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    Bosnia could become EU candidate by 2010- Slovenia

    AFP
    13 Ekim 2008 - 16:50Son Güncelleme : 13 Ekim 2008 - 16:53

    Slovenian President Danilo Turk on Monday pledged his country’s support to Bosnia’s bid to move closer to the European Union, saying it could become an official candidate nation by 2010.

    "We are talking about abolition of visas in a year or so and candidate status for Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2010," Turk told reporters after meeting with Bosnia’s tripartite presidency.

     

    "In Slovenia, we believe that these are realistic objectives," he added.   

     

    "There are too many occasions when there are misperceptions (about Bosnia) on European stage and Slovenia could be helpful in removing these misperceptions," Turk said.

     

    Nearly 13 years following its devastating 1992-1995 war, Bosnia’s political situation remains burdened with ethnic divisions among its Croats, Muslims and Serbs.

     

    In June, the former Yugoslav republic signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels, seen as the first step towards EU membership.

     

    However, disagreements among ruling parties representing the three ethnic communities have stalled the state building process.

     

    Stronger central governance is critical to Bosnia’s EU membership prospects.

     

    The peace agreement split Bosnia into the Serbs Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Each entity has its own government, police and judiciary, but central government institutions remain weak.

     

    Turk arrived earlier Monday for a two-day visit to Bosnia, the first to the Balkan country by a Slovenian president since 2002.

     

    Of the six former Yugoslav republics -- Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia -- only the last is an EU member.

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