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Bosnia: Donor's Conference Cancelled Yet Again

Prague, 20 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank and the European Union have cancelled next week's scheduled international donor's conference for Bosnia's reconstruction. The conference had already been postponed several times.

The conference, expected to raise some $ 1.4 billion dollars in aid for the rebuilding of war-ravaged Bosnia, had been scheduled to take place in Brussels on June 24 and 25. But World Bank spokesman Patrice Defors told our correspondent the conference would be delayed because of what he called insufficient progress toward terms set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Defors said "remarkable" progress had been made in the past week, but he said the remaining issues were technical in nature and would require more time. He said the parties involved now hope to reschedule for mid-July.

The conference was first planned for last December, when it was thought that Bosnia would have already formed a united government following national elections last September. It was then put off several more times as Bosnia's Croat, Muslim and Serb officials failed to agree on a common set of economic laws.

Defors confirmed late reports that the so-called "quick start" package of economic laws had finally passed long-standing Serb opposition today. But Defors said the agreement still came too late and that other details still remain to be addressed before the conference can be held.