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Serbia: Foreign Minister Promises U.S. No Violence

Washington, 5 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Serbia's Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic says his government will not use force against demonstrators protesting the annullment of last month's municipal elections.

The U.S. State department says he made the pledge in talks yesterday with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. They met in London where they are attending an international conference on the peace process in Bosnia.

U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said it was a very tough meeting. He said Talbott made clear the U.S. position that the Serb government must respect the rights of its citizens and cannot resort to violence against the demonstrators.

Burns said Milutinovic made a promise his government would not use force.

He said Talbott repeated U.S. warnings that Serbia would remain isolated from the international community until it accorded its citizens democratic rights, including freedom of the media.

Burns yesterday again urged the Serb government to allow Radio Station B-92 and Radio Index to resume broadcasts.

The U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe and America's taxpayer-funded radio, Voice of America, today both expanded broadcasts to the region and will provide facilities to air reports from the closed Serb radios.