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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Solana Says EU Will Not Ditch Bosnia

PARIS -- European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana accused the United States of taking hostage the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Bosnia but said he hoped a deal could be reached over the spat. Solana was speaking after the United States threatened to kill off UN-backed peacekeeping missions in a dispute over the powers of a new global war crimes court.

"The [U.S.] position is very tough," Solana said Monday in an interview on French LCI television. "I didn't expect such a hard reaction, of taking hostage the operation in Bosnia."

The United States on Sunday vetoed a resolution extending the mandate of the UN police mission in Bosnia for six months after the Security Council refused a U.S. demand for immunity from prosecution for its forces by the new International Criminal Court. The United Nations now has until midnight Wednesday to find a deal.

NATO said its 18,000-strong Stability Force, or SFOR, in Bosnia, which is mandated by the 1995 Dayton Accord, looked safe. Speculation that Washington could tear the backbone out of the SFOR operation by withdrawing its 2,500 troops was laid to rest by the U.S. ambassador in Sarajevo.

"I hope that between now and July 3 we can find an intelligent and constructive agreement for the future not only of the court but also of the United Nations," Solana said. The EU would keep up its commitment to Bosnia, Solana added. "We can't leave, abandon Bosnia," he said. "We have to take our responsibilities."