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Serbia Rejects EU Advice On Montenegro's Independence Vote

Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic (file photo) (RFE/RL) 16 February 2006 -- Serbia has rejected European Union guidelines for Montenegro's planned referendum on separating from Serbia.

The Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Zoran Loncar, said Serbia will recognize Montenegro's independence only if more than 50 percent of Montenegro's registered voters – not only those who participate – vote to end the Serbia-Montenegro union.

The comment came after an EU envoy presented the group's recommendations on the referendum.

Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic said the EU proposal suggests that for Montenegro to split from Serbia, approval would be required by a minimum of 55 percent of people who vote in the referendum.

The referendum is expected to occur in the first half of this year. Although no date has been set, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Miodrag Vlahovic said on 11 February the referendum will take place on 30 April, pending parliamentary approval.

(dpa, AP)

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