Washington, April 2 -- The man coordinating the
international community's efforts to rebuild war-shattered Bosnia,
Carl Bildt, has expressed concern about continuing restrictions on
press freedom in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bildt -- whose official title is U.N. High Representative -- told a
Washington press conference today that freedom of the
media is essential for a free and fair election campaign this summer
and that he is worried especially about television broadcasting.
He said television in all parts of Bosnia is, in his words "not as
open and as independent and as unbiased as it has to be for a free
and fair election campaign."
Bildt is in the United States to consult with U.S. officials on
fundraising and implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords provisions
for civilian reconstruction in Bosnia.
He said an estimated $5 billion will be needed over the
next four years to rebuild housing, power systems, industrial
production and other areas devastated by four years of war.
Bildt says $1.6 billion is needed this year alone, in
addition to $200 million coming from the United States.
Bildt has already met key U.S. State Department and Pentagon
officials and is due to have separate talks with U.S. Vice
President Al Gore and White House National Security Adviser Anthony
Bildt says he will fly to New York aftewards to meet members of the
United Nations Security Council and other U.N. dignitaries.