Balkan leaders committed to make progress on reconciliation

Leaders of the countries which emerged from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia have committed in Bosnia on Monday night to embark on a path of reconciliation.

Addressing a gathering of top regional leaders and western diplomats in Banja Luka, Croatia’s President Ivo Josipovic said the time has come “to end the era of conflict and enter an era of mutual cooperation and understanding.”

Josipovic spoke at a ceremony during which he received the “man of the year” award from one of Bosnia’s best selling newspapers.

The ceremony was attended by Serbian President Boris Tadic and his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Vujanovic, as well as the Bosniak and Serb members of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic and Nebojsa Radmanovic.

The presence of the top regional leaders at the relatively low-level event was widely perceived as a sign of strong support for efforts to promote political rapprochement in a region still scarred by war.

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