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Slovak government supports Serbian opposition parties

Vuk Draskovic, leader of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), arrived in Slovakia September 27 for a two-day visit. Draskovic visited Slovakia at the invitation of Pavol Hamžík, Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration and chairman of the Party of Civic Understanding (SOP). Hamžík said that the invitation was based on the parties' contacts and was aimed at "boosting relations". The SOP also wants to show its support for further democratic development in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he said.

Draskovic met with Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda and then held a press conference in which he said that Slovakia's support for NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia had not damaged relations between Slovakia and Serbia. Draskovic added that the main culprit of this war was the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The only democratic and constitutional tool to dethrone Milosevic is early elections, he said.

For his part, Dzurinda told Draskovic that he wished that Yugoslavia would make desirable changes soon. He also expressed his support for the struggle of the Serbian opposition in its effort to affect change towards a democratic regime.

During his visit here, Draskovic also met with President Rudolf Schuster, Mayor of Bratislava Jozef Moravčík and Slovak Foreign Ministry State Secretary Jaroslav Chlebo.

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