Serbian government signs contract with Kushner’s company regarding Army General Staff building

Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure has signed a contract with a company owned by the son-in-law of former U.S. President Donald Trump to redevelop a site in Belgrade formerly used by the Yugoslav Ministry of Defence that was bombed by NATO forces in 1999.

Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesic signed the contract on May 15 with Affinity Global Development, which is owned by Jared Kushner, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

The site to be developed is located in the centre of Belgrade and was previously home to the Yugoslav Federal Secretariat for National Defence. It was bombed on the night of April 29, 1999, and again on May 7-8, 1999, as part of NATO’s response to protect Albanians in Kosovo from ethnic cleansing by Serbian security forces.

“The Government of Serbia has chosen a reputable American company as a partner in this venture, which will invest in the revitalization of the former Federal Secretariat for National Defence complex,” said Vesic.

Kushner shared a proposed image of the project on X social network in March along with some other proposals for buildings in the Balkans that he said his company was working on.

Vesic said that, when information appeared about the site being “revitalized,” the contract had not yet been signed but said at the time that details would be released when it happened.

According to The New York Times, the investment is worth $500 million. The newspaper said in an article in March that Trump expressed interest in developing the complex before he ran for president in 2016, but Kushner denied knowing about his father-in-law’s prior interest in the site.

The design of the future memorial will be determined at an international architectural competition.

Asher Abehsera, general director of Affinity Global Development, said Serbian architects and designers will be invited to submit their ideas.

“In this way, reconstruction not only represents a fusion of Serbian and American innovation but also shows respect for domestic artistic expression,” said Abehsera. “Reconstruction does not only mean building buildings, but also building bridges between cultures, respecting the past, and creating the foundation for a prosperous future.”

(eKapija, 15.05.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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