Athens News Agency

Two leading Bosnian Serb officials Saturday expressed satisfaction at Greece's aid to Bosnia's Serbs, stressing the deep ties between the two countries.

The vice president of the "Serbian Republic of Bosnia," Dragan Dragic, told reporters that Bosnian Serbs' roots stem from Hellenic civilization, while the two peoples are united through Orthodoxy.

"Our morale is heightened by Leonidas' phrase 'Molon Lave' (come and take them {weapons}).

"With the ending of the war," Mr. Dragic said in Thessaloniki, "all bridges will be open for hospitality of our Greek brothers." Mr. Dragic also thanked Greek journalists, describing them as the "only journalists in the world reporting the truth on Bosnian Serbs."

Radomir Lukic, the breakaway state's foreign undersecretary said Greece will be the first country with which the Bosnian Serbs will cooperate after the war's end.

Both men spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organized by the Kalamaria Municipal Information-Communication Enterprise to discuss the Bosnian refugee problem.

Asked to comment on the prospect of United Nations peacekeepers' replacement by NATO troops, Mr. Lukic said this would be considered tantamount to "occupation."

He said that so long as a cease-fire agreement was signed there was no need for the presence of foreign troops in the region.

Mr. Lukic made allowances, however, for the presence of "6,000 UN-administered troops or observers... which could be comprised of Greeks and Russians."

The Bosnian Serb official said his people have no confidence in NATO troops, which "caused (after two weeks of air strikes) material damages of $1 billion, turned 40,000 families into refugees and left 16,000 children without schools."

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