Saturday, September 1, 2007


BRUSSELS, Belgium (September1,2007) - The European Union warned the leaders of Bosnia's two main political parties that their rejection of proposals to reform the police could undermine talks on closer EU-Bosnia ties.

"Without an agreement on police reform in accordance with the EU's principles, the EU is unable to conclude a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia," the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a statement.

The leaders of two main Bosnian political parties Haris Silajdzic and Sulejman Tihic rejected a proposal put forward by the international community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak, saying it failed to reach the EU's aim of unifying Bosnia's police forces.

"This is not a police reform, this is legalisation of the ethnically divided police forces. We cannot accept that," Sulejman Tihic, the president of the Party of Democratic Action,said.

The EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn expressed support for Lajcak and insisted that his plan is in line with the EU's principles.

"I strongly encourage all political parties to continue to work constructively with Mr. Lajcak on the basis of his proposal and reach a comprehensive agreement without delay," he said in the statement.

But,the president of the Party for Bosnia (SBIH) and a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic said : "Those (EU) principles were completely denied in Lajcak's proposal."

Bosnia completed a final round of stabilisation and association agreement talks with the European Union in December, but was asked to finalise the police reforms before being allowed to sign it.

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