BRUSSELS, April 13 (Reuters) Yugoslavia on Saturday made a contribution in goods and services for reconstruction across Bosnia-Herzegovina dealing a slap to Bosnian Serbs who boycotted the conference.
World Bank President James Wolfensohn and the international community's High Representative to Bosnia Carl Bildt both acknowledged to Reuterss that Belgrade had made a contribution in services. Other officials said it was not included in the $1.23 billion garnered at the two-day conference since it was not in cash.
Diplomats said Yugoslavia pledged $10 million in goods and services to ease living conditions in the Muslim-Croat and Serb parts of the shattered country and rebuild mutual confidence among the former foes.
The grant precludes cash because Belgrade is short of it after 3½ years of crippling sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro. The sanctions were suspended last November after Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic forced the Bosnian Serbs to accept a peace plan he initialled together with presidents Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia in Dayton, Ohio.
Milosevic has been at odds with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who in his most recent move to anger the international community ordered a Serb delegation to boycott the conference. The Yugoslav delegation attending the conference had hoped Bosnian Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic would eventually show up.
But the Bosnian Serb seats remained vacant, drawing strong condemnation from the international community. Karadzic, an indicted war criminal, is bent on preventing the restoration of a multi-ethnic Bosnia since that would make a mockery of the reasons why he went to war in the first place four years ago.
Yugoslavia's decision to join the international community in funding Bosnia's reconstruction instead of assisting only its ethnic kin is a strong signal to Karadzic that Belgrade will not tolerate his isolationist policy much longer, diplomats said.
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The World Bank
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