Return to: Index of US State Department Press Statements || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

U.S. Department of State 
96/12/24 Statement: Violence in Belgrade 
Office of the Spokesman 
 
 
 
Press Statement by Strobe Talbott/Acting Secretary 
December 24, 1996 
 
 
 
                           Violence in Belgrade 
 
 
 
The U.S. Government condemns violence by pro-Milosevic demonstrators in 
Belgrade.  We call on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid 
further confrontation.  
 
Our charge in Belgrade, Richard Miles, met with Foreign Minister 
Milutinovic today to urge the Serbian government to avoid further 
violence in Belgrade.  We have given a similar message to the 
opposition. 
 
The U.S. holds the Serbian government and its President, Slobodan 
Milosevic, responsible for the violent actions of the demonstrators.  
Rather than making a goodwill effort to resolve the political crisis 
caused by the annulment of opposition victories in the November 17 
elections, the Serbian authorities have flagrantly and provocatively 
chosen to heighten tensions by bringing thousands of people into 
Belgrade to confront the peaceful demonstrations by the opposition. 
 
We reiterate our call on the Serbian government to respect the results 
of the November 17 elections, open a dialogue with the democratic 
opposition and refrain from any further actions to incite unrest.  We 
have warned the Serbian government that violence against the protesters 
will have serious consequences and will inevitably lead to Serbia's 
further isolation from the international community.  
To the top of this page