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Montenegro FM Sees Speedy Independence Talks with Serbia


Montenegro's foreign minister says his government hopes to complete talks with Serbia on dissolving their union within 90 days.

Speaking Tuesday in Slovenia, Foreign Minister Miodrag Vlashovic said he hopes to start talks with Belgrade as soon as Sunday's independence referendum results are final.

Vlashovic's comments came as Montenegro's top referendum official confirmed that 55.5 percent of voters cast ballots Sunday for independence. The results barely exceeded the 55 percent needed for approval. Officials say the turnout exceeded 86 percent.

The vote tally will not become official until Saturday, to allow for any challenges. Independence opponents have called for a recount, but it is not clear whether a formal appeal will be filed.

Serbian President Boris Tadic says he accepts the results. But he also appealed for a quick resolution of electoral complaints raised by independence opponents.

The poll results signal the final break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia broke away during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic had argued the current relationship between Serbia and Montenegro was not working. He also has criticized Serbia for not respecting its international obligations.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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