Bosnia ends long crisis but future remains unclear

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Bosnia ended a 14-month deadlock after its Muslims, Croats and Serbs agreed to form a government, but analysts said Thursday it was just a tiny step forward in the ethnically-divided country. In the Balkan country where most powers are divided between two entities — the Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs’ Republika Srpska — the central government is weak and tasked notably with bringing it closer to the EU.
On Wednesday, the main parties pledged to form a new cabinet quickly after the accord to pull Bosnia out of the political limbo where it had lingered since the October 2010 general elections. “This deal allows for optimism. It shows that a political compromise is possible between politicians who want a European future for Bosnia,” analyst Zoran Tomic told AFP.
The European Union on Thursday welcomed the end of the marathon deadlock. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele said in a joint statement that they were “encouraged by this development and look forward to further concrete steps to put Bosnia-Hercegovina firmly back on track towards the EU”.
The deal was also hailed by the US embassy here, which voiced hope that “this spirit of compromise will carry forward into the new year so that leaders can continue to make reforms necessary for Euro-Atlantic integration.”