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Yugoslavia: Opposition Groups To Meet

Podgorica, Montenegro; 2 August 2000 (RFE/RL) - Montenegrin and Serbian opposition groups are scheduled to meet today in Montenegro's capital Podgorica. Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic in Rome. She urged the democratic opposition in Serbia to unite behind one candidate and participate in Yugoslavia's presidential and parliamentary and Serbia's local elections next month. Djukanovic said he is uncertain whether his governing coalition will boycott the elections. He said a final decision rests with the parties that form his coalition.

Djukanovic announced a boycott last week in protest of constitutional changes from Belgrade that allow Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to run for another term.

The private Montenegrin news agency Montena-Fax quotes Miodrag Vukovic, a senior adviser to Djukanovic, as saying that today's talks would have "no influence on our previously publicly stated positions" to boycott the elections.

It was also unclear whether the Serbian Renewal Movement would take part in today's meeting. It is also calling for a boycott, saying the elections will not be free and fair.