Djuric: Serbia and the US work together and make plans for the future

Marko Đurić
Source: Ambasada Srbije u SAD

The Ambassador of Serbia to the US, Marko Djuric, hosted a formal reception in the new embassy building in Washington on the occasion of the Day of Serbian Statehood and the Day of the Serbian Armed Forces, which was attended by acting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Martin McDowell, Ohio National Guard Commander General John Harris, Congressman Eric Swalwell, and other officials.

Welcoming the present officials and representatives of the diplomatic and military corps, Serbian Ambassador to the US Marko Djuric said that Serbia and America had come a long way together during the previous 142 years of diplomatic relations. As two historical figures who are considered the fathers of our nations, he singled out George Washington and Karadjordje Petrovic, drawing symbolic parallels in their abilities as statesmen and military leaders, announced the Embassy of Serbia in the US.

"There are three basic parallels between Karadjordje and George Washington. First, both were outstanding military commanders, highly respected among their people. Secondly, both of them led their people to victories and the establishment, that is, the restoration of statehood. The third parallel would be that both leaders are responsible for the establishment of democratic institutions in their countries. Therefore, I believe that this is only the beginning of the parallels between the spirit and the foundations on which our nations base their existence," Djuric pointed out.

He added that today there were many reasons to be proud because Serbia and the US were working together and making plans for the future.

"Serbia and the US are working intensively on improving economic relations and connecting our companies. In the last three months alone, we organized the arrival of two large delegations with dozens of American companies who visited Serbia and got acquainted with the possibilities and opportunities for the growth of our foreign trade exchange and the strengthening of the economic and industrial capacities of cooperation,” Djuric underlined.

Speaking as a representative of the US Armed Forces, Major General John Harris, commander of the Ohio National Guard, recalled the great contributions and sacrifices of the Serbs in the fight for freedom, justice, and solidarity in world history.

"Serbia is our respected partner and friend, and we congratulate you on your achievements, both in the past and in the future on your European journey," Harris said.

He also indicated that he was personally very proud of the 17-year-long partnership and friendship between the Ohio National Guard and the Serbian Army through the State Partnership Program, underlining the excellent personal, professional, and friendly relationship with the Chief of Staff of the Serbian Army, General Milan Mojsilovic.

Expressing his gratitude to Ambassador Djuric and the Embassy in Washington for the extraordinary cooperation with the State Department, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Martin McDowell announced that, in the second half of this year, the arrival of the first Serbian diplomat was expected, who, based on the Memorandum between the two ministries, will be temporarily assigned to the position of liaison officer in the State Department and thus contribute to a better understanding of foreign policy services.

"Tonight we celebrate the anniversary of Serbia's statehood, but also the strategic partnership between our citizens, which is aimed not only at a stable, safe, and more prosperous future for the citizens of Serbia but also for all the people of the Western Balkans," McDowell concluded.

The reception was also attended by Congressman Eric Swalwell who during his address emphasized that the relations between Serbia and the US were growing and developing.

Among the dignitaries at the ceremony at the Embassy of Serbia were US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Spencer Boyer, former Acting Assistant US Secretary of State, Ambassador Philip Ricker, then ambassadors and defense envoys of European and regional countries, Consul General of the Republic of Serbia in Chicago Damjan Jovic, as well as numerous representatives of international organizations, non-governmental sector, business and diplomatic community in Washington.