Bosnia's seven-member Presidency confirmed that it would not attend peace talks scheduled to begin in Geneva next Friday because of yesterday's renewed fighting in Sarajevo despite the heavy weapons agreement between United Nations Protection Force and Serbian attackers.
Diplomats in Geneva suggest that the renewed violence could have been sparked by beleaguered Muslim forces who fear any peace agreement would lead to a division of the republic into ethnic regions.
"In these circumstances I don't think we will be going to Geneva," Ejup Ganic, a Muslim member of the Presidency, told reporters. "I don't think we will continue [the entire peace process] if it goes on."
UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said UN special envoy Cyrus Vance - who is co-chairman with former British Foreign Secretary Lord Owen of the new open-ended Yugoslav peace conference launched on Sept. 3 - was also expecting Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to attend Friday's meeting.
But Mr. Karadzic suggested on Sunday he might not attend if he is not consulted about a plan by the European Community to impose a total "no fly" zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina. The plan is aimed at preventing Yugoslav warplanes from supporting the Bosnian Serbs and ensuring the safety of relief flights into Sarajevo.
The other leader due to attend Friday's talks is Mate Boban of Bosnia's Croats. They are part of a precarious alliance with the Muslims.