The European Union urged Serbia and Croatia on Friday to help defuse growing tensions in neighbouring Bosnia, which are undermining stability there, 15 years after a civil war that killed nearly 100,000 people.

“Our joint interest is to have a stable Bosnia,” EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after meeting with Croatia's new President, Ivo Josipovic. Top EU and NATO officials have expressed concern at rising tensions in Bosnia following the collapse in October of a western-backed effort to revise the country's Constitution. Both Croatia and Serbia exert strong influence on their ethnic kin in Bosnia, who are united in a lose confederation with the Bosniak majority.