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Nikolic To Be Sworn In, As Balkan Leaders Steer Clear

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic is set to be formally sworn in at a ceremony in the capital Belgrade.

The nationalist Nikolic, who beat pro-Western incumbent Boris Tadic in an election last month, officially became president on May 31 but will hold an inauguration on June 11.

Fellow Balkan leaders from Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia have turned down invitations to the ceremony, citing controversial remarks by Nikolic on massacres at Vukovar and Srebrenica during the 1990s Balkan wars.

Ahead of his swearing-in, Nikolic is due to meet with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule to discuss Serbia's bid to join the 27-member bloc.

Nikolic will travel to Brussels on June 14 in his first official trip as president.

With reporting by AFP