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Bosnia President Won't Recommend Acceptance of Latest Peace Plan : Balkans: Parliament will take up plan to divide country. In Mostar, Croats are still unwilling to let in U.N. food convoys for besieged Muslims.

August 23, 1993| From Times Wire Services

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — President Alija Izetbegovic called a meeting of the Bosnian Parliament and public figures for Friday to discuss the latest Bosnian peace plan agreed to in Geneva.

But he told a news conference Sunday that he will not be able to recommend that the assembly, meeting in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, should vote in favor of the plan to divide Bosnia-Herzegovina into three ethnic ministates.

Izetbegovic had returned to the Bosnian capital earlier Sunday from peace talks in Geneva, where it was proposed that the Serbs have 52% of the republic, the Croats 18% and the Muslims 30%.

The Muslim president said: "We are not satisfied with what has been offered to us in Geneva."

He said he hoped to keep the Geneva peace process going, but if negotiations failed, the conflict would have to be settled on the battlefield.

"Negotiations or war--there is no third way," Izetbegovic said.

Muslims, who control only about 10% of Bosnia, want at least 40% and demand that Serbs not be given land where they have committed "ethnic cleansing" of Muslims.

Serbian and Croatian leaders on Friday accepted the draft plan laid down by international peace negotiators. Conference spokesman John Mills said the deadline for replies is next Monday.

Despite Izetbegovic's criticism of the division plan, he held out some hope of flexibility.

Izetbegovic said Sunday that the plan has some good aspects, including preserving Bosnia as an internationally recognized state. He also pointed to a reduction in fighting in the last three weeks and an improvement in the supply of aid.

But he said that "at first glance" the bad aspects prevailed.

The plan would let Serbs keep areas where Muslims once were the majority but were forced out by the Serbs. The Muslim republic would be landlocked, and the Croatian- and Serbian-held lands would border Croatia and Serbia.

Meanwhile, Bosnian Croats showed no willingness Sunday to allow U.N. food convoys into the eastern side of Mostar, where 35,000 Muslims are on the brink of starvation.

Lyndall Sachs, spokeswoman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters in Sarajevo the agency is considering bringing in aid to the Muslim side of Mostar through Serbian-held territory.

Sarajevo Radio said Bosnian Croats, aided by the Croatian army, attacked the Mostar area Sunday with artillery, wounding 15 civilians, two of them fatally. The report couldn't be independently confirmed.

Local authorities said that if no food convoys arrived within five days in Mostar's Muslim sector, there would be "death by starvation."

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