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Yugoslavia: U.S. Condemns Use Of Force Against Demonstrators

Washington, 2 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - The United States and the European Union issued a joint condemnation of the use of force by Serbian riot police against peaceful demonstrators in the province of Kosovo and in Belgrade.

State Department spokesman James Foley says the statement was issued after a previously scheduled meeting in Washington yesterday between senior State Department officials and an EU delegation.

Foley says the U.S. holds Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic responsible for the conduct of police. The police reportedly used batons and tear gas against ethnic Albanian demonstrators in the Kosovo provinicial capital of Pristina today, and in Belgrade last night, police used force to break up a demonstration protesting the ouster of Belgrade Mayor Zoran Djindjic and the editors of an independent television station.

The State Department says the use of force against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable.