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Switzerland urges peaceful transition in Yugoslavia

New era in Yugoslavia: Vojislav Kostunica waves to the people of Belgrade

(Keystone)

Switzerland has welcomed the apparent collapse of the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia, saying it fully supports the country's move towards freedom and democracy.

The Swiss parliament on Friday wholeheartedly endorsed the events in Yugoslavia, which appear to have driven Slobodan Milosevic from power, paving the way for the winner of last month's elections, Vojislav Kostunica, to take over the presidency.

The speaker of the Swiss Senate, Carlo Schmid, said he looked forward to seeing Yugoslavia proceed peacefully towards democracy.

"We hope the army and police will remain calm and not interfere with the transition process. We hope that Yugoslavia will soon be a free republic."

The speaker in the House of Representatives, Hanspeter Seiler, added that he wanted to see the democratic process develop both within Yugoslavia and throughout southern Europe.

Milosevic's power crumbled in the face of mass demonstrations and the takeover of parliament on Thursday. He has not been seen since.

On Friday, crowds were celebrating the apparent collapse of Milosevic's government in the streets of Belgrade.

The Tanjug news agency, now in the hands of the opposition, said it was confident the army would not intervene.

All state owned media were reported to be working normally on Friday, with many broadcasting or publishing apologies for their past support for Milosevic.

swissinfo with agencies

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