NATO to hold 'biggest' exercise in Serbia

By Talha Ozturk

BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) – The secretary general of NATO on Tuesday announced that he will visit the Serbian capital for a NATO exercise.

Jen Stoltenberg's remarks came at a press conference ahead of the meetings of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

He said that he will attend the biggest disaster relief exercise, which will be the first to be hosted in Serbia.

"Next week I will be travelling to the region again, visiting Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana. And in Serbia I will attend our biggest disaster relief exercise, with 40 countries participating. This is the first such exercise hosted in Serbia, which reflects the strong and highly valued partnership between Serbia and NATO," said Stoltenberg.

"The aim of the exercise is to improve interoperability in international disaster response operations," said the NATO website.

The operations include urban search and rescue, medical and paramedical teams, chemical biological radiological nuclear protection, as well as decontamination teams and water rescue teams.

The media previously reported that Stoltenberg should arrive in Belgrade in the first half of October, where he will speak with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

While other ex-Yugoslav states Croatia and Slovenia have joined the EU and NATO, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia remain in limbo.

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