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Yugoslavia: Djindjic Urges Support For Union

Belgrade, 3 April 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic today urged parliament to support a treaty creating a union between Serbia and Montenegro. The parliaments of Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Montenegro each have to ratify the agreement, which was signed in March to create a new political entity to be known simply as Serbia and Montenegro.

During a debate on the accord, Djindjic said that it is "the only realistic solution" to the crisis between the two Yugoslav republics.

The treaty would also put off for at least three years Montenegro's bid for independence.

Before the debate began in the Serbian parliament today, an official with the opposition Democratic Party read a statement from Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica. The parliamentary majority had refused a request by Kostunica to speak at the end of the debate instead of opening it. In protest, 45 members of the Democratic Party walked out of the debate.

The Serbian lawmakers said they would return for the vote. The debate is expected to last several days.