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Bosnian Leaders Reach Accord On Changing Constitution

22 November 2005 -- Bosnia's political leaders have reportedly agreed to embark upon a process of constitutional reform -- a move that could create a single presidency.

Political representatives of Bosnia's Serbs, Croats, and Muslims reached the agreement during talks in Washington marking this week's 10th anniversary of the U.S.-brokered Dayton Accords. That deal stopped a 1992-95 civil war, but also established a political system that enshrined ethnic divisions.

In a statement distributed by the U.S. State Department, Bosnian leaders did not specifically commit themselves to creating a single presidency.

But U.S. negotiator Nicholas Burns has said that a joint pledge from the Bosnians on reforming their constitution would lead inevitably to such a single entity.

A formal announcement was expected later today by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Meet The Newsmakers

As part of its coverage of the 10th annversary of the Dayton Accord, RFE/RL spoke with Christian Schwarz-Schilling, who served as an international mediator in Bosnia-Herzegovina for nearly a decade and is now Germany's candidate to succeed Britain's Paddy Ashdown as the international community's and EU's high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

(To listen the RFE/RL's interview with Mr. Schwarz-Schilling, click here for Real Audio or here for Windows Media.)

RFE/RL also spoke with Wolfgang Petritsch, the international community's high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2002.

(To hear RFE/RL's interview with Mr. Petritsch, click here for Real Audio or here for Windows Media.)