BELGRADE – Serbia is a military neutral country, with no aspirations for NATO membership, but willing to be a reliable partner of the Alliance, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said in a conversation with Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel on Thursday.

Serbia wants to further strengthen the cooperation through available Partnership for Peace mechanisms, the foreign ministry said in a release.

General Pavel said NATO respects Serbia’s sovereign decision to remain neutral in military terms, noting that neutrality is not a hurdle to developing the partnership based on individual needs of every country, mutual interests and shared values, as seen in other examples of NATO’s cooperation with “neutral” European partners.

They pointed to the issues of mutual interest such as the fight against international terrorism and migrant crisis.