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U.S. Urges Bosnia's Leaders To Find 'Common Ground'

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said he hoped the government could put the country on the path toward Euro-Atlantic integration
The United States has urged the newly elected leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina to find "common ground" as they look to the future.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley spoke to reporters after the October 3 elections in Bosnia appeared to perpetuate the country's persistent ethnic divisions.

"We look forward to the formation of a government which is committed to tackling the outstanding constitutional and other issues needed to place the country on a firm path to Euro-Atlantic integration," Crowley said.

According to partial results, moderate Bakir Izetbegovic was set to become the Muslim member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency. Speaking as the result was becoming clear, Izetbegovic pledged to cooperate with other ethnic groups to encourage the country's economic development.

The current Croat member of the presidency, Zeljko Komsic, who also favors a peaceful multiethnic Bosnia, won another four-year term with 60 percent of the vote.

Serbian incumbent Nebojsa Radmanovic, who backs Bosnian Serb separation, was also reelected with almost 50 percent of the vote.

In a separate poll, hard-line Bosnian Serb nationalist Milorad Dodik became president of Republika Srbska, the Bosnian Serb entity of the Muslim-Croat Federation. Dodik is currently the entity's prime minister.

compiled from agency reports