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Perry Would Recommend Return of U.S. Troops to Bosnia

Skopje, June 12 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry says he would recommend sending U.S. troops to Bosnia again next year if NATO decided to deploy a new ground force to prevent renewal of conflict there.

Perry stressed that no such decision had been made. But the defense secretary said the Atlantic alliance would not let its efforts to cement peace go to waste in unsettled Bosnia.

The force of 60,000 NATO-led peacekeepers, including Americans, now in Bosnia is scheduled to be withdrawn later this year.

Perry told reporters who flew with him to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia today that if NATO makes that decision it would be his "recommendation that the United States participate in any force that is so designated -- including ground troops."