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Serbia: U.S. Diplomat Decides Not To Visit Belgrade

Washington, 10 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - America's top diplomat in charge of negotiations with the countries of former Yugoslavia has decided not to make a planned visit to Serbia for talks with President Slobodan Milosevic.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman says Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum has decided against the trip because he thinks it would not be useful to talk to Milosevic at this time.

The spokeswoman, who did not wish to be named, told our Washington correspondent that Kornblum is currently in Brussels, accompanying Secretary of State Warren Christopher to NATO meetings.

She said Kornblum will remain in Europe and travel to the Balkans next week. But he will limit his itinerary to visits to Sarajevo and Zagreb, skipping Belgrade, she said.

Christopher in Brussels yesterday told reporters he would ask Russia's support for reimposing international trade sanctions on Belgrade that were lifted in January after Milosevic signed the Dayton peace accords on Bosnia.

The United States continues to maintains unilateral economic and diplomatic sanctions against Serbia and has said those will remain in place.