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Following improvement in ties with the U.S.-led NATO, Serbia has announced its intention to open a mission at the organization's headquarters in the Belgian capital Brussels, reports said.

A Serbian Defense Ministry spokesman said in Belgrade on Monday exact date of opening the mission had not yet been decided yet, but would likely take place in September during Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac's upcoming visit to Brussels.

"We do not have an exact date yet, but it should happen in September," a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

After NATO carried out air raids on Serbia in 1999 to end the war in Kosovo thereby virtually sigalling cessation of hostilities to wrest control of its former province, relations between Brussels and Belgrade had been a roller-coaster ride.

However, the exit from power of nationalist leader Slobodan Milosevic, Serbia was invited to join the "Partnership for Peace" program in 2006.

An American initiative, Partnership for Peace (PfP) program was originally intended to better integrate NATO and other European states and the ertwhile Soviet Union.

But relations soured once again in 2008 over the nod given to Kosovo's independence by leading Western powers.

NATO's military intervention in Serbia as well as the backing given to Kosovo's intervention had enraged Serbian nationalists who saw it as an adversary.

The alliance still maintains a security presence in Serbia although it has been slashed to a mere 10,000 troops from the earlier 50,000.

/by RTT Staff Writer/

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