Meeting of Serbian and Austrian Chiefs of General Staff
General Ljubisa Dikovic, Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, met today in Belgrade with General Othmar Commenda, Austrian Armed Forces Chief of Defence Staff.
According to General Dikovic, the topic of his today's talks with the Austrian counterpart was the current security situation in the region, which can hardly be isolated from the political relations and political strategies of the two countries.
- We have had intensive economic, political and military cooperation for many years. We have many things in common, not only that the Republic of Austria, just like Serbia, is not a member of NATO, but, like Serbia, it is a member of the Partnership for Peace. Of all the countries that are members of the EU but not members of NATO, we have the best cooperation with the Republic of Austria – General Dikovic said adding that we share the same problems and are solving them together, but it is important that we also share the common good.
What binds us together, general Dikovic assessed, are primarily specific security problems in the region, and if we are talking about regional and global issues today, then the situation is significantly changing in relation to the previous period for the benefit of global issues.
- Today as well, a regional security problem becomes global in a very short time and this is one of the characteristics of modern relations today – General Dikovic pointed out illustrating that fact with the example of the war in Syria, which from a local conflict soon become a global problem because the whole Europe faces it today.
It was these security challenges, general Dikovic pointed out, that were the reason for enhancing cooperation and developing relations, because no country in such security environment is able to respond to them alone.
- We have capacities that we can make available to the Austrian Armed Forces, which are proven in practice, such as the CBRN Training Centre, where cadets of the Austrian Armed Forces were on internships, and there are also capacities of the South Base Peacekeeping Operations and Pre-Deployment Training Centre – General Dikovic pointed out stressing the importance of the European standards in the field of logistics for our armed forces and added that help from the Austrian colleagues is expected in this area, as well as in the development of the NCO corps.
He also stressed the importance of military-economic cooperation, which will also be discussed during the today’s meeting, for which there is mutual interest.
General Commenda recalled that during the previous official meeting with General Dikovic in Vienna it was established that there were no problems.
- Austria and Serbia are in one Europe, and we have the same problems that the general has already mentioned, and that is the security situation around Europe, which presents a real problem for all of us. We know that these problems, which we are yet to face, we can only solve together – General Commenda pointed out expressing his belief that there is no country in Europe that can solve these problems alone.
According to him, the contacts between the militaries of the two countries are excellent and there are many joint projects that have been successfully implemented, and there is potential for cooperation in the future.
Generals Dikovic and Commenda agreed in the position that the upcoming visit of the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Austria, which is planned for October, during which the memorandum of understanding will be signed, will be an impulse for the continuation of the successful military cooperation between the two countries.
During the visit to our country, the delegation of the Austrian Armed Forces will visit the Ministry of Defence and the CBRN Centre in Krusevac.