Bosnian Serbs released four aid workers, including two Americans, who had been detained for two days and promised to allow Sarajevo's airport to reopen Saturday, U.N. officials said.
The moves appeared to be signs of a gradual improvement in relations between the Bosnian Serbs and the United Nations, promised by the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.On Wednesday, Karadzic announced a six-point plan to end restrictions on U.N. peacekeepers - imposed as punishment for NATO airstrikes on Serb positions - and declare a unilateral truce in Sarajevo. He also asked former President Jimmy Carter to visit Bosnia to restart flagging peace talks.
But even if he keeps all his promises, it would only bring the U.N. mission back to where it was operating before the latest cycle of fighting, a level considered unsatisfactory by most U.N. officials.
Carter was still undecided Friday about undertaking a peace mission to Bosnia after daylong consultations with Clinton administration officials.
Officials from the National Security Council and the State Department were due to fly to Georgia Friday for further consultations with Carter.
The International Rescue Committee, a U.S. aid organization, said two of its American workers, who were not identified, and two UNICEF workers from Bosnia and Croatia were released late Thursday, but their vehicles were confiscated.
A U.N. spokesman, Lt. Col. Jan-Dirk von Merveldt, said some good signs came out of a meeting Thursday between U.N. officials and Bosnian Serb military officials in the Serb headquarters of Pale, outside Sarajevo.
The Bosnian Serbs gave assurances that Sarajevo airport will be open Saturday to all flights, and the U.N. Protection Force, or UNPROFOR, will start rotating troops, which had been prevented by the flight shutdown, von Merveldt said.
He said that U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees officials would meet in a few days to decide whether to resume food and other aid flights into the airport.