BELGRADE, June 12 -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe arrived in Serbia Wednesday for a talks that are expected to include reviving economic relations disrupted by a punishing U.N. embargo. Zimbabwe was one of the few countries that supported the Belgrade regime in the Yugoslav conflict that began with the 1991 Serb-Croat war and spilled over into Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992.
With the suspension of U.N. sanctions following the signing of the Balkan peace accord in December, Serbia and Montenegro -- the remaining states in the Yugoslav Federation -- are looking to revive trade relations with old partners. As part of the Balkan peace accord, the international community agreed to lift a trade embargo imposed to punish Serbia for its role in the Balkan conflicts. Mugabe was welcomed at Belgrade's airport by Yugoslav Federal President Zoran Lilic and diplomats from about 10 African nations. Upon Mugabe's arrival, Yugoslav officials took the president on a tour of the capital, Belgrade, and the Avala mountain where a wreath to the unknown soldier was placed. A gala dinner and talks with Lilic also were scheduled. Mugabe, a prominent member of the Non-Aligned Movement, founded in part by late Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito in 1961, is widely respected in Serbia and Montenegro. Mugabe is expected to hold talks Thursday with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and Yugoslav Federal Prime Minister Radoje Kontic.