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Bosnia: Westendorp Meets Tudjman Hoping To Block Election Boycott

Zagreb, 11 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The top international official for Bosnia, seeking to avert a Bosnian Croat boycott of local Bosnian elections, met in Zagreb today with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman.

Carlos Westendorp was accompanied by his deputy, Jacques Klein.

Westendorp's visit came after the main Croat party in Bosnia, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), said earlier this week it would boycott elections this weekend. International officials believe Tudjman, who dominates the HDZ in Croatia, has strong influence with Bosnian Croat leaders.

Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic expressed hope that a solution would be found soon to avert a boycott.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel today warned Bosnian Croats that aid will be withdrawn if they proceed with plans to boycott the voting.

Kinkel said in a statement that international funds will surely be cut off for those who boycott peace. He said he will urge Tudjman and other political leaders to stop what he called a "madhouse scenario."

A threatened boycott of the election by hardline Bosnian Serbs was avoided yesterday. Hardline deputies in the Bosnian Serb assembly decided to participate in the election after talks with Westendorp and federal Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade.

Parliament speaker Dragan Kalinic said the Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe (OSCE), which is supervising the vote, had agreed to review the voter registration list in the contested town of Brcko. The OSCE also promised the Serbs that suspected war crimes suspects who have been secretly indicted would not be arrested at polling stations.