Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic met on Thursday in Belgrade with former Prime Minister of UK Tony Blair. The topic of the meeting was the process of joining the European Union.
“We had an excellent conversation. I asked Blair for specific assistance in the process of European integrations, and I received assurances that he is ready to help the Serbian government with his reputation and contacts,” Vucic told Friday’s issue of daily “Blic”.
Vucic presented to Blair the political and economic reforms the Serbian government plans to implement in the coming period, the paper reported, adding that Vucic and Blair agreed to hold similar meetings in the future as well.
Erase/Rewind: Blair says he played a key role in NATO bombing of Yugoslavia – B92/BBC/Tanjug 2000
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has stated that he played a key role in NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.
Blair said that he insisted on a military solution to the point where it out a lot of pressure on his personal relationship with then U.S. President Bill Clinton.
His book titled “A Journey” contains a 30-page chapter “Kosovo”, where he described his role in the NATO bombing of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), which he said came because of “ethnic cleansing”, the BBC reported.
In Blair’s opinion, he played a key role in the military intervention. He also wrote that he did not have a big support while advocating a military solution for the Kosovo crisis.
He persuaded Clinton to take part in aerial bombardments even though Americans were reluctant, as it was hard to sell the story to the domestic public, since unlike in Afghanistan and Iraq, it was hard to see what direct American interests were in Kosovo.
Blair also writes that Clinton criticized him for allegations in the U.S. press that he was exerting pressure on the U.S. to accept sending ground troops to Kosovo if the aerial attacks failed but that he eventually agreed to it.
His insistence on a military solution generally comes down to his already known position about the so-called humanitarian interventions, BBC says.
The former PM writes that his main motive for advocating military solution was “anger over what was happening in Kosovo at the time”.
“I saw it essentially as a moral issue. And that, in a sense, came to define my view on foreign and military intervention.”
According to BBC, the former British PM is not sorry about any decision from that time. For example, he is not sorry about the fact that NATO missiles hit “a civilian convoy” – but he did not specify which one…
Erase/Rewind: NATO Bombing – Various sources scraping 1999
“NATO deeply regrets” the death of five people when missiles fell 600m short of their target and hit residences in the mining town of Aleksinac on April 5.
“NATO deeply regrets” the death of at least ten people when NATO jets hit a Yugoslav passenger train travelling from Belgrade to Salonika on a bridge near Leskovac on April 12.
“NATO deeply regrets” the deaths of 80 people which occurred when NATO attacked two refugee columns in Western Kosovo on April 14.
“The pilot attacked what he believed to be military vehicles,” said Mr Shea (spokesman for NATO, as reported on 1999-04-15 by the BBC). “He dropped his bomb in good faith, as you would expect of a trained pilot from a democratic country. … The bomb destroyed the lead vehicle, which we now believe to have been a civilian vehicle.” …
Erase/Rewind: “Tony Blair – English gay crap”
“Tony Blair, on the occasion of the events in Northern Ireland, said that no country, I quote none – not even the United Kingdom can allow that someone kills its army and police. Blair, I guess, exempts only Serbia, so Serbian army and police can be beaten and killed by anyone who wants to do so. Isn’t that the best example of the policy of double standards? (…)
Foreign agencies that lead a special war against Serbian people have managed to recruit some Serbian politicians who now brag about having the support of world powers. They are maybe the best in the world, loved by America very much, loved by Madeleine Albright very much, loved by Gerhard Schröder and others very much, they are so beautiful, they only have one problem – our people do not like them, the people won’t have them.
Enemies of Serbia, who killed our citizens and destroyed our country, have decided, at any cost, via media aggression and occupation, to provide the widest possible support to their servants in Serbia. Our goal is to prove who are the mercenaries and to explain what will happen to Serbia if Americans succeed in conquering it and bring their servants to power. Serbia would not exist,” Aleksandar Vucic for “Velika Srbija”, 2000.