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Serbia: Italian Foreign Minister Says Both Sides Resist Compromise

Belgrade, 12 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Italy's Foreign Minister met separately in Belgrade today with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and opposition leaders and later said both sides are resisting compromise.

Lamberto Dini also told reporters that the opposition's main demand -- that the government reinstate opposition victories in municipal elections in Belgrade and elsewhere in Serbia -- was not realistic. Authorities annulled many opposition wins following November 17 voting.

After meeting with Dini, Vuk Draskovic, one of the leaders of the opposition Zajedno (Together) coalition, restated its position that there is no possibility of a dialogue until the November 17 results are recognized.

Dini stressed he had come to Belgrade on his government's behalf and not as a representative of the European Union. Both the EU and the United States have called on Milosevic to recognize opposition victories.

Street demonstrations -- now in their fourth week -- resumed today when some 30,000 students attempted to march to Milosevic's Belgrade home. News agencies report that they were stopped by riot police. There are no reports of violence.

The student march was followed by a demonstration in Belgrade, with tens of thousands reported taking part.