- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2001

Warning to Serbs

The U.S. ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina is warning the leader of the Serbian half of the country to distance his government from the party of indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic.

Whether the United States will continue to provide support is a "very open question" as long as members of the Serbian Democratic Party remain part of the new government elected in the Republika Srpska in November, Ambassador Thomas Miller told the Reuters news agency in Bosnia this week.

"We are still very, very concerned about the presence of either declared or undeclared SDS members in the government," Mr. Miller said, referring to the party's Serbian initials.

"The question of future assistance … is a very open question as far as we are concerned. There's nothing that's changed with us in terms of our concerns."

The new prime minister, Mladen Ivanic of the Party of Democratic Progress, said he has removed one SDS member from the Cabinet of his coalition government, but four other members have SDS backing. The SDS claims it has abandoned the Serbian nationalism of Mr. Karadzic that inspired the 1992-1995 civil war. The party says it now supports economic and political reform.

Mr. Miller, who suspects that Mr. Karadzic still controls the party behind the scenes, noted that the SDS has never publicly disavowed the man who founded it. He remains a fugitive from a U.N. war-crimes tribunal.

"It would seem that the easiest thing the SDS could do at least to try to address the concerns would be to make a statement about Radovan Karadzic," Mr. Miller said.

"Instead, their whole focus has been tactical. To me that says they're not serious."

The United States was involved in a wide range of programs to help the government function, including privatization, tax administration, auditing and banking administration, he said.

The Republika Srpska shares Bosnia with a Muslim-Croat Federation.

Congo condolences

Congolese diplomats are mourning Laurent Kabila, the president who took power in a 1997 coup and died by an assassin's bullet last week.

A book of condolences will remain open for signing from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 1800 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

A memorial service is scheduled 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 16th Street and Park Road NW. A reception is planned afterward at 2501 Porter St. NW.

Long Cole probe

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine expects no quick breakthroughs in the investigation of the October bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 American sailors.

"It will take a long time to find the local people who were behind the attack," she said in an interview yesterday in the state-run Yemeni weekly newspaper called 26 September.

"Investigations to find the parties behind these individuals … will also take a long time."

Yemen is holding six primary suspects in the suicide bombing of the destroyer in the port of Aden. The United States suspects Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden of plotting the bombing. He also is the suspected mastermind in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

The ambassador's interview appeared a day after she was aboard a plane that was briefly hijacked by a suspect who demanded he be flown to Iraq. The plane stopped to refuel in the African country Djibouti, where the man was overwhelmed by the crew of the airliner and arrested by authorities.

Talbott at Carnegie

Former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott has rejoined the board of trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Mr. Talbott served on the board from 1986 to 1993, when he joined the Clinton administration.

"He will be a great resource to our Russian and Eurasian program, which is already the leading research and policy program examining the former Soviet Union," Carnegie President Jessica T. Mathews said yesterday in announcing his appointment.

Mr. Talbott, a journalist with Time magazine for 21 years, will become director of the new Yale University Center for the Study of Globalization in July.

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