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Top Bosnian Leaders Meet for Talks on Latest Political Crisis


Leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina's rival ethnic communities have met in Sarajevo to discuss possible solutions to the country's latest political crisis.

The meeting follows the resignation of the country's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric, an ethnic Serb, who stepped down earlier this month after disagreements with the top international mediator in Bosnia. The international envoy, Miroslav Lajcak, has introduced reforms to strengthen central institutions in the ethnically-divided country.

In a statement issued prior to Thursday's meeting Lajcak urged leaders of the country's Croat, Muslim and Serb communities to return to the path of European integration and fulfill their commitments and deliver results. He was referring to failure by the sides to agree on reforms of their ethnically-divided police forces - a key precondition of the European Union for building closer ties with Bosnia.

Mr. Spiric resigned to protest Lajcak's efforts to streamline the voting procedures of Bosnia's central government.

The mediator had ordered a change in the way a quorum is calculated at official meetings by counting only lawmakers present rather than also including those absent. Previously, lawmakers seeking to block votes or rulings had done so by staying away from sessions to ensure a lack of a quorum. Bosnian Serbs strongly opposed the change.

The 1995 Dayton Accord that halted about three years of fighting divided Bosnia into a Muslim-Croat Federation and a Serb Republic.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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