Nato chief hails Serbia partnership despite 'painful' past

BELGRADE: Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg mentioned he hoped Serbia was transferring past the "painful" memories of the alliance's 1999 bombings on Monday, hailing a partnership with militarily-neutral Belgrade all over the first joint disaster reaction exercises held within the country.

In a speech kicking off the 40-nation civil emergency drills, Stoltenberg stated lingering public unease over Nato, which performed an 11-week bombing campaign in Serbia nearly 20 years in the past to drive the end of a bloody warfare between Serb troops and Kosovar separatists.

"I realize that Nato remains controversial in Serbia. The memories of the air campaign in 1999 are still painful for many," Stoltenberg mentioned in a press convention with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

"We must never forget the past. But we can move beyond it. And that is what Nato and Serbia are doing with our partnership," he added.

Unlike neighbouring Montenegro, which joined Nato remaining yr, Serbia has chosen to stay out of doors the formal alliance, keeping up its close ties with Russia.

Stoltenberg mentioned Nato "fully respects" Serbia's decision now not to join the alliance.

According to Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Serbia has participated with Nato contributors in some 150 exercises because it joined the Partnership For Peace programme in 2006.

In remaining 5 years Serbia additionally took part in a dozen joint exercises with Russia, according to the similar supply.

Vucic mentioned Serbia was satisfied with cooperation with Nato "on the rational level", but added the alliance remained unpopular within the Balkan country as a result of "emotional and psychological issues".

The civilian dying toll from the 1999 bombing has never been officially established and figures vary from 2,500 lifeless claimed by means of Serbian officers to 500 in a Human Rights Watch estimate.
Nato chief hails Serbia partnership despite 'painful' past Nato chief hails Serbia partnership despite 'painful' past Reviewed by Kailash on October 08, 2018 Rating: 5
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