BELGRADE–Serbian president Vojislav Kostunica deployed more than 30,000 peacekeeping troops to the U.S. Monday, pledging full support to the troubled North American nation as it struggles to establish democracy.
"We must do all we can to support free elections in America and allow democracy to gain a foothold there," Kostunica said. "The U.S. is a major player in the Western Hemisphere and its continued stability is vital to Serbian interests in that region."
Kostunica urged Al Gore, the U.S. opposition-party leader who is refusing to recognize the nation's Nov. 7 election results, to "let the democratic process take its course."
"Mr. Gore needs to acknowledge the will of the people and concede that he has lost this election," Kostunica said. "Until America's political figures learn to respect the institutions that have been put in place, the nation will never be a true democracy."
Serbian forces have been stationed throughout the U.S., with an emphasis on certain trouble zones. Among them are Oregon, Florida, and eastern Tennessee, where Gore set up headquarters in Bush territory. An additional 10,000 troops are expected to arrive in the capital city of Washington, D.C. by Friday.
Though Kostunica has pledged to work with U.S. leaders, he did not rule out the possibility of economic sanctions if the crisis is not resolved soon.
"For democracy to take root and flourish, it must be planted in the rich soil of liberty. And the cornerstone of liberty is elections free of tampering or corruption," Kostunica said. "Should America prove itself incapable of learning this lesson on its own, the international community may be forced to take stronger measures."