By handing over letters of credit to the President of Serbia, the new US ambassador to Belgrade, Anthony Godfrey has officially taken office these days. In his first address to the audience, which was in Serbian, he stated:
“The United States of America are very appreciative of the friendship and personal relationships that we have built for over a century, which connect our two nations. We are now at the beginning of a particularly important period of this friendship. As an ambassador, I will devote myself to working with you and the Government of Serbia to help Serbia achieve its goal for joining European integration. We share your belief that Serbia has the potential to be an example of prosperity and peace in this region. ”
Godfrey added that President Vucic and Serbia can be proud of the economic progress made by all international financial institutions. He also said that the US wants to help that progress as well as regional co-operation because it will allow better relations in the Western Balkans. Otherwise, before his arrival in Serbia, Godfrey spoke about America’s future relations with Serbia in front members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. He noted that he was aware of Russia’s aggressive behavior, its malignant influence and the misinformation campaign Russia is spreading throughout Europe. In his words, the team he led at the US embassy in Moscow was an important part of America’s efforts to counter the Russian campaign of expanding its influence and misinformation, which he believes will help him successfully lead the US embassy in Serbia. Speaking about the situation in Serbia, Godfrey stated threats to journalists in Serbia as one of biggest problems. He said that they influence the work of the representatives of the “Seventh Force” and prevent them from informing the public. The new US ambassador to Belgrade has announced that he will assist partners in Serbia in strengthening democratic institutions, protecting minority community rights, fighting corruption and strengthening media and journalistic freedoms.
“Serbia has enormous and untapped opportunities because of its educated workforce, good standing and hospitality. Strengthening legality and intensifying the fight for the rule of law will help Serbia continue to attract investors and stop young and educated people from leaving”, Godfrey added.