It has emerged that Tony Blair is being paid to advise the Serbian Government, despite being one of the leading proponents in NATO’s bombing campaigns against Belgrade during the Kosovo War.
Blair has signed a contract to advise Serbia’s prime minister Aleksandar Vucic 16 years after the two were on opposite sides of the Balkan conflict.
Aleksandar Vucic, was Slobodan Milosevic’s information minister at the time of the Kosovo conflict and had previously been an outspoken critic of Blair, even listed as an editor of the 2005 book ‘English Gay Fart Tony Blair’.
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According to Serbian officials, the deal was paid for by the United Arab Emirates, which raises doubts over Blair’s ability to operate as a neutral envoy in the Middle East.
The Guardian reports:
Now Vucic and Blair find themselves on the same side, under a contract sealed by Blair’s private consultancy to set up a “delivery unit” paid for, according to Serbian official sources, by the United Arab Emirates.
It is likely to infuriate not just Serbs who resent Blair’s role in the bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia, but also opponents of his expanding business interests in the Middle East. Critics say personal concerns, including financial ties to Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, are undermining his posting as official envoy in the Middle East for the Quartet – the UN, US, Russia and EU.
Two senior Serbian officials have said Abu Dhabi is funding Tony Blair Associates’ latest advisory role with their government.
Blair and his team have made regular visits to Belgrade in recent months, Serbian government sources say, including for a lecture by the former Downing Street head of press Alastair Campbell at the end of January.