Bosnian prime minister voices efforts to reform political structure on track

Bosnia-Herzegovina's Prime Minister Adnan Terzic voiced confidence Tuesday that his country's efforts to create greater unification in preparing for eventual membership in the European Union will show results before the end of the month.

Talks among Bosnia's Serb, Croat and Muslim political parties were held last weekend to streamline complex constitutional arrangements set up in the Balkan nation to ensure a balance of power after the 1992-1995 war.

Further talks are expected in Washington next week ahead of Nov. 21 ceremonies for the 10th anniversary of the peace agreement concluded in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war.

Terzic, who is on an official visit to Malaysia, downplayed concerns over differences among the factions over issues such as plans to unite Bosnia's three-member presidency that represents each of the three main ethnic communities.

"I remain confident that by the time of marking the 10th anniversary of Dayton ... we'll be able to come up with a statement that is going to achieve certain amendments to the constitution, and enable us to extend a bit more outside the Dayton accord," Terzic, speaking through an interpreter, told a news conference.

Terzic did not give details, but added he believes "Bosnia-Herzegovina has overgrown its Dayton phase, and we are moving toward the Brussels phase" a reference to the country's hopes of drawing closer to the EU.

Bosnia is scheduled to open talks with the EU this year on a stabilization and association agreement to prepare the country for EU membership. But Europeans say the current patchwork of local, ethnically based administrations in Bosnia is too cumbersome to handle the negotiations.

Diplomats have said the three sides needed to reach agreement soon so the constitutional changes can be approved by Bosnia's parliament and adopted before elections scheduled for October 2006, reports the AP. I.L.

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