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Bosnia, Macedonia Reaffirm Aspirations for NATO, EU Membership

Top leaders of Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have reaffirmed membership in NATO and the European Union as the top goals of their countries.

Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski outlined the position following talks in Sarajevo with the three members of Bosnia's collective presidency.

Both NATO and the European Union have stressed that the two Balkan countries must implement significant reforms before moving toward membership. The two organizations have insisted that Bosnia improve cooperation with the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague before progress toward membership can be considered.

In another development, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is winding up a visit to Bosnia with a stop in the southern city of Mostar to view the city's famed Old Bridge. The span, built under the Ottoman Empire, was destroyed during Croat-Muslim fighting in 1993. Turkey helped finance its reconstruction.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.