[JURIST] European foreign ministers on Monday again promised progress toward admitting Serbia [JURIST news archive] to the European Union if war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is handed over promptly. The former Bosnian Serb general is wanted [Interpol warrant] in connection with the 1995 slaughter of more than 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica [indictment text] and other crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] believes he is hiding in Serbia [JURIST report].
Earlier this month, the EU suspended initial membership negotiations [JURIST report] because of Serbia's failure to hand over Mladic by the end of April. Serbia has since arrested three people [JURIST report] suspected of helping Mladic evade authorities. In Monday's statement, the foreign ministers said they would conclude the preliminary membership talks by year's end if Mladic is arrested. EUobserver has more.