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Serbia's President: Socialist Party Completely Acceptable Coalition Partner


Serbia's pro-European president has called the Socialist Party of the late President Slobodan Milosevic a completely acceptable coalition partner for his supporters.

President Boris Tadic, in a statement, said both groups share the ideals of the Socialist International and both advocate social reforms, the creation of a system of social justice and equal opportunity for all. He expressed confidence that most Serbians support future European Union membership.

Mr. Tadic made his comments as various Serbian political factions were conducting talks on a new government following Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Socialist leader Ivica Dacic Wednesday met with Serbia's outgoing nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica for coalition talks. Mr. Kostunica and the leader of Serbia's ultra-nationalist Radical Party Tomislav Nikolic agreed Tuesday on goals for a coalition. These include ensuring that Kosovo remains part of Serbia, despite February's declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

Supporters of Mr. Tadic emerged as the largest group in parliament in Sunday's vote, but failed to gain a majority.

Whichever group wins Socialist Party backing will hold the majority in parliament.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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