and the four basic freedoms guaranteed in the EU, and invited everyone, including Pristina, to join the project that will benefit all citizens.

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