Lieberman with Chairman of Bosnia Presidency Zeljko Komsic.
(photo credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
SARAJEVO - Bosnia's trio of presidents said on Thursday they could not agree on whether to support a Palestinian bid for full UN membership, with Sarajevo potentially holding a key vote in the UN Security Council.
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Bosnia's presidency has been shared by leaders of its Muslim, Croat and Serb communities since its 1992-95 war.
In a statement after meeting Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the triumvirate said it had so far been unable to reach a joint position on the Palestinian application, reflecting the country's own ethnic divisions.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki is expected to
arrive in Sarajevo on Friday to ask for Bosnia's vote as a temporary
member of the Security Council and the admissions committee currently
discussing the issue.
Given the constellation of Security Council members, Bosnia's vote could
be key and potentially force a promised veto by the United States.
Thursday's statement meant Sarajevo would likely abstain.
"The presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina does not have a single view about
the issue, while such decisions must be taken through consensus," the
presidency statement quoted chairman Zeljko Komsic, a Croat, as saying.
"Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a country which has been through the hell of
war, cares very much that all open issues should be resolved with great
patience and wisdom, because this is the only path to a sustainable
peace," Komsic added.
The Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) presidency member, Bakir Izetbegovic,
expressed his strong support for the Palestinian cause, while Serb
member Nebojsa Radmanovic said he was opposed to unilateral action and
supported direct talks between the two sides, according to the
The Palestinian application for UN membership, submitted by President
Mahmoud Abbas on Sept. 23, is expected to be dealt with by Security
Council ambassadors on or around Nov. 11, according to diplomatic
Bosnian Muslims are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, with the
Palestinian Authority the first to recognize Bosnia as an independent
country when it split from the former Yugoslav federation in 1992.
Lieberman openly lobbied Serbs in Bosnia's autonomous Serb republic last
summer, when he spent a week of his holiday in the main town Banja
Luka, promising investment and financial support to the impoverished