McCain: Russia cooperated with Syria in chemical attack

Trevor Jackson
April 13, 2017

"We had eight joint exercises in 2016, six or seven were agreed in 2017 and over a hundred joint activities".

He added that the preservation of stability and peace in the Western Balkans is of crucial importance for the region. "That's very fair cooperation", he said.

Vucic said he talked with McCain about the need to maintain stability in the region, bilateral relations of two countries as well as Serbia's attitude towards important worldwide issues.

He also repeated that Serbia does not want to belong to any military alliance.

Apart from the region, Vučić and McCain discussed the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Serbia'a path to Europe and bilateral cooperation between Serbia and the United States.

He stressed that bilateral cooperation would "certainly be spoken about - because McCain is an influential senator whose word has a lot of weight in the USA".

They also discussed situation in Macedonia.

"Serbia is a factor of stability in the region", Gabriel said in comments translated into Serbian by an official interpreter.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Gabriel who will visit Kosovo on Thursday and Albania on Monday on his Balkan tour, urged Balkan states to overcome their divisions to integrate into the European Union.

Vucic, Serbia's current prime minister, received 55 percent of the vote in the presidential election, enough to avoid a runoff.

He says "I hope that this behavior by Syria, in what clearly is cooperation with Russian Federation and Syria together, will never happen again".

His visit comes after thousands of protesters rallied for days to protest against Vucic's victory in an April 2 presidential election, many chanting "End the dictatorship".

McCain also thanked Serbia for participating in the "anti-IS coalition", and for being "one of America's most active partners in joint exercises".

During his one-day visit, McCain attended a training exercise involving the country's elite police and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military forces from Slovenia and the United States.

"For our soldiers and officers it is essential to take part in joint peacekeeping operations", he said and recalled that previous year they completed eight major joint exercises and about a hundred joint activities. "First, the Russians should be banned from taking off from the areas from which these attacks were carried out, then it is necessary to hold peace talks so that Assad and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin understand that they can not win in this battlefield", McCain has been quoted as saying.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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