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Serbian President Hopes Relations with U.S. Will Improve


Washington, D.C., September 24, 2008 - Serbian President Boris Tadić told Voice of America (VOA) he hopes bilateral relations with the United States will improve despite differences over Kosovo.

In his first interview with VOA since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, Tadić said late Tuesday, "We cannot defend our interests in Kosovo without a different understanding of this issue by the United States, although I don't expect the United States to reverse its position."

Tadić said it was his hope that after the U.S. presidential election in November, "We will be able to turn a new page in bilateral relations and say, 'What is done is done; let us seek a new chance.'"

Tadić's interview with VOA's Serbian service took place after he spoke at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York. There, he called for the International Court of Justice in The Hague to issue an opinion on the legitimacy of Kosovo's declaration of independence. Serbia views the move as an act of secession.

The United States and 46 other countries have recognized the newly independent nation of Kosovo.

Tadić, explaining Serbia's attempt to obtain a court ruling on Kosovo, said, "If our initiative is successful, it will open a new phase in the solution of the Kosovo issue. It will help Serbia strengthen its international credibility because we are attempting to solve a crisis situation in a peaceful and diplomatic way."

The interview aired last night on Open Studio, a half-hour television news and information show focusing on the United States and the Balkans. With over 50 local television affiliates in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia, the program is seen live Monday through Friday at 11:00 p.m. It is also rebroadcast and aired on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Serbian(www.glasamerike.net).

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail askvoa@voanews.com.

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