DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Aug. 21 -- Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said Monday the United Arab Emirates has committed funds to ease the plight of Bosnian Muslims next winter. The undisclosed amount would pay for fuel and contribute towards building a power plant in Sarajevo, he told a news conference in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. These donations would be in addition to the UAE's commitment to extend $10 million worth of medical supplies to the Bosnian Muslims, he said. Silajdzic said his government has already received $16.34 million (60 million UAE dirhams) in cash collected by the UAE Red Crescent Society during a nationwide telethon last month. The one-day campaign July 28 collected more than $43 million (158 million dirhams), including $14.97 million (55 million dirhams) from the UAE defense minister and Dubai crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan donated $10.89 million (40 million dirhams) prior to the event. Silajdzic, who was accompanied on his visit to Abu Dhabi by a top- level delegation including the Bosnian ministers for defense, education, energy and health, said: 'The kindness of Sheikh Zayed, his government and the UAE people would not be forgotten by the Bosnian Muslim people. 'This support and assistance from the UAE, and other Arab and Islamic countries, was given to us at a critical time and has a special significance,' he said. Silajdzic said the people of Bosnia are 'now more confident of victory than anytime before,' but refused to be drawn on whether the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, states planned to provide military assistance to the Bosnian Muslims.
'The GCC states have extended a lot of assistance to Bosnia in the form of food, medical supplies, electricity and oil,' he responded to a question. The GCC is composed of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. But he did voice his support for a proposed conference of Muslim nations, to be held in Malaysia, to discuss the military needs of his government. 'Such a conference could discuss our military requirements, instead of issuing condemnations and denouncements,' he said. 'This would be a positive step and would provide practical support to the Bosnian people in the face of Serbian aggression,' Silajdzic said. 'But the most important thing is to take a decision to lift the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina and for Muslim states to fulfill their promises to supply arms to this Muslim state,' he said. Asked to comment on the latest U.S. peace plan for Bosnia, he said: 'It is a general outline that lacks details. 'No plan will see the light of day unless it is accepted by the legitimate government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,' he said. To another question, Silajdzic said Washington denied it proposed the handing over of Gorazde to the Serbs. Sarajevo was giving due consideration to U.S. proposals in light of its global status, he said, warning that the American people would not accept any solution that jeopardized Bosnian sovereignty. But he contended a lasting peace depends on the Yugoslav government. 'Belgrade must have realized by now that its goal of a Greater Serbia is impossible to achieve,' he said. He said the Yugoslav government could no longer depend on the use of force to attain its goals 'because the Bosnian Army has become a force to reckon with.' 'The world can now use a carrot-and-stick policy to force the Serbs to accept any peace plan,' he said. He said the proposal of Bosnian President Alija Izzetbegovich, which gives 51 percent to the Bosnian Muslim and Croat federation, and the rest to the Serbs, was based on the geographic location of the country's ethnic groups rather than their numbers. Serbs constituted only 31 percent of the population, he said. 'The International Contact Group also gave 49 percent to the Serbs, which we accepted despite its being unfair,' he said.