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Deiss to meet Yugoslav president

Yugoslav president Kostunica will meet foreign minister Deiss to discuss the Balkan situation

(Keystone Archive)

The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, is in Belgrade to hold talks with the Yugoslav president, Vojislav Kostunica. Their meeting will focus on how the country is shaping up after years of crippling economic sanctions.

Deiss will also meet the prime minister, Zoran Djindjic, and his Yugoslav counterpart, Goran Svilanovic.

The discussions are expected to will cover the current situation in Yugoslavia, as well as bilateral ties between the two countries. Deiss is reportedly keen to discuss issues that threaten peace and stability in southeast Europe.

Deiss will take attend the opening of a newly renovated centre for handicapped children, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation programme.

His visit to the Balkans comes just three and a half months after the former dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, was forced to step down following a popular uprising.

Deiss' arrival in Belgrade was followed by that of the head of the United Nations war crimes tribunal, Switzerland's Carla del Ponte. The Yugoslav news agency, Beta, said she was due to meet Kostunica on Tuesday.

Del Ponte is expected to ask Kostunica to help the UN tribunal bring to trial suspected war criminals, including Milosevic. Belgrade has already indicated that it will not cooperate with the tribunal.

swissinfo with agencies


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