NATO chief offers condolences to families of victims

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the loss of all lives during NATO's bombing campaign against the SRJ represented "a tragedy."

Source: B92, Vijesti

NATO's air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SRJ; FRY) - made up at the time of Serbia and Montenegro - lasted for 78 days and ended on June 10, 1999. According to different estimates, between 1,200 and 2,500 were killed in the attacks.

Speaking in Budva, Montenegro, after his meeting with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, Stoltenberg said that he was offering condolences to all families and all those who lost their loved ones, and added that "the goal and purpose of NATO's air operation was also to protect civilians - and we succeeded in that."

Furthermore, NATO "made every effort" to prevent the loss of innocent lives, he said, and added:

"Unfortunately, in the concrete case we could not avoid the suffering of civilians. I sincerely regret that. The goal of the operation was certainly to establish peace."

As for Montenegro's future membership in this alliance, Stoltenberg said the country "should do what remains to be done as soon as possible and show readiness to become a member of NATO."


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