To set the stage, then, and in deference to our hosts, I'd like to say a word about the context in which we're working on CT issues here in Belgrade and with our Serbian partners.
As you know, we are currently celebrating 125 years of relations between the US and Serbia. The vast majority of those years we have worked as friends and allies.
It is of course no secret that our relationship now is facing some challenges over the Kosovo issue. But that issue alone cannot supplant a 125-year track record of cooperation and shared goals, especially on the security front.
Indeed, it is important to note that even while we work out our differences over Kosovo, we have worked hard together to build an ever-stronger security relationship, with particular strides in the last three years.
This continuing partnership is what we see as the model for our relations in the future in all areas. In the security sector, it will be particularly so.
And I say Security Sector, because we see CT issues as part of a broader security dialogue both bilaterally with Serbia and in the region more generally.
Regionally, we count Serbia among our partners in developing a number of joint security initiatives. The biggest headliner here is, of course, the Partnership for Peace.
We have just welcomed Serbia into the ranks of partnership countries, and expect great things from this participation, in terms of sharing of information and experience, joint training, and developing interoperability among the region's security forces.
In a similar vein, we are working with Serbia and other friends in the region in developing the Proliferation Security Initiative, which provides similar training and information sharing opportunities to customs, immigration, police, military and other officials.
In addition, the US military has for several years now, through the Marshall Center's Joint Contact Training Programs, offered security professionals from throughout the region a chance to come together in one place to learn from each others' experiences and talk about common threats and concerns.
We have worked hard over the past three years to make sure Serbia can take advantage of all these programs, and our Serbian partners have been equally active in exploiting these opportunities.
We have similar programs on a bilateral level,
Whether we're talking about our State Partnership Program that pairs our Ohio National Guard with counterparts from Serbia, or
Our Export Control and Border Security Program, which provides extensive training and equipment for Serbian police, customs, arms control, and other officials, or even
Our ICITAP program through our department of justice, which trains Serbian law enforcement alongside the FBI and other US and European law enforcement officers.
All of these programs are designed to improve the capabilities of Serbian security officers to do their jobs, and to do them in cooperation with their neighbors and their PfP partners.
And virtually all these programs include elements critical to CT issues - from border control to interdiction of illicit goods, money, and people to mechanisms for information sharing.
Through these programs we are working to build capacity - to create a web of interoperable regional security forces, with good, open communications, that can work together to stop the spread of terrorism. And this is of course supplemented by other efforts outside the military and law enforcement sector that, for instance, block sources of and access to financing for terrorists. As capacity is built, we will be able to expand these programs to include the new threats of the 21st century - threats to our information and communications infrastructure.
We are confident Serbia will continue to be an important part of these programs, and we'll continue to work beside them. The US is committed to going as far and as fast as Serbia chooses to go in cooperating in the security sector.