Milosevic's words counter Bosnia hopes

November 30, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

GENEVA -- Bosnia-Herzegovina's warring factions agreed yesterday to resume negotiations to end their 20-month-old bloodletting, but ominous troop movements throughout Bosnia and an uncompromising pose struck by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic --ed any hopes of a peace accord.

At a one-day session called by European Community foreign ministers to seek some easing of the humanitarian crisis gripping wintry Bosnia, Mr. Milosevic lambasted Western countries for supporting United Nations sanctions against his country that he likened to "genocide."

His tough talk was a rebuff to the EC's softened approach to the Serbian leadership, which is widely accused of fomenting the Balkan crisis by arming and instigating nationalist rebels in Bosnia to seize territory for a Greater Serbia.

French and German diplomats had offered to lift sanctions in exchange for minor territorial concessions by the Bosnian Serbs. Such concessions might compel the Muslim-led Bosnian government to accept an ethnic partitioning of its ravaged country.

Rather than pressure Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to cede a small fraction of the land his gunmen have conquered, Mr. Milosevic accused the EC of impoverishing Serbs.

"You did enormous harm to our country with complete injustice," Mr. Milosevic accused the assembled EC ministers, casting Serbia in the role of the victim of purported Western treachery.

He claimed Serbs are playing no role in the Bosnian bloodshed.

"I do not know how you envisage to stop the war between Muslims and Croats by sanctions against the Serbs, and I do not know either how you intend to explain to your children . . . with what right you made 12 million European citizens a practicing ground for the implementation of the, hopefully, last genocide in this century," Mr. Milosevic said.

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