Aleksandar Vučić attends British reception for the first time in 12 years

The celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday in the garden of the British residence in June 2012 was the first and last time Aleksandar Vučić attended a reception for the British monarch’s birthday.

At that time, Tomislav Nikolić and he, still in opposition (the SNS-SPS government was formed only in July of that year), attended the reception accompanied by Bratislav Grubačić, a journalist and political analyst, and owner of the VIP news service in English, who was then close to the SNS.

Since then, until yesterday, Aleksandar Vučić, while serving as Deputy Prime Minister, Prime Minister, and President of the Republic, skillfully avoided appearing at British receptions. At the same time, he regularly attended national day celebrations of the USA, China, Russia, and Germany, and occasionally appeared at events hosted by the French, Italians, and Japanese. Previous British ambassadors to Serbia, Michael Davenport, Denis Keefe, and Sian MacLeod, did not have the opportunity to host Aleksandar Vučić on the famous green lawn of the British residence in Dedinje.

Yesterday’s attendance at the reception for the birthday of King Charles III followed what could be described as a cordial lunch that President Vučić had with the British ambassador Edward Ferguson ahead of the Serbia-England match at the European Football Championship. “A good conversation with His Excellency, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Edward Ferguson, on all important issues for Serbia and the UK. Today I am paying for lunch, and His Excellency will pay for the next dinner since we will beat them in Gelsenkirchen today. Good luck, Eagles!” Vučić wrote at the time. Unfortunately for Serbian football fans, the president’s words did not come true, but it did not harm the good relations with the British ambassador.

Whether it is just the diplomatic skill and personal charm of Ambassador Ferguson, who quickly became one of the most popular members of the diplomatic corps in the Serbian capital after arriving in our country a year ago, or if there is a warming of the more than a decade-long quite reserved relations between Belgrade and London, time will tell.

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