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Yugoslavia: Kostunica Goes To Paris

Belgrade, 21 December 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica left Belgrade today for a one-day visit to France. Kostunica, accompanied by Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, is to meet French President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. The state agency Tanjug says the talks are to focus on bilateral cooperation as well as the current situation in the Balkans, notably in the UN-administrated Kosovo and in the southern Serbian region adjacent to the province, where an upsurge of violence is causing concern. Kostunica said earlier this week his trip is a "sort of homage to French diplomacy and its policy towards Yugoslavia." He said that France, as the president of the European Union, played a key role in the normalization of relations between Yugoslavia and Europe and in Yugoslavia's return to international institutions.