Pentagon to open liaison office in Serbia

May 23, 2007 at 11:53 AM
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BELGRADE, Serbia, May 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. armed forces will open an office in Belgrade in a bid to widen military cooperation with Serbia, Belgrade media said Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Zdravko Ponos, head of the Serbian army general staff, this week met in Washington with U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Serbia's RTS radio-television reported.

Serbian officials in Belgrade said it was the first such meeting between the two countries' heads of the general staff in 50 years.

Ponos told reporters the two sides agreed to open the office in Belgrade aimed at boosting cooperation in education and training of military personnel.

He said such offices do not exist in all states and its opening in Belgrade indicates the rising trend in U.S.-Serbian military cooperation.

Serbia joined NATO's Partnership for Peace cooperation program in December when NATO opened its office in Belgrade to assist reforms of Serbia's armed forces and movement of the alliance's troops to Kosovo province.

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