International mediators launched another round of shuttle diplomacy with Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian leaders Wednesday as efforts to stop the carnage in Bosnia took on new urgency.
U.N. envoy Thorvald Stoltenberg and Lord Owen of the European Community were due to meet with Croatian leader Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb, Croatia. They were expected to travel to Belgrade on Thursday for talks with Serbia's president, Slobodan Milosevic.Details of the envoys' mission were unclear, but it appeared they might be trying to increase pressure on Bosnia's Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, to negotiate directly with Croat and Serb leaders.
"It is extremely urgent that the Bosnian presidency begin negotiating and that the fighting stops," said John Mills, a spokesman for Stoltenberg and Owen.
The leaders of Croatia and Serbia have agreed on a plan to carve neighboring Bosnia into three ethnic states, and their Serb and Croat brethren in Bosnia have agreed in principle.
Izetbegovic has refused to discuss the plan, which he says would reward Serb aggression and leave Bosnian Muslims with a tiny state sandwiched between hostile Serb and Croat nations. But seven other members of Bosnia's 10-member collective presidency have agreed to consider the proposal.
Mills, speaking from Zagreb, said the mediators expected a formal reply soon from the Sarajevo government.
He said there was no deadline, but he made it clear that the deepening humanitarian crisis added urgency to the new negotiations.