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From the Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, 8th March, 2000:

Novi Sad puzzled By Nato

Citizens of Norwich's Serbian twin do not understand why they were targeted by Nato bombers during the Kosovo conflict, their leader said last night. Novi Sad, which was badly damaged during last year's conflict, has an administration run by political opponents of President Slobodan Milosevic.

Speaking yesterday in Norwich, Dr Predrag Filipov, president of the executive board of the city's council, said: "The citizens of Novi Sad can't understand and accept that although they have expressed their dedication to opposition government, they have been so severely damaged during the war."

But Dr Filipov, who is on a five-day visit to Norwich, said the people of the Serbian city were grateful for the support they had received from their twin city, and singled out Peter and Diana Beckley, of Norfolk and Norwich Novi Sad Association, for special thanks.

He said that while the city was being rebuilt and life was returning to normal, the Milosevic government had continue to pose problems. "The regime is accusing us of co-operating with the West that was bombing us so severely, and is using it to our disadvantage," he said.

Foreign aid destined for the city had been delayed by the Milosevic regime, leading to frustration among the citizens.

Dr Filipov is being accompanied on his visit to Norwich by three other officials from Novi Sad. Today they will be visiting the site of the new district hospital at Colney.

© Eastern Counties Newspapers Transcribed by E.C.Apling, March 2000.

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