NATO plans to reduce its troops in Bosnia from 19,000 peacekeepers to about 12,000 by the end of this year, the alliance said in a statement posted at http://www.nato.int/docu/pr/2002/p02-064e.htm The cutbacks are due to "a great improvement in the security situation in the Balkans," the statement said. The Bush administration has long sought a pull-out of American troops from Bosnia, but U.S. officials have agreed they would not leave before America's European allies. "In January the international community's high representative in Bosnia, Wolfgang Petritsch, told NATO it should maintain its military presence," BBC recalled. "We have not yet reached the point of no return where Bosnia-Hercegovina would truly be a viable state that could stand alone," he said then.
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