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Bosnia/Croatia: Presidents Reaffirm Refugees' Rights

Split, 6 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic have ended their talks in Split, reaffirming the right of all refugees in Bosnia to return home without intimidation. Their joint statement comes just days after hundreds of Bosnian Muslim refugees were chased out of their homes by Bosnian Croats in central Bosnia.

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. diplomat who engineered an end to the Bosnian war in 1995, sat in on the final part of the meeting. He told reporters that progress is being made on implementing the Dayton Peace Accords, but it is too slow. He said he is trying to accelerate the process.

Earlier, the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, Peter Galbraith, said the U.S. and its allies are making it clear to all sides in former Yugoslavia that they must demonstrate action rather than commitments on paper.

At the top of the agenda for today's talks was getting Tudjman's Bosnian Croat proteges to cooperate more fully with the Muslim-Croat Federation that makes up half of Bosna-Herzegovina. The U.S. is particularly dissatisfied with the failure of the Bosnian Croats to comply with the Dayton Accords.