Clinton arms move welcomed

Click to follow
The Independent Online
SARAJEVO - Bosnia's Muslim-led government yesterday welcomed President Bill Clinton's promise to seek an end to the arms embargo against it unless the republic's rebel Serbs accepted an international peace plan.

United Nations officials said earlier it would be difficult for their peace-keeping force to remain in Bosnia if the arms embargo were lifted.

Bosnia's Prime Minister, Haris Silajdzic, applauded Mr Clinton's initiative but said the October deadline to the Serbs was too lenient. 'Although we are glad President Clinton is asking to have this unjust embargo lifted, we think the period he has given is too long. It dilutes the momentum towards peace,' Mr Silajdzic said.

Mr Clinton promised to ask the UN to lift the embargo by the end of October unless the Serbs reversed their rejection of the plan to divide Bosnia into two almost equal parts.

'If the US goes ahead, it is difficult to see circumstances in which the UN peace-keepers could remain,' said the UN spokesman in Zagreb. UN military officials in Sarajevo said an end to the embargo could spell disaster for Muslims unless the world reconsidered its refusal to intervene militarily on the ground.