In a meeting in Belgrade on October 20th, the top two military officers of the United States and Serbia resolved to seek greater cooperation between their national militaries. U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen and Serbian Chief of Defense General Zdravko Ponos also agreed to continue to work together towards regional stability.
The positive outcomes of this visit reflect a willingness on both sides to improve bilateral ties, despite disagreements over Kosovo. The United States is committed to seeing Serbia become both a regional leader and an active, integrated member in Euro-Atlantic institutions. A closer relationship between the U.S. and Serbian militaries will help advance these objectives.
The Serbian military sends many of its officers to U.S. war colleges, and conducts military exercises with the Ohio National Guard. The Serbian army wants to modernize, and the United States can help.
But most importantly, both sides agree that regional stability and security are a top priority. Admiral Mullen noted that "we are in complete agreement on the success of the military-to-military engagements, not just on paper, but also on the ground, where we are able to exchange and assist and make a difference for the future," said Admiral Mullen. "Most importantly, what we continue to agree on is that the developments occur in an environment that does not have violence in it, and we continue to move ahead peacefully with respect to Kosovo and, indeed, the region."