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Talk is aimed at keeping the peace.

Byline: LUCY WILSON

CLERGY in Coventry have been wrestling with the long-standing conflict in Bosnia.

The cathedral's international department has hosted meetings this week between religious, political, cultural and business leaders from the city of Banja Luka in the Srpska Republic, part of Bosnia.

The event, which continues until tomorrow, is part of the work of an organisation called Soul of Europe, founded by Anglican vicar the Rev Donald Reeves.

Although the war in the Balkans ended in 1995 the tensions which caused it didn't disappear.

In Banja Luka there are rifts between Serbs, Muslims and Catholics made worse by a poorly performing economy and high unemployment. Many people who fled during the fighting have not returned to their homes.

Mr Reeves said: "We aim to be honest brokers, assisting the people of Banja Luka towards the day when it will flourish in all its diversity.

"Religion in this context doesn't just mean going to church or to the mosque - it is an issue of identity a bit like it is in Northern Ireland.

"Banja Luka is part of Europe and just three hours by plane from London. It is important to help."

Director of the international ministry at Coventry Cathedral Canon Andrew White said: "This consultation between the main religious and political leaders of the Srpska Republic provides a very real hope for the maintenance and development of lasting peace in the region."

CAPTION(S):

PROVIDING HOPE: Canon Andrew White believes the talks are vital for a lasting peace
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 28, 2001
Words:250
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