"Serbia-NATO action plan to be supplemented"

The final stage of preparation is currently under way to adopt of the second cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) between Serbia and NATO.

Source: Tanjug
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(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)
(EPA-EFE, file, illustration)

It is the highest mechanism of NATO cooperation with partner countries, says Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia in charge of security issues Branimir Filipovic.

Filipovic told the European Western Balkans that the main priorities of partner cooperation remain unchanged, and that the new three-year IPAP will be supplemented with new activities, both in the areas of military cooperation, as well as in scientific and technological cooperation and information security.

"We are very satisfied with the implementation of the IPAP so far, since the vast majority of planned goals and activities have been successfully implemented," Filipovic said, adding that NATO structures and alliance members share this assessment.

He says that, like the IPAP currently in force, the new document is also designed in accordance with the principles of the Partnership for Peace Program, namely that it is voluntary, transparent and flexibile, proceeding from the position of Serbia position as the country that implements a policy of military neutrality, without aspirations for membership in NATO or another military alliance.

Asked if the crisis related to the formation of the Kosovo army could damage Serbia's relations with NATO, and how he sees the role of KFOR in stabilizing the situation in Kosovo, Filipovic said that Serbia's position on the unacceptability of Pristina's decisions is very clear and familiar to NATO partners.

He pointed out that for Serbia, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, KFOR is the only legitimate military formation in the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and that KFOR is the only adequate interlocutor for security issues in Kosovo, with which the Serbian Army has developed cooperation.

"We recognize KFOR forces as the only partner in security the administrative line (between Kosovo and central Serbia) and the security guarantor for the Kosovo and Metohija population, with a focus on members of the Serb community, as well as protecting their national, cultural, historical and religious heritage," Filipovic added.

According to him, Serbia expects NATO and KFOR to fully implement their mandate and ensure full security of the Serb community in the province.

"It is also important that, as the guarantor of the implementation of the Brussels agreement, it prevents the so-called KSF (Kosovo Security Force) or other heavily armed formations of Albanians from going to the north of the province to the predominantly Serb areas - which is a serious danger and potential for destabilization, and endangers the rights and security of the Serb population," said Filipovic.

Asked whether Serbia could join the initiative to form a European army, Filipovic said that Serbia could take a more decisive stance on this, if that initiative were to receive concrete outlines.

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