Milosevic is to attend London peace talks

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The Independent Online
Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian President, will attend next week's London conference on Yugoslavia, the Foreign Office said yesterday. Mr Milosevic, whose attendance had been in doubt until yesterday, will join all other factional leaders at the talks opening on Wednesday.

Milan Panic, the Prime Minister of the rump Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) - which now comprises only Serbia and Montenegro and which is not recognised by the international community - will also attend. All delegates will sit behind individual rather than national nameplates, the Foreign Office said.

Mr Milosevic and his Montenegrin counterpart, Momir Bulatovic, refused to attend talks on the former Yugoslavia, chaired by Lord Carrington, the European Community negotiator, in Brussels last week. But both subsequently accepted Lord Carrington's invitation to London, the spokesman said.

The news comes as a relief to the British government which, as president of the EC, has much riding on the conference. The talks, to be co-chaired by John Major and the United Nations Secretary- General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, will be attended by delegations from the UN, the EC and the Conference on Security and Co- operation in Europe.

In addition to leaders of the six republics and the FRY, Serbian warlords including Radovan Karadzic from Bosnia and Goran Hadzic from Croatia will also attend under observer status. An adviser to Bosnia's Muslim President, Alija Izetbegovic, said yesterday Bosnian leaders would use the confernece to try finally to bury what they say is the EC's plan to 'cantonise' Bosnia between its Muslim, Serb and Croat communities.

Mr Panic, a US citizen who is seeking to rehabilitate Belgrade in the eyes of the world, declared: 'We expect the conference in London to be a real turning point in the settlement of the problems which have brought about war in Bosnia.'

WASHINGTON - Serbia is clearly the main aggressor in the Balkans war and the US will not recognise Serbia's land seizures, said the Deputy Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger, AFP reports.

The former US ambassador to Belgrade put the heaviest blame for the war on the Serbs, but attacked Croatia for occupying territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnian Muslim forces for 'some pretty unpleasant activities'. Mr Eagleburger, takes over as Acting Secretary of State on Monday and will fly to London for the planned talks.

He said the US would use force to ensure relief supplies were delivered, but only 'in the narrow limits'. Although fundamental responsibility for solving the crisis lies with Europe, America could not stand by, he said.

NEW YORK - Senior diplomats and military officers from the US, Britain, France and Russia held meetings with UN officials on Thursday on ways of implementing a resolution authorising the use of force to ensure delivery of humanitarian supplies to Bosnia, Reuter reports.

The US, Britain, France and Russia were joint sponsors of the resolution, which was adopted on 13 August.