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Bosnia: International Community Praises Elections

Moscow/London, 16 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia and Britain today joined an international chorus praising the success of Saturday's elections in Bosnia.

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov called the vote a very important step for normalizing the life of all people in Bosnia- Herzegovina. He said that Moscow would continue to support peace efforts in Bosnia and would try to help improve relations in the region.

The British Foreign Office sent its congratulations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which set up the elections in Bosnia. The Foreign Office issued a statement which said the election was a very difficult and complicated operation which had gone well.

China today also welcomed the Bosnian elections and said they furthered the prospects for peace in the region. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Shen Guofang, was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency as saying China hoped the parties would "seize the opportunity, bury their hatchets and coexist peacefully."

NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said today he was also pleased with the overall conduct of the Bosnian elections and urged the newly-elected officials to start working together soon. In a statement, Solana said he was also proud of the role played in the elections by the NATO-led peace implementation force (IFOR), which he said ensured the poll took place peacefully and without major incidents or disturbances.