First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic addressed the panel on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Republic of Serbia’s participation in the Partnership for Peace programme, held during the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.
In the panel discussion, which included the participation of Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia Zoran Djordjevic and NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General James Appathurai, Minister Dacic underlined that, to Serbia, Partnership for Peace was an optimum framework for relations with NATO which enabled us to achieve full potential in the context of both military as well as other forms of political and practical cooperation, at the same time affirming Serbia’s position of military neutrality that the Alliance and its members respected fully. In this regard, he said that neither Serbia’s NATO membership was an item on Serbia’s state policy agenda, nor NATO expected such a bid from us. He said that, on the other hand, in the light of growing global security challenges, this organization was an important interlocutor to us, which is why we would endeavour to deepen the political dialogue on all topics of mutual interest.
Minister Dacic pointed out that Serbia and NATO shared the interest in maintaining peace and stability in the Western Balkans, as a basis for economic and any other prosperity as well as well-being of all its citizens, which is why it was very important that we preserve stability today, not allowing fiery rhetoric and irresponsibility to prevail.
The Head of diplomacy underlined that Serbia and NATO realized a substantive practical cooperation in the framework of the Individual Partnership Action Plan – IPAP, particularly in the areas of science and technology research and emergency situations.
One good example of practical cooperation is the project aimed at strengthening capacities of Technical Overhaul Works in Kragujevac, a facility for destruction of old excess or obsolete ammunition, carried out through the NATO Trust Fund which includes several NATO members and partner states.