BRUSSELS – Last Thursday, the delegation of the Serbian Parliament visited the NATO headquarters in Brussels, where they had an opportunity to speak with NATO representatives, Beta reports.
Serbian MPs met with several senior NATO officials, who conveyed a clear message that NATO fully respects Serbia, its neutrality and that Serbia is an important and valued NATO partner.
They also discussed what NATO Partnership means for both sides and how NATO-Serbia cooperation is mutually beneficial.
Deputy Assistant to the Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai said that Serbia and NATO have developed a strong partnership in practical cooperation over the past decade.
“This partnership is based on understanding that we are neighbors and that working together on security issues makes our citizens safer,” Appathurai said, referring to an example of the NATO exercise held in Serbia in 2018.
According to Appathurai, the exercise helped NATO and Serbia strengthen their cooperation when it comes to dealing with emergencies such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires.
He added that there was a new Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) for the period 2019-2021, where details of the two sides’ future cooperation over the next two years are presented, along with prospects of how NATO can assist Serbia in its reform efforts.
“Today’s visit by Members of the Serbian Parliament shows that NATO and Serbia have an active political dialogue and that we are focused on strengthening our mutual understanding of the security situation in our common region,” Appathurai said.
The delegation of the Serbian Parliament that visited NATO included the following MPs: Vesna Marković (Serbian Progressive Party), Gordana Čomić (Democratic Party), Branimir Jovanović (Social Democratic Party of Serbia) and Aleksandar Stevanović (Party of Modern Serbia).
“It is extremely important that the legislature maintains a deep connection with Serbia’s partners and a deep understanding of those partnerships. Such visits greatly enhance mutual understanding and create trust”, told Aleksandar Stevanović, an MP from the Party of Modern Serbia, for EWB.
He stressed that Serbia-NATO cooperation is close to the maximum possible through the Partnership for Peace. He added that coming up with new areas for future cooperation represents a great challenge.
“My personal opinion and that of the Party of Modern Serbia is that we should seriously consider the possibility of bringing the cooperation to the highest degree in the coming years which means Serbia’s full participation in transatlantic collective security,” concluded Stevanović.