Voislav Kostunica: Catching Karajic is not the President's job

Yesterday, in the Bosnian capital Saraevo, the Reconciliation Summit finished - the historical, symbolic, or revolutionary meeting (as it is characterized by western observers), in which leaders of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia participated. For the first time in the Balkan conflict, an agreement about friendly relations was signed. Earlier, as is well known, the heads of the above-mentioned republics resolutely refused to attend the summit.

According to RTR ‘Vesti’, the President of Serbia and Montenegro Vojislav Kostunica, his Croatian colleague Stipe Mesic, and three members of Bosnian Presidium (the collective power body of Bosnia and Herzegovina) areed on border, the free trade of goods, services and capitals, and collective cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. Rosbalt agency, referring to information of the summit press center reports that the sides passed a decision to secure a favored visa regime for so-called “divided families,” whose members are on different sides of the borders.

According to optimistic statements of the three sides, tens of thousands of refuges can now return home to Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, and Kosovo. President of Croatia Stipe Mesic stated that, in the Balkans, the time has come for peace and mutual understanding. (However, it is hardly believable for the almost fully Albanized Kosovo).

Today’s Vremya Novostei issue reported on the meeting in Saraevo. Special attention was paid there to the fight against terrorism and organized criminality, which are prospering in almost all of the former Yugoslavia. According to diplomats who work there, the lack of coordination in this field between the nations of the former Yugoslavia is one of the main obstacles to long-term stability in the Balkans.

At the end of the summit, Vojislav Kostunica was asked whether or not he would in any way extradite to the Hague of the ex-leader of Bosnian Serbs, Radavan Karajic. Kostunica answered: "the state has many urgent tasks, while catching Karajic is not the job of the president.

The negotiations between the leaders of Balkan states should be continued.

Sergei Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Photograph: President of Serbia and Montenegro Vojislav Kostunica

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/16/44239.html

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