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EU To Take Over Bosnian Mission With Or Without U.S. Approval

French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and her German counterpart, Peter Struck, agreed in Strasbourg on 4 September that the EU should speed up preparations to take over peacekeeping in Bosnia from NATO in 2004 despite the U.S. position that NATO should continue its mission there.

Struck stressed that the EU will indeed take over the mandate in the coming year.

The United States has taken a renewed interest in the Balkans since 11 September 2001 because of the region's importance for counterterrorism work.

Led by Paris and Berlin, the EU is anxious to develop its own military capacity without the United States.

(RFE/RL 05.ix.03)

 
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