Serbian FM speaks at NATO contact embassy ceremony
Ivica Dacic said in Belgrade late on Tuesday that NATO's KFOR mission remains the only legal and legitimate military formation in Kosovo and Metohija.Source: srbija.gov.rs
It is an important guarantor of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement and the only guarantor of the security and survival of the Serbs, their property, and religious and cultural heritage, Dacic said.
Dacic was speaking at a ceremony on the occasion of the handover of duty of the contact embassy for cooperation of Serbia with NATO - the embassy of Greece and the takeover of duty by the embassy of Norway, the Serbian government said on its website, and published the following excerpts from the minister's speech:
"It is my pleasure to point out the excellent cooperation that we had with the Greek embassy in the past two years in improving the partnership cooperation between Serbia and NATO. I have no doubt that cooperation will be further enhanced to the mutual interest in 2019 too with the support of Norway, the country with which Serbia has built excellent political and economic relations, as well as the Netherlands, also our important partner whose embassy, as we have been told, in accordance with the agreement with Norway, will take over that role in 2020.
Serbia and NATO have significantly improved their practical cooperation in all areas of common interest, whether civil or military.
At the same time, Serbia's policy of military neutrality is not at all at stake - this remains our lasting decision, which NATO partners fully respect. Serbia respects the commitment of its neighbors and other countries to NATO membership, and we expect the understanding for our cooperation with countries that are not members of the Alliance.
Serbia and NATO are firmly connected by the common interest of preserving peace and stability in the region. Therefore, we expect the Alliance to view with understanding and support our priorities, especially regarding the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, because NATO, among other things, has a number of obligations in accordance with the mandate given by the UN Security Council in preserving peace and stability in Kosovo.
We think that only a compromise solution for Kosovo and Metohija can provide lasting peace and stability and on several occasions we have shown readiness to come to such solutions. The agreement between Belgrade and Pristina will not be at the expense of any third party, and there is no reason for anything that is acceptable to the two parties to be unacceptable to anyone else.
NATO's KFOR mission remains the only legal and legitimate military formation in the province, an important guarantor of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement and virtually the only guarantor of the security and survival of the Serbs, their property, and religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo and Metohija.
On this occasion, I emphasize that Serbia strongly opposes the transformation of the so-called 'Kosovo Security Forces' in the so-called 'Army of Kosovo', as it violates UNSC Resolution 1244, the Military Technical Agreement and endangers regional and wider stability.
Unfortunately, the unfolding of events shows that Pristina obviously does not give up on unilateral moves, such as forming armed forces despite the clear warning of representatives of the international community, including Mr. Stoltenberg, that such unilateral moves are unacceptable and damaging to the dialogue."