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Bosnia: Prime Minister Urges Islamic Countries to Pressure Croatia

Geneva, July 31 (RFE/RL) -- Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic today appealed to Islamic countries to put pressure on Croatia to help end a dispute that he says threatens peace in Bosnia.

Muratovic told a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Geneva that it is the last chance for the international community to put pressure on Croatia to abolish the Herceg-Bosna, the mini-state set up by separatist Bosnian Croats.

Muratovic also urged Islamic nations to provide more assistance to help rebuild the country and support the Bosnian army.

Muratovic was addressing the OIC's contact group, which meets regularly to discuss the situation in Bosnia.

A draft statement from the meeting, due to be issued later today, calls on Croatia to dismantle Herceg-Bosna before Bosnia-wide elections scheduled in September. But it stops short of threatening any specific action against Croatia.

Muratovic also told the gathering that "the conditions for fair and free elections cannot be secured at this time." He said that in the areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the control of Bosnia's Serbs, "it will not be possible to establish even a minimum of conditions for democratic elections." However, Muratovic said the Bosnian government would go along with the elections, which are now scheduled for Sept. 14.