BRUSSELS, March 11 (UPI) -- The legacy of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is a bitter one to leaders in Western Europe.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, secretary general of NATO, wished that Milosevic had remained alive for a verdict in his war crimes trial, the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.
"It is unfortunate and in many aspects unsatisfactory, given the countless victims of the Balkan wars, that justice now will not be able to run its course," Scheffer said.
The NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, launched in 1999, killed at least 2,500 people, the Yugoslav government contends, and wrecked the country's economy.
Javier Solana, who headed NATO at the time, said his thoughts were with Milosevic's family and his victims.
"Personally I have had a long, difficult relationship with Slobodan Milosevic from many encounters in dramatic circumstances," Solana, now the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. "We cannot ignore the fact that many men and women suffered from the consequences of his policies. My thoughts also go to them."
Solana urged Serbians "to come to terms with the legacy of Milosevic."