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Serbia: U.S. Says Serbia Not Committed To Democratic Standards

Washington, 26 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - The United States says Serbia's attempts to annul the results of municipal elections confirms Washington's view that Serbia is not committed to meeting Western democratic standards.

State Department spokesman Glyn Davies told reporters yesterday that the United States considers the effort to annul the election results from towns and cities to be totally unacceptable. He says it undermines the democratic process and that it invalidates Serbia's claim to be a state evolving toward democracy.

Davies says U.S. diplomats and other Western officials have repeatedly told Serbian leaders that Belgrade cannot expect to rejoin the international community until it proves its commitment to developing into a modern, open and democratic society.

The United States has not extended formal diplomatic recognition to Serbia, although it maintains a form of diplomatic relations by keeping a chief of mission in Belgrade. Davies says the United States has not recognized the Serbian government because of its failure to observe democratic principles, and he says last week's action by the government validates the U.S. view of Belgrade.

In the municipal voting, the opposition won control of several city governments. Davies said that U.S. diplomats will continue to meet with those who support democratic reform in Serbia.