US diplomat denies helping organize meeting in Serbian capital

US diplomat denies helping organize meeting in Serbian capital

US diplomat denies helping organize meeting in Serbian capital Izvor: FoNet/Nenad Đorđević

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mathew Palmer denied that he took part in organizing the meeting between representatives of the Serbian authorities and opposition.

Palmer told the Voice of America no mediation was needed between Serbian politicians. “Absolutely not. They don’t need mediators. These are political parties and leaders who know and understand each other. There was talk of this in Belgrade for a long time and there really was no need for the US or anyone else to enter into this,” he said.  

Washington hopes that the Serbian opposition will give up the idea of boycotting elections and will reach an agreement with the authorities on election conditions, he said and added that there are a lot of questions about equal election conditions. “If the opposition does not believe that the conditions are fair, there is room for an open dialogue, open debate about it. We hope that an agreement will be reached and that a way will be found for all political parties to take part in the elections so that the citizens of Serbia can make the right choice,” Palmer said. He said that Washington has constantly encouraged the opposition to stand in elections.  

Palmer said that Serbia also has to resolve the media freedom issue. “That is something that Serbia has to solve to advance on the European road. The European Union will carefully observe the atmosphere that the Serbian media operate in to make sure that it is fair, balanced, unbiased and with access to the media with the opposition,” he said.  

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