Berlin invites Bosnian leaders for new post-election talks

18th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited Bosnian political leaders for a new round of talks aimed at ending their political deadlock after October's vote, a Bosnian party official said on Tuesday.

Bosnian Muslim leaders -- Bakir Izetbegovic, the newly-elected Muslim member of the country's tripartite presidency and Sulejman Tihic, head of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) -- were to leave for Berlin on Wednesday, SDA spokesman Salmir Kaplan told AFP.

"The invitation came from Merkel's cabinet," he added, stressing that a meeting with Merkel's foreign policy and security advisor Christoph Heusgen, has been confirmed.

It is the "second round" of meetings that Berlin has been organising with Bosnian political leaders since October 3 general elections, he said.

The first series of meetings was held in November and December.

The head of Bosnian Croat Democratic Union party Dragan Covic is to visit Berlin on Friday, the Dnevni Avaz daily reported.

Bosnian Serb president and leader of the Union of Independent Social Democrats, Milorad Dodik, and the head of the multi-ethnic Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zlatko Lagumdzija, were also invited and should visit Berlin next week, the daily said.

Kaplan said that the initiative, led by Germany in the "name of the European Union," meant a "more serious involvement ... into solving of the problem of functioning of (Bosnia's political) system."

"Germany wants to see how it could help us to end the deadlock," Covic told the Dnevni Avaz.

The process to form Bosnia's central government has been blocked due to inter-ethnic wranglings which have also hampered EU-sought reforms since 2006.

Covic said that Merkel's goal was to "look for a framework" for a compromise between the main parties so they could form a large coalition.

Since the 1992-1995 war Bosnia consists of two semi-independent entities -- the Serbs' Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. They are linked by weak central institutions while each has its own government.

© 2011 AFP

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