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Tito's old mansion to house U.S. embassy

Aug. 16, 2006 at 7:59 AM

BELGRADE, Serbia, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The United States is buying former Yugoslav Marshall Josip Broz Tito's residences in Belgrade to build a new embassy in Serbia, media reports said.

Serbian government officials confirmed a $15 million contract on the sale of the complex in Belgrade's Dedinje residential suburb will be signed with the U.S. administration in the near future, Belgrade newspapers reported Wednesday.

The U.S. government plans to improve security of its diplomats and will invest about $100 million in the construction and equipment for the complex to include the embassy buildings and a residence for its ambassador.

The complex was built in 1948 and includes Tito's offices, residences and barracks that housed elite military guard units. Some of these buildings were damaged in NATO's 1999 air attacks on Serbia to stop Serbian military raids against ethnic-Albanian separatists in the southern Kosovo province.

Earlier this month, the Serbian military announced it has begun selling off real estate once used by the Yugoslav armed forces but which is no longer needed by its smaller military organization.

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