Priority in the work of Anthony Godfrey, the new US ambassador to Belgrade, in the coming period will be to help Serbia become part of the European Union. To achieve this, Godfrey and his team will invest time and all available resources. The first man at the US Embassy in Belgrade announced this at a conference “US-Yugoslavia-Serbia Alliance: Cold War, Positive Aspects of US-Serbian Cooperation Through History” held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade, organized by the Atlantic Council of Serbia . Godfrey emphasized that the special advisers of President Trump, Matthew Palmer and Richard Grenell are the most dedicated to the European integration of Serbia.
In his speech, US diplomat in Belgrade said that the US commitment to Serbia’s entry into the European Union is in line with US interests in the Western Balkans, namely peace, prosperity and democracy for all who live in that country. The USA is an important part of Europe. After an introductory speech, Godfrey answered questions to the reporters at the conference. Among other things, he thanked the Serbian leadership for maximum transparency regarding the purchase of weapons, which was presented to the US Embassy in Belgrade and to Thomas Zarzeck, the State Department’s special ambassador in charge of arms control. Ivica Dacic, Serbian Foreign Minister, also spoke at the introductory part of the event. He reminded, among other things, that US-Serbian foreign policy cooperation dates back to 1881 and during 140 years, as long as it lasted, it had bright and dark moments as well. Dacic recalled July 1918, when then-US President Woodrow Wilson, in an effort to recognize Serbian people for their brave struggle during World War I, ordered Serbian flags to be displayed on the White House and on all US state buildings. Dacic emphasized that strengthening the US-Serbia relationship is one of the priorities of the Serbian government, adding that it is a sign of appreciation of the US position in the international world.
Another speakers at the conference were also political analyst Dragomir Andjelkovic, as well as John Capello, president of the Halliard Foundation. The theme of their talks was Operation Halliard, during which serbian peasants from the Pranjane village, members of the Ravnogorsk Movement together with members of the US intelligence service OSS rescued more than 500 US pilots in 1944, at the end of World War II. Andjelkovic recalled US intelligence officer and one of the participants in Operation Halliard, Colonel McDowell, and his efforts for appreciation of Draza Mihajlovic and the Ravnogorsk Movement in a different way. Historian Bojan Dimitrijevic also spoke at a conference of the Atlantic Council of Serbia. He informed the audience that the United States in the period between 1951 and 1957 donated a huge amount of weapons with latest technology to Yugoslavia and the Yugoslavian Army at that time. He said that it was during the Cold War and that the aid was so valuable that it included cannons, tanks and jet planes. However, US donations were discontinued in 1957, following President Tito’s order. He demanded this because it did not go along with Yugoslavian neutral and independent foreign policy.