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Bosnia: German States Agree To Slow Refugee Repatriation

Munich, 24 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Germany's 16 provinces have agreed that some will proceed slower than others in the repatriation of Bosnian refugees. However they have retained the plan to return all 315,000 refugees by summer next year.

Our correspondent reports that the decision was made at a meeting of senior officials in Munich Friday.

A government spokesman said some provinces had pressed for the fastest-possible repatriation. But several others argued that the pace of repatriation should depend on conditions in Bosnia, particularly the availability of jobs and suitable housing. It was finally agreed that each province should set its own pace for repatriation within the overall goal of completing it by mid-1998.

The spokesman said the new plan is expected to be formally approved by the province's interior ministers this week.