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Serbia: U.S. Condemns Radio Closings

Washington, 4 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The United States has condemned the closing of Belgrade's only two independent radio stations.

U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns yesterday called the move "a transparent effort to keep the Serbian public in the dark."

He said it demonstrated a fundamental lack of respect for democratic principles.

Burns questioned why the government of President Slobodan Milosevic felt threatened by "these modest and peaceful attempts to speak publicly by members of the media."

Burns said the United States continues to closely monitor the situation in Belgrade and remains in contact with opposition leaders, as well as senior government officials.

Burns said the U.S. top diplomat in Belgrade met several times with opposition leaders today and yesterday to discuss the situation.

He praised the opposition for keeping the demonstrations peaceful and for respecting an orderly democratic process.