Former NY mayor helping Serbia’s nationalists

Apr 20, 2012, 5:50 PM

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, plans to become an adviser to Serbian nationalists who were once allied with the late Slobodan Milosevic if they win next month’s election in Belgrade.

Giuliani said Friday that he and his consulting company will be advising Serbian Progressive Party officials on how to run the capital if they take power in the May 6 vote.

“I’ve seen cities turn around,” Giuliani said at a joint press conference with top Serbian Progressive Party officials. “I am very excited at helping you do that.”

The party is challenging the ruling pro-EU coalition at the polls, accusing the current government and the Belgrade city authorities of corruption and poor economic policies. The party were apparently hoping that Giuliani’s visit will help boost their chances in the vote.

The visit, however, angered Belgrade’s current mayor, Dragan Djilas, who blasted the former New York mayor for his support of NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serbia and its capital. Djilas said Giuliani “is not the man to speak about the future of Belgrade.”

Interior Minister Ivica Dacic also said “we do not need foreigners to tell us what’s good for Serbia.”

“They have their own elections and should conduct politics there,” he said.

Giuliani said his company advises “on how to improve and help create economic development here in Belgrade the way I did in New York and the way I’ve done in a number of other cities.”

Asked about the U.S.-led bombing in 1999 over Kosovo, Giuliani said this was “long time ago.”

“America and Serbia should be good friends,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Former NY mayor helping Serbia’s nationalists