"We'd intervene if Bosnian Serbs crossed red line"

Separatists trying to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina along ethnic lines "could endanger its efforts to join the EU," says Valentin Inzko.

Source: Reuters, Tanjug

Speaking for Reuters, the high international representative also said that this could force international powers to "intervene":

"We would intervene if red lines are crossed, if they (the Bosnian Serbs) announce a referendum on independence - this would be such a red line."

As for the possibility of "a military intervention in the case of secession," the Austrian diplomat said he would "rather stick to peaceful solutions such as international pressure."

The agency, however, noted that "some Western diplomats" said that "in the case of the Bosnian Serb secession, Inzko would be authorized to invite foreign troops to prevent an armed conflict."

According to the report, "recently Serb and Croat nationalists have intensified calls to divide the country along ethnic lines."

"We have on one side integration into Europe and at the same time disintegration at home. It can happen that the country will slow down its process even towards Brussels because disintegration could be stronger than integration," Inzko said.

There are still about 200 soldiers of the EU peacekeeping mission EUFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Reuters, said, noting that the EU accepted Bosnia's application to join three months ago "and last week took the first step in what is certain to be a long accession process."


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