Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday thanked his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, for being the only foreign leader who visited Serbia in a show of support during the NATO bombings in 1999BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2019) Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday thanked his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, for being the only foreign leader who visited Serbia in a show of support during the NATO bombings in 1999.
"I am very happy to see you in Serbia. We will never forget, dear friend, your visit in 1999. You were the only world leader who, when Serbia faced hardship, when it was attacked, came to our country and wanted to show how much [Belarus] loved the Serbian people and our Serbia," Vucic said before the meeting behind closed doors.
"We hold similar views on the world agenda, actively cooperate in international organizations. Belarus's position on the issue of the territorial integrity of your state does not change," the Belarusian president said.
"If we can help you with something, you say and we will definitely do it. In turn, we count on the support of our Serbian friends on issues of fundamental importance to us," the leader said.
On March 24, 1999, bypassing approval from the UN Security Council, NATO launched a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia to intervene in the armed confrontation between the Kosovo Liberation Army, an ethnic-Albanian militia that had supported Kosovo's independence since the 1990s, and the Serbian forces. The NATO operation ended on June 10 with an estimated 2,500 people, including 89 children, killed during the campaign.
The military operation was based on the Western countries' allegations that the Yugoslavian government had carried out ethnic cleansing in Kosovo against Albanians. It remains a controversial subject among the Albanian people, who see NATO's interference to have been a protective measure, and Serbs, who condemn the operation for killing civilians in the airstrikes.