Friday, February 5, 1999 Published at 16:01 GMT
Analysis: Dayton revisited?
Rambouillet castle near Paris: Venue for another try at peace
By World Affairs Correspondent Nick Childs
The attempt to persuade the two warring sides in the Kosovo conflict to discuss a peace deal at talks in France has prompted parallels with the Dayton process of 1995 which ended the war in Bosnia.
But can the formula be repeated, and how valid is the comparison?
Among the signs of that, they say, are the Dayton-style peace talks to which the warring parties have been summoned, and the very tight deadlines the Contact Group and Nato have imposed.
But whether those talks get off the ground and make any progress is still very uncertain.
There was a ceasefire in place, and the Serb side may have been forced to agree to the ceasefire and go to the negotiating table because the fighting on the ground seemed to be going against them.
In the case of Dayton, a detailed plan already existed for a settlement. The same is true for Kosovo - the negotiators would not be starting with a blank sheet of paper.
And, as with Bosnia, the west accepts any settlement will have to be enforced by a sizeable Nato-led force.
The American role
But here the two approaches diverge. Dayton was very much under US auspices, and on US soil. Agreement, when it finally came, was only reached after massive pressure from the Clinton administration.
The Americans have been the driving force again. But the actual talks set for Rambouillet in France appear a more collective effort, with a more prominent role for the Europeans.
That might preserve international coherence. But whether it will have enough diplomatic clout is another matter.
The Americans may yet have to step in again more forcefully.
Also, Dayton was very much a top-level summit. It is unlikely the Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, will himself go to Rambouillet.
There are doubts, too, as to whether the Kosovo Albanians can produce a cohesive delegation.
Over Kosovo, there is clearly pressure on all sides, including the international community - whose credibility remains on the line.