Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, addressed the ongoing tensions between Serbia and Kosovo during his visit to Belgrade. Stoltenberg expressed concern over the recent build-up of Serbian army forces on the border with Kosovo and called the violence in the north unacceptable. He welcomed Serbia’s intention to prosecute those responsible for the attack in Banjska.
During a joint press conference with President Aleksandar Vučić, Stoltenberg announced that NATO had deployed an additional 1,000 soldiers and heavy weapons in Kosovo following a recent conflict. He emphasized NATO’s commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region and urged both Kosovo and Serbia to work towards reducing tensions and avoiding actions that could lead to further escalation.
Stoltenberg also voiced support for the formation of the Union of Serbian Municipalities (ZSO) and encouraged dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the European Union. Discussions were also held regarding possible joint exercises between Serbia and NATO, with Vučić expressing hope that NATO could provide security for Serbian people in Kosovo. Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s respect for Serbia’s military neutrality while highlighting the long-term partnership between Serbia and the Alliance.
In addition, Stoltenberg praised cooperation between Serbia and NATO in various areas such as Science for Peace, energy security, environmental security, and cyber defense. After visiting Sarajevo and Pristina, he will continue his Balkan tour in North Macedonia to meet with leaders of other NATO member states from the region.
In conclusion, Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to maintaining peace and stability in Kosovo through its deployment of additional troops and resources. He also emphasized dialogue as a key component of achieving lasting peace between Kosovo and Serbia under EU auspices. Moreover, he acknowledged support from several countries like North Macedonia for strengthening ties with NATO while respecting their sovereignty.
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