NATO lifts airspace restrictions in Serbia

Restrictions towards Kosovo had been in place since 1999 campaign

NATO lifts airspace restrictions in Serbia

World Bulletin / News Desk

NATO has lifted its 16-year restriction on Serbian air space, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.

The “air safety zone” had applied to the airspace 25 kilometers (15 miles) into Serbian territory from the Kosovo border or “administrative line”.

Referring to NATO’s force in Kosovo, Stoltenberg said: “As of today, KFOR fully relaxed the air safety zone. This means that the restrictions that have been in place since 1999 are now lifted.”

Stoltenberg was speaking at a news conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Serbian capital Belgrade.

He said his visit marked a new page in NATO-Serbian relations.

The 1999 intervention “was not against the Serbian people” but to stop the “unacceptable actions of the Milosevic regime”, Stoltenberg said of the NATO airstrikes against Serbia during the Serbia-Kosovo conflict.

Vucic welcomed the lifting of restrictions. “No-one has fired a shot in order to get this, no-one died because of this,” he said.

Stoltenberg repeated NATO’s stance on fighting terrorism. “We must keep in mind that this is not a fight of the West against the Muslim world,” he said. “Muslims themselves are in the front line of fighting terrorism and are often the first victims of terrorism.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Kasım 2015, 17:09