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Serbia: President Promises To Halt Media Crackdown

Belgrade, 25 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has promised a top Serbian opposition leader that Serbian presidential elections scheduled for September 21 will be "fair and democratic."

The official Tanjug news agency quotes Milosevic as making the promise in a meeting last night with Vuk Draskovic, leader of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement.

The state news agency reports that in the meeting Draskovic sought multi-party control over the election process and access to all the media for opposition parties. Tanjug reports "Milosevic expressed a positive stand on these preconditions."

Reuters reports Draskovic as saying after the meeting that Milosevic had agreed to unblock the state media and to use his influence to reopen dozens of non-state television and radio stations which have been closed in Serbia for not having proper permits.

The opposition has said it will boycott the upcoming elections over issues including limited media access.