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Serbia Allows International Crisis Group to Remain in Belgrade - 2003-07-07

Serbian authorities have reversed their decision revoking the residence permit of the director of the Belgrade office of an international monitoring group.

A lawyer Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco for James Lyon said that Serbia's Interior Ministry responded positively to his appeal and will allow the chief of the International Crisis Group office in Belgrade to remain another year. Serbian authorities previously had ordered him to leave by Sunday.

Mr. Lyon, an American, had called the revocation of his residence permit a sign that reports by his group had irritated people who gained influence under former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and remain in power.

Mr. Lyon last week said his group will soon publish a new report on the situation in Serbia and Montenegro.

The International Crisis Group prepares studies on efforts to prevent international and local conflicts worldwide. It has published studies on such issues as weapons smuggling, corruption and organized crime activity in the Balkans.