Bosnia’s Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, left his besieged capital Monday for Geneva peace talks, vowing to do everything in his power to ensure that Bosnia remained a nation.
His departure coincided with a warning from Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic that Muslims risk losing everything if they refuse to accept a plan to partition the country into three ethnic ministates within a loose Bosnian confederation.
Izetbegovic, whose problems finding a flight out of Sarajevo forced a day’s postponement until today of the resumed Geneva talks, predicted that the negotiations will be hard.
“It will be difficult in Geneva, but our delegation will do everything it can to make sure Bosnia remains a country where no one will be humiliated because of his nationality, religion or politics,” he said in a statement read on Bosnian radio.
Earlier Monday, Karadzic said it is too late for the Muslims to bargain over the map and warned they could lose everything in a two-way carve-up between Serbs and Croats if they tried.
“They (Muslims) should have accepted it. Otherwise they risk losing everything,” Karadzic said after arriving in Geneva.
Only the Serbs have fully accepted the map, giving them 52% of the republic’s territory. Muslims would get 30% and Croats 18%.