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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 14:14 GMT
Montenegrin president dismisses Balkan de-stabilisation threat

The president of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, has dismissed suggestions that the Balkans would be further de-stabilised if his republic detached itself from the Yugoslav federation and became independent.

In a speech to the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Mr Djukanovic said resolving in a democratic way the differences between Montenegro and its larger federal partner, Serbia, over their relationship could only serve as a positive model for a solution to the Kosovo problem. He said it would be politically immoral and unjust to tie the destiny of the Montenegrin people to the regional problem of Kosovo for which, he said, no-one had a solution at present. Mr Djukanovic said that, as long as Montenegro stayed with Serbia, it would perpetuate the nationalist idea of a Greater Serbia and promote the danger of instability in the Balkans. He has called general elections in April and is expected to hold a referendum on independence if his party wins.

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