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Serbia: U.S. Says Milosevic Doesn't Understand What's Going On

Washington, 13 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic "does not appear to have any kind of deep understanding" about what is happening in the streets of his country.

Burns said yesterday this conclusion follows meetings in the last few days between U.S. Charge' in Belgrade Richard Miles and Milosevic.

Burns said Milosevic "doesn't appear to get it" that tens of thousands of his own citizens are taking to the streets every day, sometimes in the worst possible weather, to demonstrate against him.

The U.S. spokesman added that Milosevic doesn't seem to understand that the "hole that he is digging for himself gets deeper and deeper every day," and that Milosevic is isolating himself from the United States and from the rest of the West.

Meanwhile, Burns said that undersecretary of state for political affairs Peter Tarnoff today met with Serb Democratic Party vice president Miodrag Perisic who is in Washington and appeared before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Burns said Tarnoff met with Perisic to keep in touch with the opposition and "symbolically" strike a note that the United States wants to stand by the opposition.