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Press Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
July 13, 2000

Secretary Albright Conveys Message of Support
To Montenegro President Milo Djukanovic

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic this afternoon. She reassured him that U.S. support for his government continues in the face of efforts by the Belgrade regime to provoke conflict and strip Montenegro of its constitutional rights. The Secretary noted that there is strong international support for Montenegro as evident in statements of the European Union and the G-8 foreign ministers.

Secretary Albright told President Djukanovic that the Clinton Administration plans to notify Congress of our intention to provide an additional $16.5 million for democratization and economic reform in Montenegro.

Secretary Albright and President Djukanovic agreed to meet soon to continue their discussion.

Milosevic has worked for several years to manipulate the composition of the federal parliament, particularly by excluding representatives of the democratic government of the Republic of Montenegro. Last week the supine federal parliament approved Milosevic's proposed constitutional changes concerning the election of the federal President and the upper house of the parliament. These changes have the effect of reducing Montenegro's role in governing Yugoslavia. The amendments were adopted without consulting Montenegro and have been rejected by the Montenegro Parliament as illegitimate.

In FY 2000, the United States Government has already allocated $60.56 million in assistance to the Government of Montenegro. Following approval by the Congress, the $16.5 million will be in addition.

[end of document]

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