Bosnian leaders meet to discuss political deadlock

AFP , Monday 26 Sep 2011

Bosnia's political leaders are to meet in a bid to resolve the most serious post-war crisis in the country that still has no government almost a year after general elections

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.

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