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October 17, 1994
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 160
Vuk Draskovic's Letter To The Contact Group

"I Support Peace"

VREME was given Vuk Draskovic's letter dated early September---the time when the decision on easing the sanctions was being debated---from sources close to the Contact Group. The letter was sent to the Foreign Ministers of France, Great Britain, Russia, the US and Germany. The letter was made public 10 days ago in Moscow and it had been read at a Contact Group session and assessed to be a wise statesman's move. The Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) would not comment upon this.

The letter follows:

``Very esteemed gentlemen ministers, I feel obliged to inform you of the stands of the Serbian Renewal Movement, the leading opposition party in Serbia, which was harshly persecuted and punished for years by President Milosevic's regime for its anti-war policy.

1. When the international community imposed sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, the regime in Serbia claimed that they were sanctions against the Serbian people. The Serbian Renewal Movement assured the citizens that the world does not want to punish the Serbs, but only the erroneous policy of our leadership.

2. That erroneous policy has been radically changed through the clear and decisive acceptance of the Contact Group peace plan. The international community is obliged to, without hesitation, take a radical step toward the lifting of, that is ease, the sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.

3. If the international community does not do that, it will be impossible to defend the position that the sanctions are not aimed against the Serb people here.

4. By keeping the sanctions in place, the international community would, whether it wants to or not, strongly support the forces of war, both in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro, which should not be underestimated.

5. The sudden rise in Karadzic's popularity in Serbia is worrying. How did this phenomenon occur? Because the world has yet to support and reward the radical change in President Milosevic's policy and because the feeling that the world only wants to punish Serbia is growing among the people.

6. Official Serbia held out both hands to the international community and those hands must not be beaten away. Serbia has been punished enough by this terrible and senseless war and the sanctions.

7. Peace will surely beat the advocates of war. The moment when our airplanes fly out of Belgrade airport, our football clubs play in Paris and London and our borders are opened for trade, the death warrant for the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina will be signed.

8. Peace will also be secured by the speedy democratic transformation of Serbia and Montenegro, which will become the anchors of economic, cultural and all other reintegration in the former Yugoslavia.

9. If the forces of peace are defeated here, won't they be in danger in Russia itself tomorrow? Karadzic and Zhirinovsky are the same side of the coin.

Very esteemed ministers!

I do not support President Milosevic, nor do I appeal to you to support him. I support peace and nothing more.

I was arrested twice by the Milosevic regime. I was almost killed by the local police last year because I urged peace.

The fact that President Milosevic accepted many of my Party's stands is the only important fact for me. Peace must be defended and assisted. No one, not even President Milosevic, can be punished or rejected for urging peace.

I hope you will support peace immediately and unconditionally.''

Vuk Draskovic, Serbian Renewal Movement President

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