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Bosnia Urged To Reform With Eye To Joining EU


Bosnia's UN peace envoy challenged the country May 12 to implement reforms so it can eventually join the European Union.

Valentin Inzko called for concrete results on creating new jobs, improving the functioning of government and the rule of law before November's 20th anniversary of the Dayton peace agreement that ended the 1992-1995 civil war between Bosnia's three ethnic groups — Muslims, Croats and Serbs.

The Austrian diplomat told the UN Security Council that the alternative "is to continue practicing the politics of the past that has been driving the country ever deeper into crisis."

Bosnia remains divided into a Bosnian Serb region and a Muslim-Croat federation, which are loosely linked by a central government.

In March, the EU approved an association agreement with Bosnia-Herzegovina — the first step toward membership — in return for a written promise from newly elected leaders to carry out reforms.

Most other Balkan countries are further down the path to EU membership than Bosnia, which has been held back by inter-ethnic bickering. The delay has helped push the country's unemployment rate to nearly 40 percent.

Based on reporting by AP and Anadolu Agency
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