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Serbia Told Mladic Arrest Required For Closer EU Ties

Supporters of war crime indictee Ratko Mladic rally in Belgrade in February 2006 (file photo) (epa) April 5, 2006 -- The European Union told Serbia and Montenegro that a new round of talks on closer ties depended on Belgrade's arrest of war-crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic and his handover to the United Nations war crimes court.

The EU delegation made the statement after a second round of talks on a Stabilization and Association Agreement, seen as the first step to membership of the 25-nation bloc.

Today's session took place only after chief UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte made a favorable assessment of Serbia's cooperation with the court. But she demanded the arrest of the Bosnian-Serb former general, who she says is hiding in Serbia.

The Serbian official in charge of cooperation with The Hague tribunal tonight said it was "realistic" to hope that Mladic could be brought to justice by the end of the month.

(Reuters, AP)

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