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Croatia: President Assures UN Of Slavonia Action

Zagreb, 22 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Following a meeting today with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, the UN administrator for Eastern Slavonia said he had received assurances Zagreb will take action to ease concerns over the former rebel-Serb held region.

The UN's William Walker called the meeting "very positive" and said there was still time for Zagreb to address UN concerns before the region is due to come under Zagreb's control. The current UN mandate for the region expires in January.

Two days ago, the UN Security Council said urgent progress was needed in reconciling ethnic Serbs and Croats in Eastern Slavonia. The council cited media attacks on ethnic groups and obstacles to the return of refugees.

Vesna Skare-Ozbalt, appointed this month to head a commission to ease tensions in the region, said today that Zagreb will "speed up as much as possible all steps, especially the return of refugees."