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Yugoslavia: Kostunica To Be Sworn In As President

Belgrade, 7 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - Yugoslavia is today preparing for the swearing-in of President-elect Vojislav Kostunica to replace Slobodan Milosevic. Kostunica could be formally sworn-in as new president of Yugoslavia later in the day, although the location of the ceremony is still unknown. Yesterday, Milosevic conceded defeat and congratulated Kostunica. He said that he intended to stay in politics as head of his Socialist party. Milosevic said the party will be strong in opposition. But Milosevic's future is unclear. He is wanted in the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague for his conduct in the Kosovo conflict. The United States yesterday said it will not support any continuing political role for him in Yugoslavia.

Kostunica met yesterday separately with Milosevic and the chief of the Yugoslav army general staff, General Nabojsa Pavkovic, who subsequently said in a statement that the armed forces would respect the will of the people.

Meanwhile, China joined in the worldwide congratulations to Kostunica, wishing him success in leading Yugoslavia.