Muslim Wire

Bosnian Serbs reject reform deal

Posted in Politics, Society by muslimwire on October 20, 2009

Bosnian Serb leaders today dismissed as unconstitutional an EU-US-drafted package of reforms that would give Bosnia rapid integration into the European Union and Nato if passed, Srna news agency reported.

EU and US officials arrived in Sarajevo today to resume talks with Bosnia’s politicians on ways to overcome a deadlock that is jeopardising stability in the country and wider region. They gave leaders proposals for reform.

“We are totally surprised by the content of the reform proposal package,” Milorad Dodik, prime minister of Bosnia’s Serb Republic and head of the Bosnian Serb’s largest SNSD party, said in a letter to the US ambassador and EU presidency.

“We see it as an anti-Dayton, politically incorrect and unacceptable basis for talks,” Dodik said in a letter made available to the Bosnian Serb news agency.

Earlier Mr Dodik said Bosnian Serbs would accept only minor changes to the constitution enshrined in the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the 1992-95 Bosnian war. The accords guarantee wide autonomy for their Serb Republic.

Under Dayton, Bosnia was split into the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb Republic. The autonomous regions are joined in an uneasy co-existence under a weak central government.

Mr Dodik said the package was biased against Serbs and “could only please one constituent people or Muslim Bosniaks”. He added that the European Union and the United States did not have legitimacy to change the constitution or propose other changes.

“The package of reforms that was proposed will remain for us an incorrect and anti-Dayton offer,” he said.

Srna said Mr Dodik met today with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and his team of experts.

The US embassy in Sarajevo could not immediately comment on his letter.

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