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AP Serbia hopes to join NATO program despite failure to capture war crimes suspect

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  • sibercor2000
    http://calibre.mworld.com/m/m.w?lp=GetStory&id=226148251 Serbia hopes to join NATO program despite failure to capture war crimes suspect Released : Friday,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2006
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      http://calibre.mworld.com/m/m.w?lp=GetStory&id=226148251

      Serbia hopes to join NATO program despite failure to capture war crimes
      suspect

      Released : Friday, November 03, 2006 12:04 PM

      BELGRADE, Serbia-Serbia said Friday it hopes that NATO will invite it to
      join a preparatory program for aspiring members at the alliance's summit
      later this month.

      Although the Balkan country has not met a key demand, to extradite suspect
      Gen. Ratko Mladic to the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,
      the Foreign Ministry in Belgrade expressed hope in a statement that NATO
      will invite Serbia to join the so-called Partnership for Peace program, a
      stepping stone leading to possible full membership.

      Mladic is among a few remaining Serb war crimes suspects still at large. He
      was indicted by the Netherlands-based tribunal for major atrocities during
      the Bosnian war, including the mass killing of up to 8,000 Muslims in
      eastern Bosnia in 1995.

      The NATO summit is due to take place Nov. 28-29 in Riga, Latvia.

      The Serbian government has said it cannot locate the elusive ex-commander,
      while prosecutors of the court in The Hague accuse Belgrade of harboring
      him.

      Serbia's desired membership in the European Union also remains blocked over
      Mladic.

      Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic recently sent a letter to counterparts in
      NATO countries, as well as to NATO's secretary-general Jaap de Hoop
      Scheffer, urging them to accept Serbia in the preparatory program. Deputy
      Foreign Minister Bratislav Djordjevic is to meet with top NATO officials in
      Brussels next week.
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