Balkans: Fact Sheet Promoting Democracy in Serbia
Balkans: Fact Sheet on Promoting Democracy in Serbia
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
For Immediate Release July 30, 1999
Promoting Democracy in Serbia
At today's Stability Pact Summit in Sarajevo, President Clinton announced that the Administration is setting aside $10 million to promote democracy in Serbia. This money will be drawn from currently available SEED ("Support for East European Democracy") assistance funds. It will be used to resume the kind of democratization programs that we had in place prior to the Kosovo conflict, including assistance to democratic opposition, non-government organizations and independent media. President Clinton further announced that the Administration will continue to work with the Congress to authorize a significant expansion in such funding over the next two years.
The commitment of $10 million in SEED funding complements other efforts already underway to promote democracy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). These include:
-- encouraging the Serbian opposition to unite around a common platform and develop a forward-leaning and positive message;
-- supporting the democratically-elected government of President Djukanovic in Montenegro, including finding a place for Montenegro in the Stability Pact;
-- encircling Serbia with a ring of transmitters for Voice of American and Radio Free Europe to counter propaganda from Milosevic's state-run media;
-- maintaining economic and other sanctions on Serbia, and denying assistance with reconstruction, as long as Milosevic is in power;
-- encouraging our allies and other members of the Stability Pact to join in these efforts.
Slobodan Milosevic is the one leader of southeast Europe not present at today's Summit. Instead, the Summit leaders are appealing to the people of Serbia and the FRY to embrace democratic change. We look forward to the day when the FRY has a government, which rejects the policies of the past decade and embraces democracy, human rights, the rule of law and international cooperation. Such a government can lead Serbia into Europe -- but not one headed by an indicted war criminal.