Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic waves to his supporters during a rally in the northern, Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo say the safety of Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic during a visit to Kosovo isn't threatened despite roadblocks that prevented his visit to a central Serb-populated village. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Serbian president's praise of Milosevic triggers outrage

September 10, 2018 - 7:12 am

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Serbian president's praise of Slobodan Milosevic as a "great" leader has triggered outrage in neighboring states where his nationalist policies in the 1990s caused bloodshed and destruction.

Aleksandar Vucic said in his keynote speech while visiting Kosovo's Serbs on Sunday that former Serbian president Milosevic "was a great Serbian leader" whose "aims were certainly the best."

Milosevic, who died in 2006 while on trial at a U.N. war crimes tribunal, is widely considered the most responsible for the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the death of at least 120,000 people in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said Monday that praising Milosevic was "a provocation."

Vucic, an ultranationalist during the wars in the Balkans, was Milosevic's information minister in 1999.