Balkan Update

March 23, 1994

U.N. officials said the Serbs were pulling back guns that the United Nations said violated the heavy weapons exclusion zone around SARAJEVO.

Croatia and rebel Serbs holding a third of Croatian territory opened cease-fire talks in ZAGREB with their positions far apart and warnings of military action if the negotiations fail.

A U.N. plane flew 22 tons of food and medicine into TUZLA, the first relief flight to the city in almost two years of war. Regular flights could begin within three weeks. Truck convoys also have begun reaching the city in recent days.

Red Cross officials said more than 250 Muslim prisoners of war were released by their Croat captors near MOSTAR. Six Bosnian Croats were released from a government jail. The rest of the approximately 300 Croat and Muslim POWs are expected to be freed within days.

U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommended Turkey be accepted as a troop contributor in the Balkans. Under U.N. rules, neighboring countries or those which historically have been involved in a troubled area are normally barred from providing troops.

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