Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia at NATO Headquarters on Wednesday (17 August 2022), saying he welcomed the opportunity to continue discussions on recent tensions in northern Kosovo. While noting that the situation on the ground has improved, Mr Stoltenberg called on all sides “to show restraint and to avoid violence”.
Mr Stoltenberg further welcomed Thursday’s scheduled round of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, and urged all parties to engage in good faith, calling the dialogue “the platform to find a solution that respects the rights of all communities”.
The Secretary General and President Vučić also discussed Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine. “It is important that the international community stands united in opposing Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and that we all take steps to convince Russia to end this war,” said Mr Stoltenberg. The seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant by Russian forces poses “a serious threat to the safety and security of these facilities; raises the risk of a nuclear accident or incident; and endangers the population of Ukraine, of neighbouring countries and of the international community,” said the Secretary General. He added: “it is urgent to allow the inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to ensure the withdrawal of all Russian forces.”
The Secretary General further praised NATO’s long-standing partnership with Serbia, saying: “we will continue to work with your country to promote our goal of peace and security in the Western Balkans.”
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