NATO's Military Committee reaffirms support for the Balkans

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 22.9.2017 11:56

The NATO Military Committee confirmed its open-door policy towards Balkan states on 16–17 September in Tirana, Albania. The meeting was also attended by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who highlighted the level of integration of the Western Balkans within the Alliance as well.

Indeed, the Balkans, especially the longest-running NATO mission in Kosovo – KFOR – has been included on the agenda. The chief of the mission, General Giovanni Fungo, underlined the need to continue engaging in Kosovo due to the fragile security situation there, which is affected by the tense relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Integration and enhancement of military cooperation between NATO and the Balkan states were also supported by General Pavel. Furthermore, after Montenegro's accession, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia are also aspiring to join NATO. Additionally, British Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach was elected the next Chairman of the NATO Military Committee at the conference and will take office in the summer of 2018. The election was welcomed by the current chairman, General Petr Pavel, who also expressed concerns about the Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2017.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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