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Yugoslavia: G-7 Plus Russia Foreign Ministers Express Worry

Miyazaki, Japan, 13 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial countries plus say they are concerned about the possible consequences of new constitutional changes in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav parliament amended the constitution last week to provide that President Slobodan Milosevic, who has been indicted by the international tribunal for war crimes, could prolong his rule by running for re-election next year.

The G-7 and Russia foreign ministers, in their statement issued at the end of a two-day meeting in Miyazaki, Japan, also welcomed steps by Communist North Korea toward a dialogue with the international community. They called on North Korea to make a constructive response to concerns over non-proliferation and human rights issues.

The foreign ministers' meeting came in preparation for next week's (July 21-23) G-8 leaders' summit in Okinawa. Earlier, the ministers debated energetically in seeking consensus on Yugoslavia. In talks yesterday, the ministers agreed on a ban on the export of small arms to war-torn countries.