“The day of remembrance of the victims of the NATO bombing was marked tonight in Aleksinac (Serbia), a city of great suffering during the 1999 aggression. The state ceremony was held on a hill outside the Center for Culture and Art, and was attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, numerous officials from Serbia and Republika Srpska, as well as victims’ families.

The air strikes of NATO forces on Serbia, or the then FRY, began on this day 19 years ago. Between 1,200 and 2,500 people died in 78 days.

‘Today is the first day of the most difficult 19 years of our country. From that first day of the bombing of a small, but proud country in the center of Europe. They hit a small country that defended what belongs to it. When 19 years have passed since this crime and there are no culprits, what is that crime called? What do we say today to which bombs, missiles, missiles were thrown away? What can I say here in Aleksinac, which has been bombarded and ravaged several times? What is it, someone’s bloody joke or someone’s bloody victim? How much was done against our people, and we should not raise our head, and we say that we were attacked and killed,’ said Vucic, pointing out that 2,500 people were killed in 2,500 strikes.” (translated from Blic)

“President Aleksandar Vucic told RTS late on Wednesday that he had ‘a number of difficult and strenuous meetings’ on Kosovo in the US over the past three days.

‘We are not only negotiating with the Albanians, but also with those who have created an independent Kosovo,’ Vucic said, adding that he ‘cannot talk too much about the meetings.’

He said he had ‘a series of marathon-length meetings’ and in the end met with UN chief Antonio Guterres.

‘I am satisfied with our work and effort, but not with the results. I was hoping for more understanding, I’m not satisfied with what I achieved. For a long time we have been talking about the future of Serbia, about Kosovo… We are trying to find a compromise solution, but the Albanian side is doing its job, and the international community its won. I am not pleased, because the Western powers are firmly committed to respect the preservation of the Kosovo’s independence,” Vucic said.

Vucic added that he ‘told Guterres that Serbia was ready to compromise, but not to sacrifice all of its interests.’

‘In order to prepare a platform for our citizens, I need to get the support of the international community for something. However, the West does not want in any way to talk about who Kosovo belongs to,’ Vucic said.

According to him, Serbia is today ‘paying the price of wrong decisions from the past – and there will be a lot of pressure on Serbia.’

‘Nothing is for free in any place, we will be paying for a long time. There will be great pressures, from different sides,’ he said.” (B92)

“Preparations for a historic handball match between political adversaries Serbia and Kosovo ended in chaos on Friday with the expulsion of the host nation after it canceled the fixture over security concerns.

The women’s Under-20 World Championship qualifier would have been the first documented sporting encounter between Serbia and its former province, which declared independence in 2008 and which Belgrade does not recognize as a nation state.

But Serbia’s Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic ordered the match to be scrapped over security concerns, a day after dozens of chanting youths carrying flares and national flags gathered outside the match venue.

 The European Handball Federation (EHF) had arranged the game, part of a four-team event, in consultation with Serbian authorities.

In light of Friday’s cancellation – which Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj called ‘unthinkable’ – it was expelling the Serbian team from the tournament, the EHF said in a statement.” (Reuters Canada)