On the occasion of the ceremonies held in Paris on 11 November 2018, the French government excluded the President of Serbia from the main tribune. This was for reasons for protocol. In contrast, Hashim Thaçi, President of Kosovo — a State that did not exist at this time — was given a prominent position close to the French President, Emmanuel Macron.

It was to provide help to Serbia that France entered the First World War.

Serbia lost a quarter of its population during the Great War. Serbian and French soldiers fought side by side on the Eastern Front and their bodies rest together in the cemeteries of Thessaloniki, Monastir, Skoplje and Belgrade.

France and Serbia have a long tradition of friendship. This played an important role during the wars of Yugoslavia. Our friend and former collaborator, Commander Pierre-Henri Bunel, was secretly charged by President Jacques Chirac of delivering the plans for NATO bombings to a Yugoslav colonel in Brussels. He was then arrested in Brussels by the Atlantic Alliance for spying. Judged in France, he was solemnly condemned before being discreetly freed some months later. He was decorated by Serbia in 2013.

Elected President of the Serbian Republic in the first round of the 2017 election, Aleksandar Vučić, is a former minister of Slobodan Milošević and a former leader of the Serbian Radical Party. Today, he defends a position of making peace with Kosovo and supports Serbia’s integration into the European Union.

For years, France and Serbia have multiplied their joint commemorations of the Great War, that is, until the ceremony of 11 November 2018. However the later was a moment of historical revisionism orchestrated by Nato.

Faced with the emotion stirred up in Serbia, the French ambassador in Belgrade, Frédéric Mondoloni, apologized to President Vučić.

Anoosha Boralessa