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H.L.C.

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Whereas President Tadic has affirmed that full cooperation

with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a pre-condition for Serbia's political and economic integration with the West;

Whereas on September 19 and October 3, 2004, the people

of Serbia conducted free and fair democratic elections for statewide municipal offices and again chose reform and opportunity; and

Whereas Serbia and the Serbian people are encouraged to re

main committed to democratic reforms and regional cooperation, respect for the rights of all minorities, including in Vojvodina, and integration into Europe and EuroAtlantic institutions, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU): Now, therefore, be it

Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the

following:

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Resolved, that the House of Representatives

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(1) commends the people of Serbia and the gov

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ernment of Serbia for conducting democratic, free

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and fair presidential and municipal elections;

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(2) welcomes the recent visit of President Tadic

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to the United States Congress in July 2004 and for

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his positive message of democracy, reform, and rec

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regional stability and democracy in the Balkans and encourages and supports the integration of Serbia and Montenegro into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

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Amend the title so as to read: "Resolution con

gratulating the people of Serbia and the government

of Serbia for conducting democratic, free and fair presidential and municipal elections and for re

affirming Serbia's commitment to peace, democracy,

and the rule of law.”.

Mrs. Davis. On June 27, 2004, Serbia conducted an election for President. In casting their votes, the people of Serbia chose Boris Tadic who represented what many consider to be continuation of the pro-democratic, pro-reform movement first championed by former Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was assassinated in 2003.

This resolution was introduced by our former colleague and Chairman, Doug Bereuter, along with our Ranking Democrat and colleague, Mr. Burton.

H. Res. 726, and the amendment I am offering, commends the people of Serbia for conducting recent free, fair and democratic Presidential and municipal elections and congratulates Boris Tadic on becoming President and for visiting the Congress this summer. Finally, it reaffirms the importance of respecting and protecting the economic, social, cultural and religious rights of all minorities throughout Serbia, including those Hungarian and Croat people, and others, who live in the Vojvodina region as well as those Serbs who live in Kosovo. The Serbian people and Government must understand that if they are to demand respect for the Serb minority in Kosovo, that they, themselves, must respect the rights of other minorities living in Serbia.

When President Tadic visited the Congress in July he met with several Members, including the gentleman from Indiana who has become a champion for the interests of Serbs here in the House. I understand that President Tadic's message to the Congress was one of reform, reconciliation and cooperation with the Western democracies. We certainly welcome those commitments and encourage him to pursue these goals with vigor during his Presidency.

H. Res. 726 also encourages the Government and people of Serbia to continue to pursue further democratic reforms; to continue to cooperate with the criminal court; to seek greater regional cooperation, and to commit to achieving the standards of government necessary to become strong members of the Euro-Atlantic community and its institutions.

I urge adoption of the amendment and the resolution.

I will now recognize the Ranking Member for an opening statement.

Mr. WEXLER. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Again, I concur with the Chairwoman's comments.

I simply would like to add that the recent election in Serbia just shows again the extraordinary success story that can occur when there are leaders that are committed to democratic evolution and reform. President Tadic is the great hope in Serbia for a future of stability and greater democratic reform.

I believe that Congressman Engel has an amendment, and I will defer to him, because I believe he has an opening statement as well, if I may.

Oh, Mr. Burton first? I apologize.
Mr. BURTON. That is okay.
Mrs. Davis. I will recognize Mr. Burton for a statement.

Mr. BURTON. We did have a meeting, Madam Chairwoman, with President Tadic. I was very impressed with his attitude, not only regarding Serbia, but the entire region. He has made a commitment to reach out to other leaders from other ethnic groups in that entire area to try to bring about a peaceful resolution to the problems that have been going on over there on both sides in the area of ethnic cleansing.

So I think this is the kind of leader that we really need in that region and probably throughout the world. And I am very happy that he is trying to extend the hand to others over there to bring about a peaceful resolution to the problems they have.

So, Tadic is a good man trying to do a good job. And we need to give him all the support we can.

Thank you.
Mrs. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Burton.
Mr. Engel?
Mr. ENGEL. I have an amendment at the desk.
Mrs. Davis. The clerk will call up the amendment.

Ms. HALLOCK. "Amendment to the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute Offered by Mr. Engel—'

[The amendment referred to follows:]

AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDMENT IN THE

NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE

OFFERED BY MR. ENGEL

In the eighth clause of the preamble, insert at the

end before the semicolon the following “and the Kosovar

Serbs are encouraged to do the same by voting in the

elections in Kosovo to be held on October 23, 2004”.

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