AGREEMENT ON BASIC PRINCIPLES IN GENEVA
The following is the text provided by diplomats of the basic principles agreed on at Geneva today by Croatia, BiH and rump Yugoslavia:
* 1. Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue its legal existence with its present borders and continuing international recognition. * 2. Bosnia and Herzegovina will consist of two entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as established by the Washington Agreements (of 1994) and the Republika Sprska (RS).
However, the talks failed to reach agreement on how to deal with the status of Eastern Slavonia, still occupied part of Croatia.
CROATIAN RADIO NEWS 2PM
[Image] The U.S.-brokered trilateral meeting between the foreign Ministers of Croatia, Bosnia and rump Yugoslavia - Mate Granic, Muhamed Sacirbey and Milan Milutinovic respectively - is underway in Geneva. The meeting is being chaired by U.S. Assistant Secretary of state, Richard Holbrooke, and peace mediator, Carl Bildt, with the participation of diplomats from the contact group countries. Talks will reportedly be focusing on the basic principles for the resumption of the peace process and for future negotiations for a resolution to the drawn-out crisis in the former Yugoslavia. Diplomatic sources predict that the contact group peace plan will be the basis of efforts to reach an agreement on the fundamental guidelines for the future structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign and internationally-recognised state.
The Croatian side has come to the Geneva talks with a firm and clear policy, coordinated with the Bosnian delegation's views, which calls for Belgrade to recognise Croatia and Bosnia simultaneously without which the lifting of sanctions should not be considered while the reintegration of Croatia's remaining occupied territories must be a part of the complete cessation of Serb agression against Croatia and Bosnia.
NATO has resumed air strikes on Bosnian Serb positions and will be in action throughout the day, announced NATO Spokeswoman in Naples, Ana Kancano. She said that NATO jets, the majority of them equipped for night missions, hit Serb targets last night. She pointed out that the operation is continuing, adding that initial reports reveal that it has been successful. Kancano qualified this by saying that progress is slow despite ten days of strikes on the Bosnian Serb infrastructure, including communications buildings, anti-aircraft defence systems, military headquarters, control centres and bridges.
The Bosnian Serb heavy artillery is firmly entrenched in positions around Sarajevo and is therefore a difficult target. NATO officials point out that Serb artillery and mortar units which have killed ten and a half thousand civilians in Sarajevo are for the most part small and mobile and therefore a difficult target to hit from the air.
NATO has confirmed that allied jets have made over two thousand flights from the airplane carrier in the Adriatic and from military bases in Italy since the operation started.
The United States has announced that NATO will continue attacks on Bosnian Serb targets until the siege of Sarajevo is lifted. Pentagon Spokesman, Ken Bacon, neither confirmed nor denied reports that NATO and U.N. military experts are expanding the list of targets but he did warn that Serb heavy guns around Sarajevo will not be excluded from the list.
Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, announced today that Russian assistance to the Bosnian Serbs could be increased to more than just humanitarian supplies if NATO continues hitting Bosnian Serb positions. Accusing the NATO alliance of air strikes on Serb positions, the Russian President said that such attacks are not permissable. Yeltsin sent a firm warning that an expansion of NATO strikes could ignite a war in Europe. Moscow has again condemned attempts by the NATO Alliance to gather the former Warsaw-pact countries around itself, the Russian statement being the sharpest warning to date against the possible expansion of NATO. KATE MARIJAN
Zeljko Bodulovic <ZelB@dwe.csiro.au> Dzevat Omeragic <Dzevat@ee.mcgill.ca> Davor Wagner <DWagner@mailbox.syr.edu> Nermin Zukic <N6Zukic@sms.business.uwo.ca>