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EU Days Away From Halting Talks With Serbia

April 28, 2006 -- The European Union said today it will halt talks on an association agreement with Serbia-Montenegro if fugitive war crimes indictee Ratko Mladic is not arrested and sent to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia by April 30.

Speaking after talks with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the EU will have "no other option" if Mladic is not captured.

UN prosecutors believe Mladic, a Bosnian Serb wartime commander, is hiding in Serbia, and the EU has given Serbian authorities until the end of April to hand him over.

Serbian officials say they do not know where Mladic is, but have promised to deliver him by the deadline.

Mladic has been indicted for genocide for the 1995 killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica. He has been on the run for 10 years.

A Stabilization and Association Agreement is seen as a first step toward EU membership.

(RFE/RL 02.v.06)

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