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Croatia: President Tudjman Sworn In

Zagreb, 5 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian President Franjo Tudjman pledged to be the impartial president of all Croats and residents of Croatia as he was sworn in for another five-year term today.

But he told hundreds of supporters and officials attending the outdoor inauguration ceremony in Zagreb that Croatia will not bow to those in the international community who try to force their will on the country. Croatia has come under increasing pressure from the international community to hand over suspected war criminals and allow the repatriation of refugees.

Tudjman said Croatia fully supports the Dayton peace accord on Bosnia. But he said Zagreb has a duty "to tell the misinformed and arrogant world the truth about Croatia," especially those who draw "simplistic and arrogant conclusions."

Tudjman, who led Croatia to independence in 1991, was overwhelmingly re-elected in national elections in June. International observers judged the elections free but not fair, due to state media that were seen as heavily biased in favor of the government.