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U.S. Warns Serbia On Its Trend Against Democracy
Closing of Independent Television, Soros
Foundation, Criticized by State Department

The United States warned on Monday that Serbia will continue to be denied U.S. diplomatic recognition and full membership in international organizations if an anti-democratic trend continues there.

"That nation will be ultimately denied the full measure of membership in various international organizations and recognition from the United States if it does not reverse this disturbing trend that we've seen of anti-democratic measures, which include the closure of the Soros Foundation office and of Studio B," State Department deputy spokesman Glyn Davies said.

"We've made clear to the Serb government that we believe the Soros Foundation should be permitted to continue it's work unhindered. We're concerned and have expressed concern over these anti-democratic measures," he told reporters.

The American-based Soros Foundation has been an active supporter of democratic principles and an independent media in Serbia and its junior partner in the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro. Its license to operate was recently revoked by the government of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, a key signer of the Dayton peace accords that brought an end to war in Bosnia.

Serb authorities also have taken over the facilities of Studio B, the leading broadcaster in Belgrade.

Slobodan Milosevic Milosevic Stresses Importance
of Post-War Serb Economy

In his closing speech at the 3rd Congress of the Socialist Party of Serbia held over the weekend, Serb president Slobodan Milosevic stressed the importance of post-war economic development by Serbia, which will largely depend on international assistance. "Serbia should now be involved in its own development. Its economic development above all. Obviously, the national economy has been depleted. Still in these past and difficult years, our country withstood the challenges as well as a nation can if faced with such difficulties. This justifies the expectations that Serbia will quickly revitalize its economy."

"In order to proceed with these improvements," Milosevic continued, "our country will have to use all existing and contemporary technological achievements and to try to involve as many individuals—experts, workers, farmers, intellectuals and young ones—in the implementation of these experiences."

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