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U.S. Department of State
93/05/01 Statement at News Conference re Bosnia-Herzegovina
Office of the Spokesman

Opening statement at a news conference by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher

Washington, DC
May 1, 1993

US Consultations With Allies On Bosnia-Herzegovina

Upon taking office, President Clinton inherited a complex and tragic 
situation in the former Yugoslavia.  This situation has bedeviled the 
international community now for almost 2 years.  It's a problem with 
deep historic roots.  In the post-Cold War period, the former Yugoslavia 
has been the scene of violence, tragedy, and outrageous conduct.

The President has acted to deal with this conflict.  We have undertaken, 
in cooperation with our allies and friends, an intensive diplomatic 
effort in an attempt to solve the crisis and bring some measure of peace 
to this area. 

Our activity to date has been intense along a number of fronts.  These 
include an active diplomatic effort that has helped to bring two of the 
three Bosnian parties into agreement on a peace plan; second, an effort 
to save thousands of lives by way of humanitarian programs, which 
include our airdrop program, which has now furnished more than 2 million 
meals; third, passage of a UN resolution to establish a war crimes 
tribunal; fourth, a UN resolution to enforce a no-fly zone to prevent 
the use of air power by the parties to the conflict; and, fifth, an 
extremely rigorous sanctions resolution at the United Nations that went 
into effect last Monday at midnight.

Under this sanctions regime, Serbia is being treated as a pariah state, 
virtually isolated from the rest of the world.  Yet the outrages have 
continued in the former Yugoslavia area.  In the face of Serbian 
aggression, the President has been rigorously reviewing further options 
for action during the course of the last week.  He has been consulting 
with our allies and friends in the international community, Members of 
Congress, his national security team, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He 
has been exploring additional actions the international community can 
take to respond to the violence, stop the aggression, and contain the 
conflict.

The President has just completed a meeting with his principal national 
security advisers.  At this meeting the President decided on the 
direction that he believes the United States and the international 
community should now take in this situation.  This direction involves a 
number of specific recommendations, including military steps.  The 
President is sending me to Europe to consult with our allies and friends 
on a course of action.  This problem is at the heart of Europe's future.  
Our efforts will be undertaken with our partners.  We're ready to play 
our part, but others must be as well.

Along these lines, I'll be leaving at 9 pm tonight to engage in these 
consultations.  Over the next week, I'll travel to Britain, France, 
Russia, and Germany.  I'll also be traveling to Brussels, where I'll 
consult with the Secretary General of NATO and the Presidency of the 
European Community.

In these sessions, I'll be conveying the President's determination that 
the international community should take further action.  I'll be 
consulting with our partners on the direction the President believes the 
international community should take together.  We must have a unified 
and cohesive position.

With respect to the specific directions that I'll be discussing in 
Europe, I think you'll understand that prior to the consultations with 
our allies, I cannot discuss them with you here in this public forum.

Let me close with two important points.

First, the President and the United States are pursuing additional 
action with our allies because we believe that the interests of the 
United States and the international community are at stake.  There are, 
of course, issues of conscience and humanitarian concerns at stake in 
this situation.  But fundamentally our actions are also based upon the 
strategic interests of the United States.  All of us seek to limit the 
risk of a widening instability that could lead to a greater Balkan war.

Second, as you know, the parties to the conflict are meeting in Athens 
this weekend with Secretary Vance and Lord Owen.  The Serbs know that 
they exhausted the patience of the international community.  It is in 
their interest to take concrete actions now to reach peace and to do so 
without further delay.

But I must underscore that they must do more than just speak out; they 
must do more than simply give us a signature on a peace plan.  
Unfortunately, we've heard their words and seen the signatures before.  
It will take deeds, immediate concrete action by the Serbs, [and] 
actions on the ground to convince the international community of their 
seriousness and good faith. (###)

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