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Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

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ITALY HAILS KARADZIC ARREST

Ansa - July 23, 2008 Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Tuesday joined other European countries in hailing the arrest of Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic as a step forward for Serbian accession to the European Union. The former wartime president was arrested on Monday in Belgrade, where he was disguised and working as a doctor, after more than ten years on the run. ''It's a great result that demonstrates how the process of bringing Serbia closer to EU accession must continue at pace,'' Frattini said. He added that Italy would ''do its part'' to work towards the ''immediate'' ratification of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Serbia and the European Union. ''I think the next step will be to consider Serbia for entrance into the EU,'' he added. The SAA - a first step in the EU accession process - was signed on April 29 but has yet to be ratified partly because of lack of cooperation between Serbia and the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Karadzic and his former general Ratko Mladic are on ICTY's most wanted list for their part in the Srebrenica genocide, when over 7,500 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were massacred by Bosnian Serb troops, as well as for other crimes during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. Frattini said Karadzic's arrest meant ''the entire international community can breathe a sigh of relief,'' adding that Serbia must now work towards the capture of fugitive general Mladic. Shadow Foreign Minister Piero Fassino of the Democratic Party joined Frattini in praising the cooperation of authorities in Belgrade as a ''positive sign'' for eventual Serbian membership of the EU. Senate deputy speaker Emma Bonino of the Radical Party, a former European commissioner for humanitarian aid, expressed her personal satisfaction over Karadzic's arrest. Bonino visited Bosnia in her EC role to witness the aftermath of the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995. Describing the massacre as ''the worst slaughter carried out in Europe since the end of World War Two'', she echoed Frattini's call for Serbia to make every effort to bring Mladic to justice.





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