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8 Mar, 2007 14:55

NATO’s Secretary General: Serbia’s accession to NATO delayed

NATO’s Secretary General: Serbia’s accession to NATO delayed

According to NATO’s Secretary General, Serbia's failure to hunt down General Ratko Mladic, the leader of the Bosnian Serb Army during the war in Bosnia, and other suspected war crime fugitives, delays its accession to NATO.

NATO’s Secretary General, Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, told Serbia's leaders on Thursday that the arrest of suspects sought by a U.N. Court remains one of the key issues in the alliance's relations with the Balkan country.

The message came just months after NATO accepted Serbia into its ‘Partnership for Peace’ programme, which was believed to be a first step towards full membership.

NATO's top official stressed that decisions made by the tribunal in the Hague should be taken more seriously.