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Bosnia: EU Ties Aid To Capture Of War Crimes Suspects

Brussels, 23 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- An international conference to raise money for Bosnian reconstruction has heard an appeal from the European Union for money to be withheld from the Bosnian Serbs until they bring war crime suspects to justice.

European Union Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans Van den Broek said in Brussels today that it would be "irresponsible" to continue spending public funds for reconstruction as long as people indicted for war crimes continue to exercise political and economic power.

Pressure has been growing on the Bosnian Serbs to hand over their former political and military leaders, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, to the intenrational war crimes tribunal in The Hague. The European Union, which supplies almost half of all reconstruction aid to Bosnia, has said the Bosnian Serbs must hand over Karadzic before it gives them any help at all.

At the two-day conference in Brussels which opened today, international aid donors are trying to raise $1.4 billion for Bosnian reconstruction in this year alone.