In front of the National Assembly a ceremonious promotion of new SAF officers was held today. This is the fourth generation of second lieutenants to be promoted in a ceremonious parade where they were presented to the citizens of Serbia
The ceremony was attended by the president of Serbia Boris Attic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, the ministers in the Serbian government, Chairperson of the Serbian Parliament Slavica Djukic Dejanovic, CHOD of SAF LTG Miloje MilEtic, Defense Minister of Turkey Mehmed Vecdi Gonul, the Minister of Defense of Montenegro Boro Vucinic and Montenegrin CHOD Vice Admiral Dragan Samardzic, top state and military officials, the representatives of the diplomatic corps and of the military diplomatic crops along with the representatives of religious communities, of the City of Belgrade and friends and families of the newly promoted officers.
The President of Serbia Boris Tadic said on this occasion that despite the challenges the world is facing today due to the global economic crisis which has affected almost all countries, Serbia has managed to preserve its economic and political stability.
This year has proved to be very dynamic and we can safely say that it has been very successful for our country and our diplomacy. We have managed to streamline our foreign policy through constant diplomatic efforts which are finally yielding results. We have rounded up the doctrine of our foreign policy where SAF make the main part of it.
Taking all of this into consideration, Serbia today has four pillars of foreign policy: EU, Russia, USA and China. This fact will be a basis for our long-term relations with these countries. We working continuously with US officials on improving our relations, and let me remind you that we signed the SOFA agreement which is the basis for the cooperation of Serbia with USA. The cooperation of SAF with the Ohio National Guard is at the highest level, as we have been cooperating with ONG for several years now. We have benefited largely from this cooperation, and this is why it is so important to us. Soon, just before my departure to attend the meeting of the UN General Assembly, I will leave for Ohio where I will meet with the representatives of ONG staff members to discuss further steps of our cooperation.
In our relations with the Russian Federation, there are certainly significant foreign policy and economic potentials we can tap into. The support of this country is immense in defending the integrity of our country in Kosovo and Metohija. We are expecting to enlarge the scope of cooperation with EU and the Russian federation as well, especially in the field of military education. China is most definitely the future economic leader and with this country we have managed to establish a strategic cooperation as the only country in Europe.
The Chinese COD has recently visited our country thus once again confirming the potentials of mutual cooperation both countries can benefit from. We opened the doors to cooperation in the fields of defense industry and military medicine.
I would like to remind all those objecting to such strategic partnerships that Serbia has in its recent past had many enemies, which is why we are not in a position today to spare a single friend.
In his address, Tadic proceeded to say that that our country would establish new political and economic partnerships as this is good for our country and our citizens. The policy opposing this, as the president estimated, would damage us immensely leading Serbia to isolation, and our economy into complete uncertainty, while the security of our country would be posed at risk which could have devastating consequences.
He reminded that many countries of the Non Aligned Movement are bound with historic friendship while our economy, predominantly our construction industry and defense industry, had an opportunity to renew the tradition of being present in these markets. In his words, Serbia is not making a change in strategy by becoming a member of the Non Aligned Nations Movement, but is rather trying to strengthen its influence at the international level, and by promoting international economic cooperation, it is hoping to open doors for the Serbian companies in these traditionally friendly markets.
The president said that Serbia was also renewing its military economy cooperation with the Middle East countries, where the President reminded that Serbia has concluded 400 million USD worth of agreements, while the talks on several new agreements were under way.
We should have no doubts-our main goal is obtaining EU membership. It is in the best interest of all the citizens in Serbia to become an equal and respected member of the European community of nations, and to be fully integrated with our economic and cultural potential. This is the political goal with no alternative.
I stress that these strategic partnerships only contribute rather than obstruct us on the path to reaching this goal. We are ready and committed to meeting all the conditions and to remove all obstacles on the road to EU.
As regards the cooperation with the ICTY, it will end with success as only this result will open possibilities for our country, our citizens, and their posterity. Much has been done in this respect so far the authorities are working 24/7 in order to bring this task to an end.
We are sincerely committed to good regional cooperation, and we have launched numerous regional initiatives. Serbia wishes to achieve stability and even better regional relations, our military is a factor of safety and stability and we will do everything in our power to keep it so in the future.
Serbia is protecting its national interests, its culture and identity taking care of our diaspora, while at the same time guaranteeing and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighboring countries, UN member states.
Another thing I would like to remind you of is that recently Belgrade has hosted the conference of Balkan CHODs which has assembles the top military men of Albania, BIH, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey and Serbia. Majority of these armies are now NATO member states.
We have opted to be an equal and full member of the Partnership for Peace Program hoping to improve our foreign policy by becoming fully integrated into PFP.
Military education is a firmly integrated system of study programs, military training and military specialist training of the commanding personnel, which is completely in line with the interoperability co9ncept. This will enable our officers to participate in peace missions and to work in an international environment.
