Serbia passes Constitution for 'rump' Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia's Serbian-led parliament proclaimed the creation of a new Yugoslav state yesterday in a ceremony broadcast on state television.
Bogdana Levakov, leader of the federal chamber of parliament, announced the founding of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, created from the remnants of the Balkan country that fell apart in months of ethnic fighting.
"I proclaim the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," she said to loud applause from representatives of the republics of Serbia and Montenegro which will comprise the new state.
The announcement came just hours after parliament approved a constitution to create a new Yugoslav state. The new Constitution is restricted to the territory of the former republics of Serbian and Montenegro, and implies recognition of the independence of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia.
Before the ethnic fighting began last summer, Yugoslavia was a country of 23.5 million people covering 98,765 square miles. The new Yugoslavia will cover about two-fifths of that total and will have a population of some 10.5 million people.
Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have won widespread international recognition, but the southernmost republic of Macedonia's independence movement has been been blocked by a dispute with Greece over its name. Bosnia moves to get Yugoslav Army out
The Muslim president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, began talks Sunday aimed at removing the Yugoslav Army from his republic. But the president said he would avoid direct conflict with the Army, accused by Bosnia's Muslims and Croats of siding with the republic's Serb minority in opposing independence.
"A process has begun and the end result will be that the Yugoslav Army will either leave Bosnia-Herzegovina or be radically transformed and will finally become the armed forces of the republic," Mr. Izetbegovic said.
Acting Defense Minister Gen. Blagoje Adzic also attended the talks and told reporters that the Army would accept any decision on the future of Bosnia to which all three main groups agreed.
But federal Army commander, Gen. Milutin Kukanjac, indicated that his troops might not leave immediately.
"The Army will be transformed in the way agreed by legitimate representatives of its three peoples - Muslims, Serbs, and Croats," he told Tanjug news agency. EC-sponsored peace talks resume in Lisbon
European Community-sponsored peace talks among Bosnia-Herzogovina's Muslim, Serb, and Croat leaders were due to resume in Lisbon yesterday.
The talks, chaired by the EC's special envoy to Yugoslavia, Jose Cutileiro, will be at a secret location in Lisbon and could last for several days, Portuguese Foreign Ministry officials said.
The EC plan is to divide the republic into ethnic cantons. Exiled Romanian king hopes to return permanently
Romania's King Michael, returning from 45 years in exile, told his compatriots he wanted to come home for good, but believed more political changes were needed before he could do so.
More than 100,000 Romanians mobbed the king in a jubilant Orthodox Easter welcome in Bucharest Sunday when he visited the capital for the first time since Soviet-backed Communists dethroned and banished him in 1947.
Crowds shouting "Long Live the King" and "Stay, don't leave us" called for Michael's restoration to the throne and the removal of President Ion Iliescu, a veteran communist.
"I have waited 45 years to come back," Michael told Reuters in an interview, but added: "For the moment we think the political situation is not ripe. We have to wait.
In a speech to tens of thousands of cheering Romanians, the king said he hoped to return again after this trip, which was to end yesterday. Michael's visit was approved by the government on condition that he came as a common citizen.
The Romanian Orthodox Church, once close to the former Communist government, invited him to Romania for Easter and signaled it supported a revival of the monarchy.