Stoltenberg: Increasing Tensions in Western Balkans Worrisome | Beta Briefing

Stoltenberg: Increasing Tensions in Western Balkans Worrisome

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 02.12.21 | access_time 15:38

Stoltenberg (Foto AP)

Jens Stoltenberg, the general secretary of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), has said that a recent increase in tensions has been noticed in the Western Balkans, including Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and added that the Alliance will continue to promote security, stability and cooperation in the region.

In the evening of Dec. 1, the official NATO website published Stoltenberg's statement, issued following a session on the Western Balkans that was held as part of NATO's meeting of foreign ministers held in Riga. "We've noticed an increase in tensions, with aggressive rhetoric and the halting of reforms, as well as an influx of foreign actors actively undermining progress," the statement reads.

Stoltenberg further stated that the Western Balkans are an important region to NATO and the EU, both of which are now witnessing the disturbing developments and are worried over the divisive rhetoric in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as over the tensions that remain between Belgrade and Pristina.

"Nato will continue to promote stability, security and cooperation in the region," Stoltenberg said, adding that the meeting's attendees agreed on the importance of NATO's presence in the region, including the KFOR mission to Kosovo and the Alliance's offices in Sarajevo and Belgrade.

According to him, NATO is concerned over the "very aggressive rhetoric" used by Milorad Dodik. "[Dodik's] inflammatory rhetoric only undermines the Dayton Accords and the efforts to build a stable, multiethnic" Bosnia and Herzegovina," Stoltenberg concluded.

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