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Ashton Says EU Ready To Help Bosnia Speed Up Reforms

EU Catherine Ashton (left) and Bosnian Prime Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija in Sarajevo on March 12.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton says the European Union is ready to expand its engagement in Bosnia to help it speed up economic and social reforms after mass protests last month.

Ashton met with the country's political leaders in Sarajevo on March 12, and afterwards said the EU would help Bosnian leaders address protesters' demands to curb corruption and boost the economy, without going into detail on what form that assistance might take.

She also urged political leaders to look beyond ethnic divisions and act on public demands.

Bosnia has been plagued by corruption, unemployment, and political dysfunction since the end of the 1992-1995 Balkan war.

The mass protests last month, which saw more than 200 people injured in violent clashes between protesters and police, were the worst civil unrest in the country since the conflict.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP