Minister Vulin: There are few countries that, like Serbia, know the value of peace
Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin, accompanied by Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Ljubiša Diković, attended today the send-off ceremony for the infantry company and the force protection platoon of the 4th Army Brigade to the multinational operation in Lebanon at the First Infantry Regiment of Prince Miloš the Great barracks in Vranje.
Addressing the gathered peacekeepers and their families, Minister Vulin emphasized that they are soon to leave for a country that is divided by conflicts, hatred, in which the interests of the great and the powerful are refracted.
– There are few countries and few peoples like Serbia and the Serbian people who know the value of peace, because we know how many wars we participated in, because we know what it means when your country is broken down, when your people gets expelled, when you recognise your dearest ones in refugee columns. There are few peoples who understand the value of peace as the Serbian people understands. Therefore, you go to the place where you go having knowledge and awareness that peace is valuable and precious and that you are capable of keeping it – Minister Vulin said.
According to him, Serbia as a neutral country, that does not allow the conflict of the big and the powerful ones to become its conflict, is Serbia which is a trusted country.
– People for whom you will be keeping peace are people who must trust you. Your predecessors have earned confidence and respect, and it is up to you to preserve it, it is up to you that when you return to your country and your home, you leave behind you the same confidence and respect. We will wait for you, we will think about you, we will take care of how you spent the night, how was the morning, we will take care that you are well, knowing that there where you are you also think about us, you care about your families, your children and your Serbia. But while you are there, you will above all respect and guard the flag of the country that sent you, the country you exist for, the country you live for. Your task is to keep peace, but also to spread the honourable and glorious name of Serbia there as well and to return the flags that you are taking with you, crowned with glory and honour – Minister Vulin said.
In continuation of the ceremony, Minister Vulin handed over state flags to Major Bojan Stojanović, Infantry Company Commander, and Captain Bojan Paunović Force Protection Platoon Commander, who will be with the members of our contingent during their stay in the mission to Lebanon. Thanking for the honour received, Major Stojanović and Captain Paunović, on behalf of the contingent members, emphasised that they will carry it honourably being proud because they represent the Serbian Armed Forces.
A number of 175 members of the Serbian Armed Forces will be sent to the UNIFIL mission, within the 12th rotation, to keep peace within this multinational operation of the United Nations for the next six months.
Today's sending-off ceremony has been attended by the Army Commander Lieutenant General Milosav Simović with his associates, representatives of the state institutions, local self-governments, religious communities, as well as relatives, friends and fellow peacekeepers.
Speaking about the tasks that are ahead of our members in the mission in Lebanon, Major Bojan Stojanović, Infantry Company Commander, pointed out that this is his first participation in a multinational operation, and what he expects from this engagement is above all to gain new experience in working with members of other armed forces, which he will be able to apply when he returns to his unit.
– Our tasks will be related to the monitoring and implementation of the peace agreement between the Republic of Lebanon and the Republic of Israel, providing assistance to the Lebanese armed forces in taking over full responsibility in the southern part of Lebanon, protecting civilians and providing humanitarian aid to civilians in the area of operations – Major Stojanović stressed, especially pointing out the significance of comprehensive pre-deployment preparations.
Private First Class Maja Petrović is a member of the infantry company deployed to the multinational operation in the Republic of Lebanon.
– I feel privileged because this is a great honour for me and for all of us and we will behave there accordingly, decently presenting the image of members of the Serbian Armed Forces at any moment – Private First Class Petrović pointed out.
Major Radojica Radović is going to Lebanon to perform the duty of a logistics officer in the National Support Element.
– The mission itself is humane in its character, so we are leaving for the Republic of Lebanon in order to fulfil all the set tasks on time which is an extraordinary honour and a pride for us. We will accomplish the tasks so as to represent a commanding officer of the Serbian Armed Forces in a decent manner, as he really is – Major Radović emphasized.