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Bosnia: U.S. Tells Pale Leaders To Stop Rhetoric

Washington, 22 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department yesterday called on the Bosnian Serb leadership based in Pale to stop the threatening, inflammatory rhetoric against Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic.

Spokesman James Rubin said it raises tensions in the region. He said former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, now an indicted war crimes suspect, and his supporters should "stop throwing kerosene on the fire."

He said international officials will discuss the dangers of this rhetoric and its consequences if it is not stopped.

He was referring to Bosnian Serb Television broadcasts from Pale -- Karadzic's stronghold in eastern Bosnia -- which said Plavsic is a quisling of the West and a threat to the survival of Republika Srpska, the Serb half of Bosnia.

Rubin said it is foolish to think Bosnian Serbs can outwait the international community. He reaffirmed U.S. determination to see the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war implemented.

He said the situation in Banja Luka is calm after Wednesday's action by NATO forces against what he called illegal police facilities in the city.

Rubin said the number of NATO peacekeepers has been reduced there and order is now being maintained by the International Police Task Force (IPTF) and new Bosnian Serb police officers. Several stations with some 70 police officers are already in operation, Rubin said.

He said the IPTF will continue inspecting buildings used by the former police force and putting in place a new police structure.