Bosnia Joins Fight Against Terrorism
Sep. 24, 2001
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) _ Bosnian leaders pledged Monday to join the fight against terrorism, marking the first unanimous decision reached by leaders from three rival ethnic groups since the end of the Bosnian war in 1995.
It was also the first time that all top leaders from the Serb and Muslim-Croat portions of Bosnia convened without international mediation.
The leaders _ including the collective president and government as well as presidents and governments of both ministates _ agreed to tighten controls of borders and the issuing of passports. They also agreed that their police forces should cooperate in anti-terrorist activities, and they established a group charged with carrying out the new policies.
Bosnia's Muslims, Serbs and Croats fought each other in a devastating 1992-1995 war. Under the 1995 Dayton peace agreement, Bosnia was divided into a Muslim-Croat federation and a Bosnian Serb republic. The two ministates are linked by a joint parliament, presidency and government.
The former enemies rarely all agree or support the same causes.
The leaders issued a statement Monday saying they want to show that Bosnia is a ``democratic and legal state ready for the institutional fight against all sorts of terrorism, and that it is safe and favorable for foreign investments.''
Bosnia has recently faced criticism as a potential shelter for terrorists _ a problem the government leaders said they agreed should neither be ignored or exaggerated. Dozens of Islamic militants from Arab countries arrived during the war to help Bosnia's Muslims, settling down and obtaining Bosnian citizenship.