IFOR News Morning update 14 June 1996 NATO hopeful about arresting Bosnian war crimes suspects Bosnia enjoys spring but faces tough summer - Perry Moslem war crimes suspects arrive in The Hague Bildt expects Bosnia poll conditions to be met Bosnian allies defer controversial defense law U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry said on Thursday that Bosnia was enjoying its first peaceful spring in five years but faced a long, tough summer. NATO-led IFOR peacekeeping forces "had broken the cycle of violence in Bosnia," he told a news conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers. Perry and NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana both told reporters they were confident that elections could go ahead in Bosnia in September, regardless of whether indicted war criminals were apprehended or not. Solana said it was too early to discuss IFOR's future after elections. A NATO official said the first talks on the matter would take place at an informal meeting in Norway on September 25. British Defense Secretary Michael Portillo told a news conference that any earlier discussion of the issue would be premature. "We don't want to send any signals to the warring factions that will make them complacent," he said. Portillo said IFOR's troop strength was unlikely to be reduced significantly before December 22, when its mandate expires, but the force's "tone" might change, with engineers replacing armoured units during normal troop rotations. A NATO official said this underlined the increasing importance that IFOR was placing on Bosnia's reconstruction. (Reuter 131806 GMT) Two Moslems accused of beating and torturing Serbs at the Celebici concentration camp in Bosnia arrived at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal in The Hague on Thursday, after being extradited by Bosnian authorities. Deputy camp commander Hazim Delic, 36, and 23-year-old camp guard Esad Landzo arrived in the Netherlands on a NATO aircraft and were taken to the tribunal's Hague detention center. Their transfer had been arranged jointly by the Bosnian authorities, the tribunal and the multinational implementation force in Bosnia, IFOR. The two had been held in Sarajevo's central jail since April after their indictment by the Hague tribunal the previous month. (Reuter 131307 GMT) International envoy Carl Bildt said on Thursday minimum conditions for planned post-war Bosnian elections would be in place by September but he conceded that nationalist forces would have the upper hand. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, the conference chairman, told ministers that the future of Bosnia and the success of the Dayton pact depended on elections going ahead. "Elections are the crucial point of the peace process. Not holding them would be a big step backwards," Dini told a news conference. "Everything would be delayed with serious consequences." Bosnia's Moslem-led government opposes holding the polls until suspects indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, in particular Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and army commander Ratko Mladic, are captured. "There is no credibility to talk of having elections while war criminals are allowed to roam free," Bosnia's U.N. ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey told Reuters. Bosnian Serb prime minister Gojko Klickovic told the conference the election should not be postponed. But he was quoted by the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA as saying the polls would bring about the creation of a Serb national state. (Reuter 131835 GMT) The parliament of Bosnia's Moslem-Croat federation on Thursday postponed the adoption of a crucial law on creating a joint army, highlighting a serious rift in their shaky alliance. Diplomats had reported earlier that the controversial law was due to be adopted under intense pressure from the United States. But parliamentary deputies spent the entire day discussing laws on elections and the return of refugees, blaming each other for violating guarantees set out in the Dayton peace agreement for Bosnia. Officials said there was more work to be done to win agreement on the law and rescheduled it for discussion next Wednesday. (Reuter 131845 GMT)