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EU:  Not Enough Being Done To Help Bosnia

A top European Union official has told the United Nations Security Council that not enough progress is being made towards the transformation of Bosnia-Herzegovina into a stable and independent state.

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana says Bosnia-Herzegovina stands at a crossroads. In a report to the U.N. Security Council he says the nation has a choice, it can aggressively adopt reforms that would lead it to membership in the European Union or it could choose a path leading to greater political and economic isolation.

The European Union is preparing to take charge of the international police force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the United Nations turns the job over at the end of this year. The Council adopted a resolution Tuesday welcoming the EU's decision to assume the police mission.

At Tuesday's Council session Tuesday to discuss the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a number of Council members agreed with Mr. Solana's assessment. Outgoing U.N. High Representative in Bosnia Wolfgang Petritsch also told the meeting that one of the decisive factors in the Bosnia's future, is the pursuit of war crime suspects who currently enjoy safe haven in the Bosnian Serb Republic.

"As long as it fails to live up to its obligations, it will not receive the full backing of the international community," he said. "I remain firmly convinced that, unless Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic, and other indictees end up in the Hague, people will not be able to turn the page and look to the future."

Members also agreed on the need for the continued, efficient return of refugees to Bosnia.

The Council formally endorsed the appointment of Paddy Ashdown, former British Liberal Democratic party leader, as High Representative for Bosnia, to succeed Mr. Petritsch, who steps down in May