"All friends of Serbia invited to military parade"
Bratislav Gašić says "all friends of Serbia, including the U.S. president and the British prime minister" have been invited to an upcoming military parade.Source: Tanjug
The defense minister spoke on Tuesday in reference to the event scheduled for October 16, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade in the Second World War.
"The allies of the Serbian Army and the former Yugoslav People's Army, U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have also been invited, "Gašić told reporters presenting flood relief donations to families of army members.
Answering reporters' questions, the defense minister said that there was "no pressure from the West urging the authorities not to organize the event," and added that "all friends are welcome at the military parade."
The Serbian capital was liberated from the Nazi occupation on October 20, 1944 by the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia and the Red Army, and the 2014 military parade will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
3,000 troops, and Strizhi
The military parade to mark 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade in World War II will be held in front of the Palace of Serbia and on the Danube River, gathering around 3,000 members of the Serbian Army (VS) and the Defense Ministry.
A parade of units accompanied by tanks, APCs, planes and helicopters of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Serbia will be staged at the plateau in front of the Palace of Serbia, while ships and boats of the River Flotilla would sail down the Danube.
The parade is organized by the Defense Ministry and the Serbian Army as envisaged in the decision of the Serbian president. At the instruction issued by the defense minister, the commander of the parade will be Chief of the VS General Staff General Ljubiša Diković.
The military parade will be organized in Serbia for the first time since 1985, and it will include over 300 different mobile armament units and military equipment, spokesman of the Defense Ministry and the Serbian Army Jovan Krivokapić told Tanjug on Monday.
He noted that the military parade would open by the honorary artillery salute, while the central part of the ceremony would comprise the parade of the Serbian Army units.
According to Krivokapić, the parade will consist of infantry, motorized and aviation echelons, while the ships of the River Flotilla would sail down the Danube River from the Kalemegdan Fortress to Gardoš in Zemun.
Visitors will be able to see the flags of units that took part in the liberation of Belgrade in World War II, regimental flags from World War I and current flags of the Serbian Army.
Krivokapić announced "a particularly interesting foray of the Strizhi Russian Acrobatic Air Team and the parachute landing demonstration performed by 30 paratroopers."