Belgrade mayor accuses Giuliani of "supporting bombing"

BELGRADE -- Belgrade Mayor Dragan Đilas said on Friday that "Rudolph Giuliani should not speak about Belgrade's future as a man who supported the bombing of Serbia".

Dragan Đilas in Mali Mokri Lug (Tanjug)
Dragan Đilas in Mali Mokri Lug (Tanjug)

Đilas was referring to the 1999 war launched by NATO against Serbia. Rudy Giuliani, legendary former New York City mayor, is today in Belgrade on the invitation of the opposition SNS party.

The Belgrade mayor, who is also a high ranking official of the ruling Democrats (DS), spoke in the suburb of Mali Mokri Lug, where he was today handing out keys to their new apartments to 20 internally displaced and refugee families who previously lived in collective centers.

Tanjug is reporting that Đilas was attending the ceremony along with members of the family of Vlade Divac, whose humanitarian organization is spearheading efforts to provide housing for refugees, as well as representatives of the embassy of the United States in Belgrade.

According to Đilas, Giuiliani, while New York City mayor in 1999, supported NATO's attacks and deemed that there was "genocide" taking place in Kosovo and Metohija.

"It is because of such attitudes that these people (refugees) lived in collective centers for the past 13 years. I respect his role as the mayor of New York and his successes there, but I believe he is not someone who should speak about the future of Belgrade," said he, and added that "those who brought Giuliani to Belgrade to show him the 'Belgrade on the Water' project, could also have shown him the buildings destroyed in the bombing".

"I wish him a pleasant stay in Belgrade and a safe trip out of Belgrade," Đilas was quoted as saying.

Giuiliani is in Belgrade this Friday on the invitation of Đilas' rival in the mayoral race - Aleksandar Vučić, of the opposition Serb Progressives (SNS).

Parliamentary, local and presidential elections will be held in Serbia on May 6.