Talks on Bosnia Resume In Geneva, Then Brussels

PEACE talks on Bosnia-Herzegovina resumed Dec. 21 with signs the warring sides could be edging toward agreement on the republic's territorial division.

Meeting in Geneva were leaders of Bosnia's three sides: the Muslim-led government, and ethnic Serbs and Croats. Also attending were the presidents of Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia. The leaders are to meet Dec. 22 with European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

But EU mediator Lord David Owen indicated that after a weeklong round of private diplomacy, Serbs and Croats are prepared to make concessions to the Muslim side.

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic also voiced optimism. ``This time I think we can make it if the EU and Croats are sensible and serious.''

But Bosnia's President Alija Izetbegovic said he was not optimistic. ``I don't see any change,'' he said.

The EU offered to work to lift the international trade sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro if Belgrade gets the Bosnian Serbs to return 3 to 4 percent more land to the government than foreseen under a September peace plan the Muslims rejected.

Lord Owen said that, as in previous draft accords, Bosnia would become a union of three ethnically based republics. Sarajevo, the Serb-besieged capital, would come under UN administration, and the western city of Mostar, divided between Croats and Muslims, would be administered by the EU.

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