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Croatia: U.S. Criticizes Medal Award To General Indicted For War Crimes

Washington, 11 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The United States yesterday criticized the Croatian government for bestowing a medal on a general who has been indicted for war crimes.

U.S. State Department spokesman Glyn Davies called it "completely inappropriate" and "highly negative" to give an award to Gen. Tihomir Blaskic for his role in the Bosnian war.

Davies said the decision to honor Blaskic raises questions about the Croatian government's commitment to work with the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

He said the United States will take this move into account in its evaluation of Croatia's compliance with provisions of the Dayton Peace accords providing for full cooperation with the Tribunal.

Blaskic was indicted on suspicion of involvement in the massacre of Muslims by Croat troops under his command in central Bosnia.

He is currently awaiting trial in The Hague and is expected to go before the International War Crimes Tribunal in the second week of January. His wife accepted the medal for him at a ceremony on Saturday.