CEAS announcement: On the occasion of the visit of the Minister of Defense of the United States in the process of developing a draft National Strategy for Combating Terrorism and National Security Strategy

Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS) welcomes the participation of the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Serbia, Zoran Đorđević, on behalf of the Government of Serbia at the Ministerial Meeting of the Global coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS), which was held on March 22nd 2017 in Washington, DC, USA. At a meeting chaired by Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, there was a discussion about the key efforts of the Coalition for the fight against ISIS, including armed intervention, the fight against the recruitment of foreign fighters, funding the fight against terrorism and the stabilization of the liberated areas. The meeting was attended by representatives of 68 member countries of the Global Coalition.

CEAS reminds that the Republic of Serbia recognized from the beginning the danger that the operation of the ISIS system has at global and regional security, primarily because of the participation of soldiers from the Balkans in the ranks of ISIS, but also regarding the long-term refugee and migrant crisis, which has particularly affected the Balkan countries. As one of the first countries to join the global coalition formed in 2014 under the leadership of the United States, Serbia adopted amendments to the Criminal Code in 2014, which sanctioned participation, organization and encouraging participation in armed conflicts in other countries.

CEAS also welcomes the fact that after the cooperation that was initially established on the basis of the exchange of information, intelligence and security services, Serbian cooperation with the United States in the global coalition expanded within the donations of arms, ammunition, drugs and medical supplies.

CEAS believes that Serbian citizens should be more frequent and more detailed informed about such activities of Ministers and the Government of Serbia.

CEAS also welcomes the creation of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, and calls on the Serbian government to adopt it as soon as possible. In addition, CEAS expects that the working group for drafting the National Security Strategy is to reconcile these two documents as soon as possible, and to advance the conditions and time of the public discussion. Adoption of the National Security Strategy is one of the conditions for the opening of Chapter 31, on the common foreign, security and defense policy.

Although Serbia has not yet received an official report on the screening of Chapter 31, CEAS believes that the opening of this chapter is precisely the key issue for the stabilization and democratization of Serbia, as well as regional stability.