U.N. says no EU for Serbia without Mladic

Sept. 7, 2006 at 12:08 PM
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VIENNA, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A U.N. prosecutor says the suspension of EU association talks with Serbia could force Belgrade to arrest two Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects.

Speaking to reporters in Vienna Thursday, U.N. Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said the only way to force Serbia to transfer the most wanted war crimes fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, to The Hague tribunal is to suspend association talks with the European Union, Serbia's Beta news agency reported.

The European Union put off association talks with Serbia in May, after the Serbian government failed to meet a deadline to arrest and hand over Mladic, sought on genocide and crimes against humanity charges in the 1991-95 ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia.

EU officials have said they will resume the talks with Serbia immediately after Mladic is handed over to The Hague.

Del Ponte said Serbian authorities in Belgrade could arrest Mladic right away but the problem is lack of political will, Beta said.

She said if Belgrade is awaiting a voluntary surrender of Mladic, "we shall never have him in The Hague."

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