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Bid To Form New Bosnian Government Fails Over Differences On NATO

Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb member of the presidency, has long opposed NATO membership.

The members of Bosnia-Herzegovina's tripartite presidency have again failed to form a new government more than 10 months after a general election.

A meeting on August 20 in Sarajevo between Bosnian Muslim Sefik Dzaferovic, Bosnian Croat Zeljko Komsic, and Bosian Serb Milorad Dodik ended without an agreement on forming the new cabinet because Dodik was against a package that would also include adopting a plan that would move Bosnia closer to becoming a member of NATO.

Bosnia in 2010 joined NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) -- a first step toward eventual membership in the alliance.

In December 2018, NATO's foreign ministers agreed to activate the alliance's program of advice and assistance and submit its first Annual National Plan, which would activate the MAP.

However, Dodik has always been against Bosnia's joining NATO, insisting on retaining neutrality.

Disagreements between Bosnia's pro-Russian ethnic Serbs and the other two groups over Bosnia's future relations with NATO could plunge the country deeper into crisis.

An agreement between the representatives of Bosnia's three main ethnic groups is crucial because the lack of a government has stalled economic development in the Balkan country, which is still struggling to get on its feet after the devastating 1992-95 war.

With reporting by AP