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EU, U.S. Convene Bosnia Meeting To Overcome Deadlock

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - European Union president Sweden has said the EU and United States would convene a meeting of leaders of ethnically divided Bosnia in Sarajevo on October 9 to try to overcome a political deadlock.

The country is still plagued by instability and ethnic division 14 years after the end of Europe's worst conflict since World War Two.

It remains divided between two former adversaries, the Bosnian Serbs and the Muslim-Croat Federation, and the international community has expressed concern over nationalist rhetoric and reform delays.

"The European Union and the United States have a common desire to work together to support the Euro-Atlantic ambitions of Bosnia and Herzegovina," the EU presidency said in a statement.

"There is serious concern about the current political deadlock in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country currently risks falling behind the rest of the region," it said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg have called for the meeting, the statement said.

The EU has said Bosnia must move beyond the stewardship of an international overseer and change its constitution before it can be considered for EU membership.

"The meeting will be an important opportunity for political leaders to manifest their political will to overcome the stalemate and establish a platform from which Bosnia and Herzegovina can deliver concrete progress on both the NATO and EU reform agenda," Sweden said on October 2.