Belgrade, 23 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Slobodan Milosevic promised to strengthen and maintain the federal republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) as he took the office of federal president today in Belgrade.
He said during a swearing-in ceremony in Belgrade's federal parliament that the coming years would be "fateful" for rump-Yugoslavia in which, he said, "Serbia and Montenegro are equal partners."
Riot police in front of the Parliament stood between Milosevic supporters and some 5,000 opponents called out by student unions.
Earlier today Milosevic resigned as Serbian president. He took on the federal presidency because the Serbian Constitution did not allow him to run for a third term in Serbia, the dominant partner in what is left of Yugoslavia.