Balkan Leaders Meet

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GENEVA: Secretary of State Warren Christopher meets with Balkan leaders today in an attempt to bolster the U.S. brokered peace process in Yugoslavia. The peace process is being tested by Bosnian Serbs who are fleeing their homes in the Sarajevo suburb of Grbavica anticipating the transfer of control to the Muslim-Croat Federation on Tuesday. Many Bosnian Serbs are torching their homes as they move out, and groups of Serb thugs, roaming the area looting and burning houses, harass Serb residents who refuse to leave. Arson and looting took place in other Sarajevo suburbs, but not with the violence and intensity of the Grbavica transfer. The reunification of Sarajevo under Muslim Croat rule, as dictated by the Dayton peace agreement, came as a real blow to Bosnian Serbs. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic says the Serbs are fleeing because they cannot live together with their enemies. However, Christopher is still committed to the provisions of the Dayton peace accord. "One of the reasons the United States took the risks and responsibility of leadership was to give the parties a chance to achieve their stated goal of a multi-ethnic Bosnia," Christopher said. Christopher is expected to meet Serb, Croat and Bosnian leaders, as well as officials from Britain, France and Germany. The talks are expected to focus on fall elections in Bosnia; the return of refugees; the extradition of war crimes suspects; and the expulsion of foreign Islamic fighters.