'I have been brought up in a culture where a verbal agreement is just as weighty as a signed agreement,' the Japanese diplomat said. 'Sometimes words count for more than a piece of paper.' Neither has counted for much in Bosnia during 27 months of war, with the 8 June truce a case in point. Muslim and Croat-backed government troops launched an offensive in the northern part of the country. Bosnian Serb snipers harassed civilians in Sarajevo, and they killed a British UN soldier in Gorazde two weeks ago.
Mr Akashi has been eager to get the truce extended as a bridge to the international peace plan, delivered to Bosnia's warring parties in Geneva last week.Reuse content