The final stage of preparation is currently under way to adopt the second cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) between Serbia and NATO, Tanjug news agency reports.
It is the highest mechanism of NATO cooperation with partner countries, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia in charge of security issues Branimir Filipovic said.
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.
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 responded 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 of 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,” Filipovic noted.
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.