After several failed attempts to form a central government in Bosnia, divided along ethnic lines into two entities -- the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation -- the heads of the six main political parties re-launched a dialogue earlier this month.
After their September 15 meeting, the leaders said they had "brought closer" their "principles" regarding key reforms that a central government must carry out for Bosnia to be allowed into the European Union.
Sarajevo aspires to file a request for European Union candidate status by the end of the year, but inter-ethnic disputes has prevented political leaders from agreeing on the creation of a new central government.
Since the end of its 1992-95 war, Bosnia has consisted of two entities each with their own government -- the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serb-run Republika Srpska. They are linked by weak central institutions, including a central government tasked with implementing the EU-sought reforms.
"I don't want to say that I'm an optimist or a pessimist. I'll go to the meeting and I will discuss" outstanding issues, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said ahead of the gathering in the northern town of Brcko.
Dodik mooted the possibility of holding separate talks on a government and on Brussels-sought reforms.
"I want to believe that in Brcko we will reach a deal ...," Muslim leader Sulejman Tihic said.
Bosnia's general elections were held on October 3, 2010, while implementation of EU-required reforms is blocked practically since 2006.