Speaking ahead of his first visit to Belgrade, U.S. Admiral Robert Burk, the commander of and NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples, has said that NATO and Serbia are “close friends,” and that a stable Kosovo is crucial for regional stability and security.
“We fully respect Serbia and its military policy of neutrality. We are fully ready and willing to continue to work shoulder to shoulder, to help each other toward building a better future for all,” Burk has said in an interview to the Council for Strategic Policy (cfsp.rs).
According to him, Serbia is “a neighbor, reliable and respected partner, which is helping us to promote peace and security in the region.” He added that the partnership between NATO and Serbia had lasted for a long time now, since 2006, when Serbia joined the Partnership for Peace Program, noting that the participation of Serbian officers in multinational peace-keeping missions was a joint success.
During his first visit to the Western Balkans, Burk is scheduled to tour KFOR troops in KFOR in Pristina and also Sarajevo and Belgrade. Burk said the purpose of his tour was to get a better impression of the region as the stability and security of the Western Balkans were important for NATO, and also for peace and stability in Europe.