Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin on an official visit to BiH

Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin on an official visit to BiH

The Minister of Defence of Serbia, Aleksandar Vulin, stated on Wednesday in Sarajevo, where he is for an official vist, that it is in the best interest of the Republic of Serbia to have a stable, strong, successful and peaceful BiH in the “neighbourhood”.

After meeting with BiH Minister of Defence, Marina Pendes, Vulin said that the cooperation of the two countries in the area of defence is very good and noted that 27 officers of the BiH Armed Forces were educated in Serbia. Vulin added that there were talks about relations in the future, the positions of the defence industry, the joint appearance and the partnership that the two countries can provide to each other.

Vulin thanked the Head of the Joint Staff of the BiH Armed Forces, Anto Jelec, who during the meeting in Ohrid made a clear statement that a representative of Kosovo cannot be presented differently than by the agreed formula, and expressed the conviction that knowledge of the international law can contribute to better understanding between partners. He particularly emphasized that Serbia is absolutely oriented to peace, and that Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, who is the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, is always committed to peace, “sometimes to his own harm”. Vucic is able, says Vulin, to ignore “enhanced” rhetoric.

“Never has a heavy or too heavy statement come from Serbia. We take care and want to be a factor of stability and peace. Vucic, by his personal example, proved it”, said Vulin.

He also added that the decision about joining NATO must be a result of the consensus of three nations and two entities in the state. Vucic explained that such a decision would be acceptable for Serbia.

Commenting on the fact that two years have passed since the attack on Serbian president Vucic in Srebrenica and investigation gave no results, Vulin said that “everybody pretends that it never happened”.

“If it was on the Serbian territory, we would do everything to reach the truth, and perpetrators would be found and punished”, Vulin pointed out.

Minister Pendes noted that the meeting is an indicator of the good relations between the two countries, that the joint activities plan is almost completely fulfilled, and that the focus of cooperation next year will be on the training of members of the armed forces and on better cooperation in case of natural disasters.

“We are grateful to minister Vulin who gave Serbian resources at the disposal of our country, during the fire in Herzegovina”, Pendes said.

The ministers agree that peace and stability in this part of Southeast Europe are crucial to both countries, good cooperation within regional forums has been highlighted, and jointly operates within the Medical Task Forces.

The defense ministers of BiH and Serbia also underlined that all countries in the region are working in accordance with the Vienna Agreement, which prescribed the number of weapons each country can have, but if a country receives certain funds from the budget, it could perform a modernisation of its armed forces.

Asked by media to comment the statement of Bosniak member of BiH Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, on the recognition of Kosovo, Vulin pointed out that Kosovo is a part of the Republic of Serbia and it is hard to understand that someone says he respects Serbia in its recognised borders, but on the other hand wants Serbia to be smaller or differently organised./IBNA