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Bosnia: Wesetendorp Rejects U.S. Official's Criticism

Sarajevo, 5 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The international community's top peace official in Bosnia, Carlos Westendorp, has rejected a U.S. charge that he is not cooperating fully with Washington in his conflict with Bosnian leaders over integration issues.

A spokesman for Westendorp, Simon Haselock, said today the charge of non-cooperation, which was levelled by a senior U.S. official yesterday, is not correct and not based fully on fact.

The senior U.S. official, who has not been named, told reporters yesterday that Westendorp's decision to break off ties with Bosnian diplomats was not communicated to the U.S. He said Washington instead learned of the decision through newspaper reports.

The U.S. joined several European countries yesterday in suspending diplomatic contact with the Bosnian government. The action comes after Bosnia's leaders, drawn from rival ethnic groups, failed to agree on appointing common ambassadors.

Luxembourg, which holds the curent presidency of the EU, said today it is recommending all 15 member states suspend contact with Bosnian ambassadors.