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  • Biden greeted in Serbia by radicals chanting

    Biden greeted in Serbia by radicals chanting "Trump". | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 August 2016

The leader of Serbia’s ultra-nationalist Radical Party said Trump would end old power centers in the U.S., and urged Serbian-Americans to vote for him.

Hundreds of Serbian ultra-nationalists protested on Tuesday against U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Belgrade by chanting their support for Donald Trump.

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"Vote for Trump! Vote for Trump!" the protesters, wearing T-shirts displaying an image of the U.S. Republican candidate, shouted as they gathered near the Serbian presidency building.

Biden was on a one-day visit to Belgrade before traveling to Kosovo to encourage both countries to do more to normalize their relations.

The United States is highly popular among Kosovars, who regard Washington as their savior for the 1999 air strikes that were ostensibly waged to halt the killings of ethnic Albanians by Serbian forces waging a counterinsurgency against CIA-backed ethno-nationalist Kosovar insurgents.

However, resentment remains high in Belgrade over NATO's air strikes, which resulted in tens of billions of U.S. dollars in damage and hundreds of lost lives.

"Trump is the alternative to globalization. He will destroy old centers of power in the United States and he is a supporter of Russia," Vojislav Seselj, head of Serbia's ultra-nationalist Radical Party, said when asked why he was backing Trump.

Seselj was acquitted in March of war crimes by the U.N. tribunal in The Hague. Seselj's Radicals are the third largest party in the Serbian parliament. He urged Serbian-Americans to vote for Trump in the November U.S. presidential election.

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Bosnian survivors of the 1992-95 civil war reacted with dismay in March to the acquittal of Seselj, who was accused of stoking murderous ethnic hatred with fiery rhetoric in the conflicts that accompanied federal Yugoslavia's break-up into seven successor states and killed over 130,000 people in the fratricidal conflict.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Serbia does not recognize the autonomous province as sovereign. Conflicts between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs have continued to seethe within the landlocked Balkan state.

Trump's volatile campaign, which has included calls for a border wall with Mexico to keep out immigrants and a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, has pricked the interest of some right-wing and nationalist leaders abroad.

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