Germany warns Bosnia not to undermine Dayton accord

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BERLIN, Oct 29 (Reuters) Germany warned politicians in Bosnia today not to undermine the Dayton Peace Accords by resisting an international peace envoy's efforts to streamline government decision-making.

In response to bickering between Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat leaders that has stalled reforms over the past 18 months, peace envoy Miroslav Lajcak unveiled new measures earlier this month aimed at simplifying the functioning of the government.

But some politicians, including Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik who favours strong regional powers and a weak central government, have condemned the plans and mobilised the Serb public against them.

In a statement, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he fully supported Lajcak's efforts to improve the government's effectiveness and cautioned Dodik and others not to fight them.

''Those who stand in the way of this Dayton-compatible process are working against the interests of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their desire to work more closely with the EU,'' Steinmeier said.

''Germany will not tolerate an undermining of the Dayton agreement,'' he added. The 1995 peace deal ended three and a half years of war, creating a state made up of the Serb republic and the Muslim-Croat federation.

Asked what concrete steps Germany could take, foreign ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger told a regular government news conference only that Berlin would use its ''options'' to influence events in Bosnia.

Steinmeier's comments came ahead of a meeting today of the parliament of Bosnia's Serb Republic at which it was expected to denounce Lajcak's plans and call for an end to his powers to impose laws and sack officials who are seen to be obstructing peace.

Reuters SKB GC2041

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