Clinton starts Balkans tour

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Clinton starts Balkans tour

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday started a four-day trip of the Balkans with a visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

She will tell Sarajevo to speed up reforms required to join the EU and move towards closer ties with NATO.

Yesterday, Clinton met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

She urged his government to step up the fight against Islamist militants in neighbouring Mali.

Washington’s top diplomat said Bouteflika understood “the many complicated factors that have to be addressed to deal with the internal security in Mali.”

Clinton pointed to “the terrorist and drug tafficking threat that is posed to the region and beyond” by the security situation” there.

A complex web of rebel groups has controlled northern Mali since seizing it in the wake of a March 22 coup.

However, the most powerful of all the militant organisations operating in the country is Al-Qaeda’s north African branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Clinton will also travel to Serbia, Kosovo and Albania, ending in Croatia on Friday.