Stoltenberg calls on Western Balkans countries to reduce tensions

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; Photo: NATO

BRUSSELS – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday called on all sides in the Western Balkans to reduce tensions, avoid inflammatory rhetoric and make sure there are no more armed conflicts in the region.

He was responding to a Tanjug question about the security situation in the region in view of frequent inflammatory rhetoric, most recently after the ICTY judgement in the Prlic case.

“The main responsibility for that is, of course, with the countries in the region, but NATO will be there to help and support, and to help to make sure that we avoid any kind of armed conflict in the Western Balkans.”

“NATO has played an important role in the Western Balkans for decades. We helped to end two ethnic wars… We still have substantial NATO presence in the Western Balkans.”

“We are working with our partners in the region, including with Serbia,” he noted.