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Yugoslavia: Kornblum Says Serbia's Opposition has Right to be Outraged

Washington, 20 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum says that Serbia's opposition forces have a right to be outraged by the nullification of municipal elections in cities where they apparently won victories last month.

In an interview with RFE/RL, Kornblum repeated the U.S. position that opposition forces have a right to demonstrate peacefully about the situation.

Kornblum also discussed his meetings with Serbian opposition leaders in Geneva last week, including Vuk Draskovic. He said that he stressed the importance of all protests remaining peaceful. He said this would demonstrate to the rest of the world that Serbia is ready for "democratic change."

Kornblum said he told opposition leaders they should commit themselves to policies demonstrating that they are moderate. He said this would ease international concerns that, if brought to power, they would develop Serbia as "an open country which is fully a part of Europe."

On Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kornblum told RFE/RL he is hopeful more indicted war criminals will voluntarily turn themselves in for trial at the international tribunal at The Hague. Kornblum also says Zagreb should not try to make Croatia an ethnically-pure state.