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Serbia: Milosevic Meets Student Delegation

Belgrade, 17 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic today met for the first time with a delegation of students who urged him to recognize opposition victories in all 15 cities where they have been annulled by the government.

The five-member delegation was part of a group of 17 students who arrived in Belgrade on foot from the city of Nis. The students reportedly marched the 240 kilometers in 48 hours.

The meeting came as street protests by opposition parties and students, which have entered their fifth week, started up once again in Belgrade. The students said Milosevic promised to investigate election fraud charges and to "punish all those who have broken the law."

Serbian opposition leader Zoran Djindzic today welcomed the reinstatement by local courts of opposition election victories in two Serbian municipalities. But Djindzic vowed that street demonstrations will continue until opposition victories are recognized in all 15 key cities where they were annulled.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Belgrade, Djindzic said, "after 27 days the morale,(among opposition supporters), is much better than in the beginning. We can last for a long time." But he also said the decisive factor in convincing Milosevic to back down will be pressure from Western countries.