CEOL - Montenegro airport reopens after standoff

PODGORICA, Dec 9, 1999 -- (Reuters) The airport in Western-leaning Montenegro reopened on Thursday morning after a standoff between the Yugoslav army and Montenegrin police ended peacefully, the independent B2-92 radio station reported from Podgorica.

The radio quoted Montenegrin Transport Minister Jusuf Kalamperovic as saying all problems had been ironed out and that the airport was reopened at 8:00 a.m.

Separately, a flight controller at Belgrade airport said he had issued instructions that flights to Montenegro could resume.

"We just gave the order for flights to operate normally," he told Reuters, declining to be identified. No other details were immediately available.

On Wednesday, the Yugoslav federal air traffic directorate closed the airport and suspended traffic on safety grounds. The army took up positions in a standoff with Montenegrin police and officials over control of the facility.

It was the gravest sign yet of tensions between the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and the leadership of Montenegro, which has threatened to declare independence if he does not reform their joint federation.

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