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Bosnia: New Collective Presidency May Meet Next Week

Sarajevo, 20 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Kresimir Zubak, the provisional Croat winner of Bosnia's three-member presidency, told RFE/RL today he is "optimistic" the three new members will hold their first meeting before the end of next week.

Speaking from Sarajevo, Zubak said the meeting, which he described as unofficial, would be held when Bosnian Muslim President and Collective Presidency Chairman Alija Izetbegovic returns from addressing the United Nation's General Assembly in New York. No specific date was given.

Zubak said he spoke to Izetbegovic today and that both agreed there was a definite question of general interest to start the talks about common goals and duties.

Zubak said he and Izetbegovic and the provisional Serb winner for the presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, would focus their discussions on setting up Bosnia's new joint institutions.

Earlier today, Izetbegovic vowed that his Muslim nationalist party would stick to a firmly multi-ethnic policy line, in a bid to downplay fears among Bosnia's Orthodox Serbs and largely Catholic Croats.

"We want to establish a normal free state where of course Islam will have freedom to be practiced," he said.