Brussels, 25 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Carlos Westendorp, the international community's chief peace administrator in Bosnia, called today for a continued strong U.S. presence in the region. A U.S. component is essential to any kind of permanent peace solution, he said.
Westendorp's remarks came after the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday by 278 to 148 to cut off the U.S. troop deployment to Bosnia after the previously-agreed deadline of June 1998.
U.S. President Bill Clinton has previously said that U.S. participation in the NATO-led international stabilization force in Bosnia must end by the middle of next summer.
Correspondents say that the lower house legislators want to force Clinton to come to Congress to ask for an extension should he decide U.S. troops should remain longer.