Democratic values, regional co-operation and good neighbourly relations are important for lasting peace and stability in the Western Balkans, NATO members said in a joint declaration in the end of their two-day summit in Lisbon on Saturday (November 20th). “We continue to actively support Euro-Atlantic aspirations in this region,” the document stated.
The declaration welcomed “the orderly conduct of elections [in Bosnia and Herzegovina] in October; progress on reform; its ongoing efforts to destroy surplus arms and munitions; and its contribution to international security. At the same time, NATO urged local political leaders “to work together to re-double their efforts to improve further the efficiency and self-reliance of state-level institutions and to advance essential reform priorities”.
Serbia was urged to keep working towards full co-operation with the UN war crimes tribunal and arrest the remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic. The declaration also called on Belgrade “to support further efforts towards the consolidation of peace and stability in Kosovo” and said both Serbia and Kosovo should “take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the EU-facilitated dialogue between them”.