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Continuation of the "Humanitarian assistance" project

07. October 2010. | 07:18

Source: Emg.rs

Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac and the US Ambassador Mary Burce Warlick visited yesterday the elementary school „Ivo Andric“ in Pranjani, near the town of Gornji Milanovac.

Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac and the US Ambassador Mary Burce Warlick visited yesterday the elementary school „Ivo Andric“ in Pranjani, near the town of Gornji Milanovac.

The occasion of the visit is the continuation of the „Humanitarian assistance“ project within which the US Government plans to donate 700.000 US dollars for the construction of the library and the finalization of the construction of the gym in the school in Pranjani.

This donation is another sign of gratitude to the inhabitants of this village in Sumadija, the central part of Serbia, who in WWII, during the Halyard operation, in 1944, rescued more than 500 American pilots who landed on this area.

Sutanovac expressed satisfaction because of the opportunity to attend the presentation of the donation of the U.S. Government. He said that this is not the first donation, and last year there were donations in Prokuplje and Soko Banja.

"This donation is unique, because it reminds us of the greatest feat in human history, the rescue mission of the US pilots from behind the enemy lines," said Sutanovac, adding that during the operation Halyard, the people from this place risking their own lives, saved more than 500 U.S. Air Force pilot .

"The courage of these pilots fighting in Europe was even outmatched by the courage of local people in Pranjani and the surrounding villages, who, by rescuing the American air men established a long-lasting relationship between the U.S. Army towards Serbia, thanks to which General Mihajlovic was awarded a medal after the Second World War.

The Defense Minister expressed his gratitude for the donation because it is extremely important for the school to get a gym, and it is equally important never to forget the Halyard operation, while this event should be used as a part of the history to promote US-Serbian relations.

"We are here today not only to remember the inhabitants, but also to build even stronger, new friendships based on old ones," said U.S. Ambassador Mary Warlick.

She added that "this concerns the future of Pranjani as well as the future of a rich European Serbia" and stressed that within the next month the U.S. government would provide some 700 000 USD for the reconstruction of schools and the construction of the gym.

Warlick said that this donation represents a pinnacle of a multi-year project of cooperation and assistance which includes the reconstruction of the Health Care Center in Pranjani, the largest in the rural parts of Serbia.

According to the Principal of the school Gorica Stanojevic, the construction of 1,600 square meters of the gym is planned to be completed by late next year. Besides providing conditions for gym classes, the facility will also be used for other purposes.

The School in Pranjani was visited by the representatives of the Air Force defense, the delegation of the U.S. Embassy, and the representatives of the local self-government.

Responding to a journalist's question, Sutanovac announced today that the defense system will focus on expanding and modernizing factory capacities of the Serbian defense industry to meet the demands in foreign markets.

“Every day we are awaiting for confirmation of agreements, the realization of which will generate billion USD.This is return will provide the export business for the defense industry during my term in the office," said the defense minister. He said that this applies not only to the defense industry sector, but also to a wider range of enterprises in Serbia.

"I think that our defense budget this year will enable us to provide capacity expansion and modernization of the defense industry to manufacture safer and faster," said Minister of Defence.

He recalled that the Serbian defense industry is now the largest exporter of arms and military equipment in South East Europe.

Announcing that soon a new arms production facility "Kovacica" in Valjevo would be launched, he added that there are plans to expand capacity and other defense industry factories.

In his words, there are plans to expand the capacities of those factories not within the defense system, yet partially linked to it by producing military products such as the Krusevac-based IMK 14 October and the Trstenik-based “Prva petoletka”.

This means that several thousands of workers of the defense industry will not have to worry about their existence and regular pay check as they will have their hands full. next year.


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