The proof can be seen in deploying SAF members in the peace mission in Chad as well as the efforts to raise our capacities and to give our contribution in establishing peace at a global level, where our help is needed. It is a precondition for our credibility and an internationally defined obligation of every UN member.
The reform of our defense system is going as planned.
In the long run, the most important thing for the defense system is that we will have six legal projects entering the Parliamentary procedure, including the national security strategy and the strategy of defense.
The most important thing for us is the finalization of the professionalizing the army as it will result in having trained professional soldiers who want the military to be their life and profession.
As for our cooperation with the international forces in the south of our country, I can say that it is at a satisfactory level, as we are committed to peace and we want safety for all the citizens of Serbia.
Serbia will never under any conditions accept the independence of Kosovo, while at the same time the Government will strive to find practical solutions to many issues of daily life.
We stand firmly by our stance that a compromise should be reached in solving the Kosovo issue, and this could be done solely through new negotiations, after the decision of the International Justice Tribunal. This is how we take care of the Serbian population which is under constant threat in Kosovo.
The right to being different is the precondition of a free society. Here I would like to stress once again that Serbia is and will be a free, independent, safe and democratic country. The Republic of Serbia state organs will respond to any kind of violence and endangering of basic human and democratic rights in line with their legal authorization. Only the state can have the right to employ force, and the state will do protect its citizens, regardless of their religious, national, sexual or political views. This means that the state will never allow violence, and Serbia is and will remain the state of liberty and peace for all those who live in it.
Concluding his address, Tadic addressed the youngest officers once again reminding them of his words after successful completion of Diplomac final demo exercise-that their main task is to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty, and that our policy is peaceful and responsible.
- Now, as the President of Serbia I can only but say to you these words: I ask from you to defend Serbia and to preserve peace and order. I am grateful to all SAF members for reaffirming the military calling. Once again it is an honour to be a solider in Serbia. The President of Serbia congratulated the promotion with: Long live Serbia!
President Tadic presented sabers, which is already a tradition, to those first, second and third in their class-namely to Sec. Lt. Milan Kovacevic, Bojan Tanaskovski and to Milutin Mojsilovic.
Minister Sutanovac awarded the guns with inscription to the top students of 129th and 130th classes in the Army, AF & AD battalions and the Logistics battalion-to Filip Stosic, Nikola Dimitirijevic and Momir Stankovic respectively.
The Head of the Military Academy Brig. Gen. Mladen Vuruna thanked all those who came to the ceremony as well as to al the citizens who gathered to see the new SAF officers thus making today’s event even more glorious. The Military Academy has performed all its tasks in the previous year.
In the Military Grammar School where we educate 300 students, 33rd class has just finished its education, where the best among them continued education in the Military Academy. This year too we sent one student of the Military Grammar School to the US Grammar School. IN MA basic studies, we educate 700 students for the Army, AF and AD, logistics and the flotilla. This May the academy received confirmation that it had obtained certificate on accreditation of the institution and its study programs. We managed to harmonize our study programs with the university level educational institutions in our country, which ranks MA as one of the higher education institutions in Serbia.
He stressed that the MA students could choose from five study programs in undergraduate studies, while MSC studies are also going to a possibility soon. In the School of National Defense, as Vuruna remarked, as the top military educational institution. All the commanders of SAF as well as of BH, Montenegro, Macedonia and Russia have come to attend the study programs.
The chief actors of today’s promotion were the students of 129th and 130th class of Army, Air Force departments who finished their five-year, that is, four-year education with a GPA of 8.07 on a ten point scale (Serbian university grading system).
They have demonstrated their skills in international conferences home and abroad, in competing in the knowledge international humanitarian law, and at their final exam-the tactical demo exercise which they successfully passed. They are now ready for their initial posts, and they have demonstrated that they have rightfully earned their diplomas.
Sec. LT. Milan Kovacevic in a traditional address of a top of his class student said that his generation was ready for all tasks each country posed before their soldiers.
We stand ready to follow in our traditional paths and to improve the tradition of the Serbian army in the new age, facing all new challenges. On this joyous and glorious day, we ant to extend our gratitude to all those who stood by us in these years of training, and studying, and let me assure you that we will demonstrate that the trust you deposited in us was not in vain.
The parade was also marked with the flight of SAF planes, namely, mig 29 and orao and supergaleb.
A special attraction was a special flag, a gift of our famous tennis player Novak Djokovic which was held by the members of the Guard.
The first generation of the basic studies of the Military medical Academy had for the first time paraded as part of sub echelons of our army.
The ceremony ended with the address of pilot Major Milomir Miljkovic flying MIG 29, and with a traditional throwing of hats.
The number of classes was 4200-5200 and 41-56 exams. The realization of studies including the grading process was conducted in line with the university standards.