Saturday, November 21, 2009

Diplomatic blunders in Butmir

Franz-Lothar Altmann, a German academic, has a clear opinion why the negotiations on the future of Bosnia at Butmir failed:

European Union foreign policy chief Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister who himself was the UN High Representative in Bosnia in the 1990s, recognized the system wasn't working and called a set of constitutional reform talks this October.Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Bildunterschrift: Gro├čansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Bildt has not made the progress on Bosnia that he'd hoped for

It was a good sign, but according to Franz-Lothar Altmann, who studies the Wesrtern Balkans region at the Center for Applied Policy Research in Munich, Bildt made some big mistakes.

“Important people from parties in Bosnia had not been invited, others who were invited were amazed that they were on the list of invitees,” said Altmann.

The worst part, though, was that Bildt set up the talks without first bringing the present UN High Representative Valentin Inzko on board.

“It was certainly disgusting, I must say, because he's the one who had to bear the consequences and is on the forefront of this process,” Altmann said.

Bildt's diplomatic fauxs pas, and lack of a clear set of proposals before the meeting meant they ended in deadlock. Bosniaks and Croats are still after a stronger central government, and Serbs are still threatening to secede if anyone tries to force one on them.

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