"I understands bombing is difficult topic for Serbs"
"We are there to protect all people including the Serb community," Stoltenberg said in an interview with TV Prva, and stressed that NATO has no plans to reduce the presence of its troops in Kosovo.
Asked about about his view of NATO's bombing of the Yugoslavia (consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) two decades later, Stoltenberg said that NATO's task was to end the war and a humanitarian catastrophe, but also prevent the loss of civilian life.
"Every loss of civilian life is a great tragedy," the official said, adding that he understands that bombing is still a painful and difficult issue.
He said that he did not expect Serbia to forget the past, but that there should also be looking at the future and possibilities of cooperation.
"Europe is full of countries that have a complicated past, but they have found ways to progress together and go to the future," the NATO official said, referring to Sweden and Norway, France and Germany.
As he said, NATO respects Serbia's position that it does not want to be a member of the alliance and remain neutral, but it also respects Serbia's desire to be a NATO partner in the fight against terrorism, floods and the like.