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Bosnia: Clinton Says SFOR Mission To End On Schedule

By Oleh Zwaiduk

Washington, 17 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton says the mission of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina will end on schedule, next summer. But he added that work in connection with the Dayton peace accords will continue and a decision has not been made on whether NATO will continue to play a role in the region.

Clinton made the comment at a White House ceremony where he announced his choice of four-star U.S. Army General Henry Shelton to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Shelton will succeed Army General John Shalikashvili. Shelton's nomination must be approved by the U.S. Senate.

In Pale today, the Serb member of Bosnia's three-man collective presidency met U.S. General William Crouch, commander of the NATO stabilization force in Bosnia.

No statements were released following the meeting between Crouch and Momcilo Krajisnik in the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale. Western media say the two men emerged from their talks looking grim.

Today's talks follow increased violence against international workers in Bosnian-Serb territory.

Earlier, the Bosnian-Serb news agency quoted Krajisnik as saying the recent spate of attacks had been sparked by fear and feelings of insecurity. He said those feelings stemmed from the secret list of indictiments for war crimes levelled against Bosnian-Serbs.

A week ago, British troops in the NATO-led force shot dead one suspected Bosnian-Serb war criminal and arrested and extradited another to face trial in the Hague.

Meanwhile, David Foley, with the Organization For Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mission in Bosnia, said staff are back at work in the Northern Bosnian town of Brcko after receiving a bomb threat last night. Foley said there was a brief evacuation and search, but no device was found. Elsewhere, there have been four bombings in as many days, but there have been no injuries reported.