Skip to comments.US and Serbia seek to boost military co-operation
Posted on 07/05/2006 9:50:25 AM PDT by kronos77
By Igor Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade – 05/07/06
Serbian soldier and a US Marine stand guard by the Serbian flag in front of Mig-21 airplane at the Batajnica military airport near Belgrade on 23 June. [Getty Images]
Two US Air Force F-16s touched down at Belgrade's Batajnica military airport on 23 June, making an historic visit. It was the first time since World War II that American fighter jets have landed at a Serbian Air Force airport. According to the defence ministry, the event was part of efforts to improve military co-operation between Serbia and the United States.
Soon after, a top-ranking Serbian military delegation, headed by acting Chief of Staff General Zdravko Ponos, arrived in Washington for talks at the Pentagon. This too was a milestone: the first visit by a Serbian chief of staff to the Pentagon in 20 years.
Speaking at Batajnica airport, US Ambassador Michael Polt said US Air Forces Europe will sponsor the training of Serbian pilots at the US Air Force Academy. The first pilots could arrive for training as early as 2007, Polt said, adding that the Serbian armed forces would continue their close co-operation with the National Guard in the US state of Ohio.
From now on, 23 June will be a special day in relations between the two militaries, Polt said. It signifies the start of a new era in co-operation amid the global fight against terrorism and trafficking in people, weapons and drugs, he added.
"We were close allies in two world wars. Serbs and Americans fought Nazism in Europe and many American servicemen owe their lives to their rescuers from Serbia … The United States is willing to move forward as fast as Serbia is able to," Polt said.
US Major Andrew Wills was one of the two pilots who landed at Batajnica last month. In 1999, he took part in NATO's air campaign against the former Yugoslavia.
"When you are a soldier, you must do what you are told and separate your feelings from your job. Still, the year 1999 is behind us and this is a chance to establish friendly relations between our two countries. No hard feelings," Wills said.
During Ponos' visit to the Pentagon, the focus was on what Serbia needs to complete defence reforms.
No conditions were set, Ponos said. "We definitely did not go over there to be told what to do or how to do it … Partnership was the key word in our discussions," he added.
Next week, Serbia and United States will have another chance to boost ties. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica will be in Washington on 11 July, at the invitation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
We need new guns to deal with Islamists.
Got Kim? (one that makes fireworks for 4th Of July)
Why, no, they're not.
Funnily enough, that's our comment to the Serbs until they hand over Mladic.
exactly how the Albanians and other hadjis will treat you in return for all your defense of them. Quit kidding yourself and come join the team, Mr. Inside of you, theres a little Serb and a kind person wanting to come out and be part of the good crowd.
That would be the equivalent of trying to polish a turd, not enough spit on this planet to make Hoplite shine like that.
The Islamofascists and their boot-licking Dhimmit-wannabes are more dangerous to US interests that Mladic will ever be.
And the US military knows it, oh toothless one!
It must really tick you off to see the US and their traditional Serb allies together again. LOL!
Seriously, anyone who supports the ICTY and its use to blackmail the Serbs is either very ignorant or has something very wrong with him. After all, the ICTY is the brainchild of that fifth-columnist "supporter of sharia"Cherif Bassiouni!!!!
I'll bet that this is another instance in which our military is ahead of the curve in supporting a nation that has always been our ally, but which has been downgraded by the elitists in the State Department, the Congress, and the chattering classes that stand behind them. Ziveli Srbija!
This is amazing. We're playing both sides, supporting Independence and also working covertly for Kosovo not Kosova...and patching up things with the Serbs.......Turkey must be one confused nation about what we are really up too.
That will be the day, huhh?
Of course, reigning in potential Serbian "transgression" from reclaiming Kosovo might be another avenue for their new friends to keep a close eye on things..:)
Yes that will be the day....this is true.....
I just caught that there's still holdouts that could even cite anything factual or in reference to the ICTY. All rhetoric aside and being frank, the ICTY has virtually no credibility for virtually any of their cases. It's the same example as if the judges were ref's for the World Cup, Portugal vs France last night.....A certain sham and wash over an established agenda beyond international law and order.
It was a complete waste of time and money to even have the Hague.....do anything but maybe provide lunches for the judges and investigators.