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Croatia's Foreign Minister Sees Longer NATO Presence
Says Year-Long Mission Not Long
Enough to Guarantee Peace

Foreign Minister Mate Granic (KUALA LUMPUR—Reuters) An international military presence will be need to be deployed in Bosnia for several years, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic said on Thursday. Asked if troops from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would still be needed after their year's commitment is up, Granic said: "I don't know. You'll have to ask the secretary of defense of President Bill Clinton. But I think it will be absolutely necessary for several years to have an international presence. I'm not speaking about 60,000 troops, but I'm sure there is a need for an international presence," he told a news conference at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia.

Granic said the Muslim-Croat federation was working well on a government-to-government level and the majority of people support it. "But on the local level, especially where there were conflicts during the 1992-95 war, there are tensions," he said. "Last week, we signed 10 different agreements, we had two meetings at the government level."

Granic is on a Southeast Asian trip that has already taken him to Indonesia. His group, including a delegation of Croatian businessmen, will proceed to Singapore and then Thailand. Granic, who is also a deputy prime minister, said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad would visit Croatia during the annual spring trade fair in Zagreb in the latter half of April.

Granic said he discussed selling ships to Malaysia, noting that Croatia was rehabilitating its shipbuilding industry, among the largest in the world when the country was part of the Yugoslav federation five years ago. He said the two sides also discussed the idea of assembling Malaysian Proton cars in Croatia and selling them elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

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