Balkans: Germans Leaving Bosnia

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November 4, 2006: Turkey and Greece concluded high-level military talks in Athens. Though the nations continue to dispute their Aegean Sea border, and Cyprus remains a constant thorn, Greece and Turkey have agreed to "confidence building measures" between their militaries to reduce the likelihood of conflict. Turkey will host a joint disaster-response field exercise November 6 through 10 and Greece announced it will send a 15-man air force team to participate in the exercise

November 2, 2006: Bosnian police arrested a major war crimes suspect. The man was identified as a Bosnian Muslim who led a Bosnian unit that participated in the July 1995 Croat-led offensive, Operation Storm (which drove Bosnian Serbs out of Croatia and out of Serb-held strongholds in western Bosnia). Bosnian press sources said the suspect is named Sefik Alic. He is charged with killing "several" Serbian refugees.

November 1, 2006: France said that resolution of Kosovo's status "cannot be used as a precedent" to solve other conflicts in the region. Russia has said that Kosovo's independence could be a model for resolving the Transdniester situation in Moldova. Moldova, of course, insists that Transdniester cannot separate from Moldova.

October 29, 2006: Germany said that it plans to withdraw a significant number of its troops from Bosnia in 2007. Germany currently has 843 troops in Bosnia. The number withdrawn will be made "in consultation" with Germany's allies, who have 6,000 peacekeepers in Bosnia.

October 26, 2006: The Bulgarian government said that the base agreement it signed with the U.S. in April will require some clarification. Bulgarian has allowed the US to use bases located in Novo Selo, Graf Ignatievo and Bezmer. Many members of Bulgaria's Parliament want assurance that Bulgaria will receive "prior notice" if the US intends to use Bulgarian bases to "launch attacks on third countries."

October 16, 2006: Kosovo's prime minister, Agim Ceke, said that Kosovars would "lose faith" in the international community (ie, UN) if it is denied sovereignty. However, there are indications that a final decision may be delayed until late 2007. Several European countries are worried that giving Kosovo independence will strengthen radical nationalist parties in Serbia.

 

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