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Friday, September 08, 2006

US, Serbia Ink Military Cooperation Accord

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE | Fri, September 8th, 2006, 01:00

The United States and Serbia signed Sept. 7 an agreement on military cooperation between the countries seven years after US aircraft bombed Serbia to stop attacks on Albanians in Kosovo.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Serbian President Boris Tadic initialed the accord which foresees the eventual deployment of U.S. troops on Serbian soil and the training of Serb soldiers in the United States, the State Department said.

Rice underlined the “tremendous transformation” between Serbia and Washington in recent years.

”It is only fitting because Serbia and the United States have enjoyed good cooperation,” she said. “And I look forward to the deepening of our defense relationship and indeed the deepening of our friendship.
Tadic called the military relationship the first step in expanding bilateral relations, especially on the economic front.

”Without cooperation in the defense sector, we are not going to have cooperation in the economy on the high level,” he said.

In 1999 U.S. forces led a NATO bombing campaign against Serbia to force Slobodan Milosevic to pull his troops out of Kosovo and protect Albanian refugees.
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