Croatia and Bosnia sign post-war agreement

 

Croatia and Bosnia yesterday signed three ground-breaking agreements aimed at settling their relations following the Bosnia war, giving the one the use of a key Adriatic port and the other free transit across a strip of coast.

"The signing of these agreements heralds a new chapter in relations between Bosnia and Croatia and makes the distance between Zagreb and Sarajevo a much shorter one," said Mr Jacques Klein, the US diplomat who helped broker the accords.

The agreement on special relations between Zagreb and Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation was signed by the Croatian President Mr Franjo Tudjman, the federation president, Mr Ejup Ganic, and the vice-president, Mr Vladimir Soljic. The Muslim-Croat federation, which makes up half of post-war Bosnia, was formed in 1994, after the two sides fought for land.

Mr Tudjman and Mr Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of Bosnia's three-man presidency, signed agreements on Bosnia's right to use the Adriatic port of Ploce and Croatia's right to free transit through Neum, a short strip on the Adriatic coast.

"Let this day go down as the day we put the past behind," Mr Klein said to loud applause.

Tonight at 11.35 p.m. RTE1 will screen Calling the Ghosts, a documentary about the mass rape of women in the Omarska camp during the Bosnian war. The classification of such rapes as war crimes by the UN Tribunal in the Hague will be discussed.