Belgrade's big Carter welcome

The crowds have been bigger, but Jimmy Carter arrived here Tuesday to a welcome more personally warm and friendly than those accorded any visiting world leader for many years.

The timetable for his tour through town was not published here, presumably for security reasons. But Yugoslavs are familiar with the route along which visitors like Mr. Carter are brought in. So, by the time the police halted midtown traffic, the main thoroughfare was lined with enthusiastic crowds.

President Carter is the first world leader to visit here for formal talks since President Tito's passing, even though he is here for only 24 hours. His absence from the funeral May 8, which some 40 other world figures attended, was a keen disappointment to the Yugoslavs and was widely seen by US allies as a political gaffe.

The rearrangement of Mr. Carter's schedule for the Venice summit to include a visit to Yugoslavia was an endeavor to make up for it.

But the Carter view still is that his absence indicated no lack of respect or reverence and that this trip would be more worthwhile than one made immediately after President Tito's passing.The warmth of the welcome -- both official and public -- seemed to justify that view.

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