UK and France court Islam
BOSNIA CRISIS DIPLOMATIC MOVES
Friday 08 September 1995
Britain and France yesterday mounted a drive to win diplomatic support from Islamic nations before today's peace talks in Geneva between the foreign ministers of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia.
Their aim was to get Muslim countries and the US to convince the Bosnian government to show flexibility in the negotiations. London and Paris regard the Geneva talks as a watershed after more than three years of fruitless efforts to broker a settlement. Both have said they will withdraw their troops (there are 9,000 British peace-keepers in former Yugoslavia) if the conflict breaks out again into full-scale war.
"We are at a very important stage," said the Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, arriving in Paris yesterday to add his presence to a preliminary meeting of Islamic foreign ministers and representatives of the US, France, Russia and Germany.
"We should be under no illusions," Mr Rifkind added." It is going to be a long and hard negotiation, because there are some very real issues at stake."
The Western allies have lobbied hard before the meeting in Geneva this morning between the Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian ministers, at which Serbia will speak for the Bosnian Serbs. The talks will also include senior Western and Russian officials, who want to hear the positions of the warring parties on new constitutional arrangements for Bosnia and a re-drawn map of its ethnic components.
The Foreign Secretary began his own lobbying early yesterday when he met the Bosnian Foreign Minister, Muhamed Sacirbey, and the US special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, during a refuelling stop in Rome on his way from Ankara.
As part of a carefully orchestrated effort to soothe Islamic opinion, the Nato alliance has sent Turkish F-16 fighters on combat missions over Bosnia to identify Serb targets and to provide cover for other planes on bombing runs.
At yesterday's meeting Mr Rifkind will have sought to convince ministers that Britain is committed to end the Bosnian Serb attacks on Sarajevo and to work for a just settlement of the Bosnian dispute.
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
Isis 'bulldozes' Nimrud: UNESCO condemns destruction of ancient Assyrian site as a 'war crime'
Professor Brian Cox brands astrology-believing Tory MP David Tredinnick an 'outlier on the spectrum of reason'
Lynch mob kills suspected rapist in India after dragging him naked for four miles through city
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...