The Edinburgh Summit: Twelve support force in Bosnia no-fly zone: Foreign Policy

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The Independent Online
IN A TOUGH declaration, the European Community backed United Nations moves to use force if necessary to guarantee the 'no-fly' zone over Bosnia.

The 12 heads of government urged the UN Security Council to re-examine a paragraph in Resolution 768 (establishing the exclusion zone) that provides for the use of 'all necessary means', including force, to ensure it is respected.

Similar demands have already been made by Manfred Worner, Nato Secretary-General, and others.

The declaration also suggested that a UN presence in Kosovo would be a 'positive step forward', and called for more action 'to provide protection to the civilian population through the development of safe areas and by providing refuge in the member states for particularly vulnerable categories of refugees'.

Serbia was roundly condemned as the author of the brutal conflict in Bosnia, and accused of undertaking 'a savage campaign of military aggression, ethnic cleansing and the persecution and torture of civilians'.

The 12 called the renewed attacks in Sarajevo 'part of a systematic campaign to seize territory and cities', and stressed that the EC would not accept the acquisition of territory by force, nor the partition of Bosnia.

A separate declaration drew particular attention to the 'systematic detention and rape of Muslim women . . . acts of unspeakable brutality which form part of a deliberate strategy to terrorise the Muslim community in Bosnia in order to achieve the purpose of ethnic cleansing'. It called for all detention camps to be closed, and announced that Dame Anne Warburton, a former diplomat, would be sent to Bosnia to investigate the situation.

But in a brief statement on migration policy, the summiteers, while deploring racism and xenophobia, 'recognised the danger that uncontrolled immigration could be destabilising'. The political, social and economic pressures of mass immigration were, they agreed, likely to continue into the next decade.

The summit refused to address the question of Macedonian recognition, that has dogged the EC for months. But a formal declaration paid tribute to Greek sensibilities, slipping in a reference to an earlier agreement that the only acceptable formula would be a name that does not include Macedonia.

It was also emphasised that Macedonia should not suffer any knock-on effects from the sanctions that have been applied to other republics of the former Yugoslavia, and must be allowed access to international funding and a regular oil supply.

Other declarations dealt with the need to bolster relations with Iran, and stressed the importance of the Middle East peace process.

In a cautious statement, the Twelve 'strongly supported the process of transformation' underway in Russia, and pledged closer co-operation with the Commonwealth of Independent States.