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Bosnia, EU initial SAA - full pact depends on reform progress

brussels bureau

Bosnia, EU initial SAA - full pact depends on reform progress


The European Union has initialled a pre-membership accord with Bosnia. Local and international officials in Sarajevo praised the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). They said it drew a line under Bosnia’s political instability and opened up better prospects.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Brussels will sign the accord once Bosnia has produced concrete results. One of the key reforms is uniting the ethnically separate police forces. A surprise deal on this came finally on Monday.

Also in the Western Balkans, chief UN war crimes prosecutor for the former Yugoslavia Carla del Ponte urged the EU not to sign an accord with Serbia until Belgrade hands over key indictees Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

Del Ponte said: ‘‘Karadzic and Mladic are still at large. And the international community cannot accept that this tribunal will close the door in 2010 without having the most responsible for the genocide, the genocide in Srebrenica, in court in the Hague.”

On initialling an SAA in Belgrade last month, the EU’s enlargement commissioner said, “Now Serbia has to achieve full cooperation” with the Hague tribunal, by bringing to justice both the Bosnian Serb former politician and the former Bosnian Serb army chief.

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