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Serbia to hold national referendum January 16; US, allies welcome move

Serbia will hold a national referendum on January 16 on constitutional changes, a move hailed by US and its allies. United States flag
US Star and Stripes flag. Stock Photo: dcandau/Pixabay

Washington, Jan 15 (MNN) Serbia will hold a national referendum on January 16 on constitutional changes, a move hailed by US and its allies.

“France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, and the European Union welcome Serbia’s referendum on constitutional changes as a key step to strengthen independence of judiciary and to enhance transparency and effectiveness of the country’s rule of law institutions.

“We believe that these reforms are a step forward towards Serbia’s alignment with European standards and will support Serbia’s EU accession process,” a joint statement by the governments of these countries and the EU said.

“We have encouraged all Serbian citizens to take part in the referendum, and believe it is important for eligible voters everywhere to be able to vote in elections and referendum.

They noted with regret that the Kosovo government had not allowed the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to collect ballots of eligible voters living in Kosovo for the upcoming referendum in accordance with past practice.

“We call on the Kosovo government to allow Serbs in Kosovo to exercise their right to vote in elections and electoral processes in accordance with this established practice.”

They also called upon the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to refrain from actions and rhetoric that increase tensions, and to engage constructively in the EU-facilitated dialogue.

It is important that both governments achieve progress towards a comprehensive agreement that unlocks the EU perspective and increases regional stability, they said.

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