- - Sunday, January 9, 2011


Serb leader: Bosnia is ‘falling apart’

SARAJEVO | Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said Sunday that Bosnia-Herzegovina is “falling apart” and warned that Serbs would not accept further decentralization needed for it to progress toward EU membership.

Bosnia is a divided society,” Mr. Dodik, president of the Bosnian Serb entity Republika Srpska, said in an interview on state television to mark the 19th anniversary of Bosnian Serb-proclaimed autonomy.

Mr. Dodik said postwar Bosnia, which consists of two semiautonomous entities, the Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation, “is in the phase of falling apart … as it has not found an internal consensus on how it should look.”

“For us [Serbs], Bosnia is a place of punishment,” Mr. Dodik said.

Bosnian Serbs formed their own institutions in January 1992 to counter Muslims and Croats aiming to proclaim independence from the former Yugoslavia.

The Dayton Accord in 1995 ended three years of war and divided the Balkan country into two entities linked by weak central institutions.

The international community, notably the European Union, wants these central institutions to be strengthened to facilitate reforms necessary for it to be eligible for EU and NATO membership.


Queen’s head will grace British stamps

LONDON | Britain’s business minister says he will guarantee that the monarch’s head will appear on British postage stamps even if Royal Mail is sold to a foreign buyer.

Sculptor Arnold Machin’s depiction of a youthful Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on billions of stamps since it was first commissioned in 1967 and has become a classic of British design.

So there was disquiet when media reports suggested that plans to part-privatize the Royal Mail could mean that the queen’s head would disappear from Britain’s letters and parcels.

Business Minister Ed Davey told the Mail on Sunday newspaper that he would put forward an amendment to make it impossible for a buyer to remove the monarch’s image from stamps without royal assent.


Election rerun likely to cut leader’s margin

GLOGOVAC | Kosovo was staging a partial election rerun on Sunday that could sharply cut incumbent premier Hashim Thaci’s margin of victory.

The European Union warned it would not tolerate irregularities during the vote, after fraud was suspected in December’s election in a number of strongholds of Mr. Thaci’s PDK party, accounting for about 10 percent of the national vote.

Analysts say Mr. Thaci’s winning margin will shrink from December’s 10 percentage points, but his party is expected to retain first place.

This will complicate the formation of a government whose immediate task is to enter talks with Kosovo’s former master, Serbia, which does not recognize its independence but has agreed to discuss practicalities of coexistence such as cross-border trade and transport.


Foreign minister makes surprise Afghan visit

KABUL | German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday on a surprise trip to Afghanistan.

The visit came ahead of a German parliamentary vote in Berlin this month on extending the country’s unpopular mission in war-torn Afghanistan by one year.

Mr. Westerwelle, arriving in Kabul after a trip to neighboring Pakistan, held talks with Mr. Karzai, Afghan Foreign Minister Salmai Rassul and National Security Adviser Rangeen Dadfar Spanta.

He told Mr. Karzai that Germany “will continue providing support to strengthen the Afghan national security forces,” according to a statement from Mr. Karzai’s office.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide