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Serbia bars US, UK election observers

Serbia has barred observers from the United States and Britain from monitoring its presidential election this month because the two nations have backed Kosovo's drive for independence, an election official said.

The United States and most European Union nations have supported independence for Kosovo since 1999, when a NATO air war forced Belgrade to end a crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists.

The Serbian election commission, which made its decision late Thursday, said it would allow 23 monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and three from Russia to observe the Jan. 20 voting. (