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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reduced Force To Stay in Bosnia

BRUSSELS -- NATO decided in principle on Monday that an alliance-led force of between 25,000 and 30,000 troops would stay in Bosnia next year to cement the country's fragile peace.


NATO ambassadors ordered their military commanders to prepare for the reduced force to remain after the mandate of the 60,000-strong peace Implementation Force ends Dec. 20.


The final approval for the new force will be given in December, when NATO foreign and defense ministers meet in Brussels and after the UN Security Council has approved it.


The move followed the announcement Friday by President Bill Clinton that Washington was prepared to commit 8,500 troops to a new force to remain in Bosnia until June 1998 at the latest.


Key NATO countries have different views of how long the new force should remain. Germany wants one year, France as many as two and the United States 1 1/2, the diplomat said.


A NATO official said all countries that had not previously committed themselves to providing troops for the new force did so at Monday's meeting.