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EU Enlargement Commissioner Presses for Reform in Bosnia


The European Union Enlargement Commissioner has warned Bosnia to reform its police and fully cooperate with the international war crimes tribunal if it hopes to move toward EU candidacy.

Olli Rehn told the Bosnian parliament Friday that he was disappointed by a lack of agreement on integrating the nation's two separate police forces. He blamed politicians for blocking the effort and preventing the country from realizing its European aspirations.

Rehn also warned Bosnian leaders against returning to the nationalist rhetoric. He said leaders and citizens must work together on common goals.

Bosnian leaders this week completed another round of negotiations but failed to reach agreement on the police issue.

The 1995 Dayton Peace Accords divided the country into a Muslim-Croat Federation and a Serb Republic, each with its own government and police force. Leaders of the Serb Republic strongly oppose a joint police force, fearing it would undermine the existence of their state.

Bosnia has completed talks on a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union. But EU authorities insist on agreement on the reforms and closer cooperation with the United Nations war crimes tribunal before signing the document.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.