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The US ambassador to Serbia Antony Godfrey visited Sabac in Western Serbia, the only opposition-held town in the country, saying he was impressed with what the local leaders did in attracting direct foreign investments, the Beta news agency reported on Friday.

The Town Hall’s statement cited Godfrey as saying he was happy to see that different opinions could be heard in Sabac.

“I believe that a healthy debate is an essential part of an active democratic society and I’m convinced this town has a bright future.”

The town’s mayor Nebojsa Zelenovic, an opposition leader and a member of the Alliance for Serbia (SzS) which said it would boycott next spring elections, told the ambassador Sabac could be an example as an open town in which it is possible to think, speak and work freely. He added he would like the whole of Serbia to follow the example.

"We are a free, open and friendly town which wants good relations with everyone. We want to see Sabac and Serbia in the European Union and a part of the Western civilization," Zelenovic said.  

He added Sabac had always been proud of the friendship with the US embassy.

Zelenovic said the local authorities informed the guests on Friday about “why we have received awards as the best town for domestic and foreign investments, for being an open town with fast and efficient administration."

Godfrey said that "the US highly appreciated the partnership with Serbia in the fight against the Fascist tyranny in the WWII, as well as our current partnership which has a huge potential for the future, and I hope it will develop further."

Godfrey tweeted a couple of photos and greetings from Sabac in Serbian.

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