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Serbian Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee: Cooperation with NATO successful and important

National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BELGRADE – Cooperation between Serbia and NATO is successful, it was said yesterday at the meeting of the representatives of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the National Assembly of Serbia with the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Serbia and the Defense Attaché of the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.

The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Žarko Obradović (SPS), the Dutch Ambassador to Serbia Gilles Arnout Plug, the Defense Attaché of the Norwegian Embassy Lt. Col. Egil  Daltveit, as well as the Deputy Committee Vesna Marković (SNS) and members Dragan Šormaz (SNS) and Dušica Stojković (SNS).

The President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Željko Obradović stated that the KFOR mission in Kosovo is an example of good cooperation between Serbia and NATO.

“In Pristina Serbia does not have partners who adhere to the concluded agreements and resolution 1244 is not respected, if we did not have cooperation with NATO, the situation for non-Albanians on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija would be far more difficult,” Obradović said in an official statement.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Serbia, Gilles Arnout Plug emphasized that Serbia, among the partners, is the one that leads in the number of projects, both military and civilian.

He pointed out that NATO respects Serbia’s military neutrality and that it is commendable that it does not mean isolation, but balanced cooperation with all international partners. In that light, Plug emphasized the importance of the Euro-Atlantic Center for Coordination of Disaster Responses and expressed hope that cooperation between NATO and Serbia would take place in that segment as well.

Committee member Vesna Marković pointed out that Serbia’s strategic goal remains full membership in the EU and that in that sense, cooperation with NATO is extremely important.

She said that the European Union cannot be stable and secure if the region of the Western Balkans is not stable and secure, and in that sense, she emphasized the importance of continuing cooperation between NATO and the National Assembly through the education of new MPs.

Dušica Stojković also emphasized as well the importance of the educational program, especially for “young” MPs, because each MP is an important mediator in conveying messages, especially in their local communities, which can contribute to changing the negative attitude of public opinion towards NATO.

Committee member Dragan Šormaz believes that cooperation with NATO and its members is not visible enough in public, emphasizing the illogicality of the fact that Serbia has four or five times more activities with the United States than with Russia, China, the CSTO and all other countries combined. He believes that the reason for that should be sought in the fact that it is more acceptable for citizens to support cooperation with the United States than with NATO.

We remind you that in January, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgrade took over the duty of the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Serbia, from the Embassy of Norway within the joint mandate of the two embassies.

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