'Here, Now, It Became Reality'

  • Share
  • Read Later
SARAJEVO: The three members of Bosnia's divided presidency found some surprising common ground at their first meeting Monday. The fact that the meeting was held at all is perhaps the most significant news, notes TIME's Central Europe bureau chief Massimo Calabresi. Momcilo Krajisnik, the presidency's Serbian member who has long been a fierce advocate of independence for the Serb Republic, had as recently as Sunday said that the meeting might not come off. "He could easily have refused to meet at all, just claim he had important prior commitments," says Calabresi. Krajisnik, Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic and Croat leader Kresimir Zubak agreed to release all prisoners of war not wanted on war crimes charges, to form an ethnically mixed cabinet, and reconnect phone service between the Serb region and the rest of Bosnia. Most importantly, the men agreed upon a second meeting and set a date for the opening of the all-Bosnian legislature. Afterward, Krajisnik sounded almost conciliatory: "I thought that such a meeting is in the far future, that work in joint institutions is fiction. Here, now, it became reality." Which doesn't prove that he is committed to rapprochement, warns Calabresi. "At the moment, because he has shown himself to be very clever and tactically brilliant at times, we have to be careful. There's a good possibility that he sees it in the best interest of the Serb Republic to play along with the international community." -->