Muslim member of Bosnia presidency to meet Merkel: party

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The newly-elected Muslim member of Bosnia's joint presidency Bakir Izetbegovic is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss situation in Bosnia after the recent polls, his party said Tuesday.

"The meeting (in Berlin) will take place on Thursday ... Current political issues and the situation in Bosnia-Hercegovina will be reviewed," a statement by Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action (SDA) said.

The SDA head Sulejman Tihic is also to attend the meeting that was initiated by Merkel, the statement added.

Results of Bosnia's October 3 general elections showed that moderates dominate in the Muslim community. However, in the Serb-run half of Bosnia nationalist leader Milorad Dodik, who strongly opposes any strengthening of the country's weak central government as sought by Brussels and Washington, remained in power.

Since the 1992-1995 war Bosnia consists of two semi-independent entities -- the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serb-run Republika Srpska.

Each entity has its own government while they share joint institutions, including the tripartite presidency composed of a Croat, a Muslim and a Serb member.

Izetbegovic was elected as the Muslim member of the presidency replacing hardliner Haris Silajdzic who had dominated the political scene among the Bosnian Muslims since the end of the 1992-1995 war.

The son of Bosnian Muslim wartime leader Alija Izetbegovic, he campaigned for a dialogue between Bosnia's deeply divided ethnic groups.

During the past few days leaders of Croat, Muslim and Serb parties have been intensifying meetings to agree on a new central government. However, analysts estimate it could take months before the new government is formed.

The 1992-1995 war between Bosnia's Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives.

© 2010 AFP

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