BELGRADE – Serbian Ministry of Defense will continue to promote defense cooperation with the U.S. army, including joint military exercises and training of troops, Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic said Wednesday.
“We will continue to strengthen and promote cooperation with the U.S., with a focus on activities under the jurisdiction of the Serbian General Staff. This primarily refers to practical forms of cooperation, joint military exercises and training of troops, which are aimed at increasing the level of operational capabilities of the Serbian army,” Gasic said in a meeting with Chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau General Frank Grass, Defense Ministry stated in a release.
Gasic voiced his satisfaction at the military cooperation with the U.S., describing it as the best and most advanced part of the two countries’ bilateral relations.
The minister thanked the people and government of the United States for the support and assistance provided to Serbia during the catastrophic floods that swept through the country in May.
General Grass agreed with Gasic that the bilateral military cooperation is at a high level and announced that U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will visit Serbia next month.
Gasic and Grass underlined that projects such as Humanitarian Assistance are important for developing friendly relations between Serbia and the United States.
Serbia’s defense minister proposed that a similar project be launched in one of the Serbian municipalities hit by the May floods.
Gasic thanked the U.S. official for the expert and financial support to the expansion of the military base Jug (South), noting that the base, located near the southern Serbian town of Bujanovac, should start operating at full capacity in 2015.
The meeting was attended by Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby and Commander of the Ohio National Guard Major General Deborah Ashenhurst.