Balkan negotiators headed into a second all-night session Monday in a desperate effort to settle Europe’s bloodiest conflict since World War II. Prospects for an agreement remain uncertain.
“It’s really still 50-50,” a U.S. official said in declaring a news “lid” shortly after 10 p.m. EST, ruling out further announcements at least until after dawn.
Some Balkan leaders suggested a new round of talks may be needed to resolve the contentious issue of how to split Bosnia into ethnic republics.
As the talks teetered on a knife’s edge beyond a U.S.-imposed deadline, President Clinton intervened from Washington with a last-ditch telephone call to Croatia’s President Franjo Tudjman.
Senior members of both the Bosnian and the Serbian delegations confirmed that the talks had run into trouble over territorial issues but stressed that negotiations were continuing into the night.
“I think the people here are determined to continue these negotiations,” U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Monday night. “I think they have a legitimate shot at succeeding.”
From the Serb delegation, meanwhile, came late word that the negotiations were on the upswing after a gloomy morning and afternoon.