93/05/22 Opening statement at joint news conference with French Foreign Minister Juppe, UK Foreign Secretary Hurd, Spanish Foreign Minister Solana and Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev (Washington, DC)  Return to: Index of 1993 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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U.S. Department of State
93/05/22 Opening Statement at News Conference on Bosnia
Office of the Spokesman


Opening statement by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
at joint news conference with
French Foreign Minister Juppe
UK Foreign Secretary Hurd
Spanish Foreign Minister Solana
and 
Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev

Washington, DC
May 22, 1993.


Announcement of the Joint Action Program on the Conflict in Bosnia
Joint Action Program


Good morning.  I am pleased to be here today with my colleagues, Foreign 
Secretary Douglas Hurd of the United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Andrei 
Kozyrev of Russia, Foreign Minister Javier Solana of Spain, and Foreign 
Minister Alain Juppe of France.  I have been asked by my colleagues to 
make a short summary statement with respect to our deliberations.

We are determined that the international community will act together--
based upon shared responsibilities and common purpose--to bring 
increased pressure to bear on those engaged in the conflict in Bosnia.  
Each of us--along with our colleagues in other capitals and at the 
United Nations--has worked hard to find a common approach that will work 
to stop the killing in Bosnia, to prevent the conflict from spreading, 
and to bring concerted pressure on the parties to reach a peaceful 
settlement of the conflict.  This international pressure will be brought 
especially to bear on the Bosnian Serbs, who stand solely isolated from 
the community of civilized nations.

During the last 3 days, we have agreed on a Joint Action Program of 
further steps which we are announcing today.  This Joint Action Program 
describes the steps we'll be pursuing to extinguish this terrible war 
and achieve a lasting and equitable settlement.  We understand, 
collectively, that there is an urgent need for action.  Taken together, 
the course of action we outline today is designed to directly affect the 
environment in Bosnia and escalate the pressure on those still fighting 
so that a political settlement to this crisis--which must be achieved--
will be more likely.

Let me now, on behalf of my colleagues, summarize the specific, concrete 
steps that we have agreed to take and which are presented in the joint 
document which you have received.

--  We will continue our program of humanitarian assistance to the 
people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to save lives, and we will insist that all 
parties allow this aid to pass without hindrance.

--  We will rigorously enforce the tight and tough regime of sanctions 
that isolate and pressure Serbia and Montenegro.  This pressure will be 
unrelenting until the necessary conditions of the relevant UN Security 
Council resolutions are met, including the withdrawal of Bosnian Serb 
troops from territories occupied by force.

--  Each of us will contribute in our own way--for instance, through 
monitors, technical assistance, or surveillance--to a joint effort that 
will ensure that Belgrade's promise to close its border with Bosnia is 
not a shallow one.

--  We will work in the United Nations for early adoption of measures 
that will implement certain "safe areas" in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Each of 
our nations will make appropriate contributions to securing these "safe 
areas."  In this context, the United States is prepared to meet its 
commitment to help protect United Nations forces in the event they are 
attacked and request such action by the United States.

--  We will continue to enforce vigorously the no-fly zone established 
over Bosnia.

--  We support the rapid establishment of a war crimes tribunal so that 
those guilty of atrocities may be brought to justice.

--  We will remain intensively involved in efforts to achieve a durable, 
negotiated settlement to this crisis.  To the extent that the parties 
decide to implement mutually agreed provisions of the Vance-Owen 
agreement, that is something we would encourage.

--  We are putting Croatia on notice that assistance to the Bosnian 
Croatian forces engaged in fighting and in "ethnic cleansing" could 
result in international sanctions against Croatia.

--  Grave consequences would arise from violence spreading elsewhere in 
the Balkans.  Accordingly, we support an increased international 
presence in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which we will do 
in consultation with the authorities in Skopje, and we support an 
increased presence of international monitoring in Kosovo.

--  In addition, we will keep other options open for new and tougher 
measures, none of which is prejudged or excluded from consideration.

Each of us will work--individually and collectively--to define 
operational plans to carry out these measures promptly.

It is a testimony to the strength of our alliance and our new 
partnership with the Russian Federation that we have arrived at this 
mutual course of action that I am announcing on behalf of my colleagues 
and myself today.  The actions we announce today will save lives, keep 
the conflict from spreading, and increase pressure for a negotiated 
settlement.

As our statement says, we are firmly united and committed to prosecuting 
and pursuing this course of action.

Joint Action Program

Text of Joint Action Program released by the Office of the Spokesman, 
Washington, DC, May 22, 1993.

France, the Russian Federation, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the 
United States of America are profoundly concerned that the conflict in 
Bosnia-Herzegovina is continuing despite the strenuous efforts of the 
international community and the Co-Chairmen of the International 
Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, which they strongly support, to 
bring an end to it.

We shall continue to work urgently to help extinguish this terrible war 
and to achieve a lasting and equitable settlement.

We also have common views on the most productive immediate steps to 
take.  These should lead to implementation of relevant Security Council 
resolutions as well as the elaboration of further steps.

1.  Humanitarian Assistance.  We will continue providing humanitarian 
assistance for the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and will insist that 
all parties allow humanitarian aid to pass without hindrance.

2.  Sanctions.  The economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations 
Security Council against Serbia and Montenegro must be rigorously 
enforced by all members of the UN until the necessary conditions set out 
in Security Council Resolution 820, including the withdrawal of Bosnian 
Serb troops from territories occupied by force, are met for lifting the 
sanctions.

3.  Sealing Borders.  We note the pledge of the Belgrade authorities to 
close the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to put pressure on 
the Bosnian Serbs to accept the peace plan.  We are watching to see if 
the border closure is effective.  Although the primary responsibility 
for enforcing this step belongs to Belgrade, we can assist, for instance 
by placing monitors on the borders or providing technical expertise or 
conducting aerial surveillance.  We also note the willingness expressed 
by the Zagreb authorities for monitoring to take place along the border 
between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

4.  "Safe Areas."  The concept of "safe areas" in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as 
France and others have proposed, could make a valuable contribution.  We 
will work to secure early adoption of the new UN Security Council 
resolution now under discussion.  The United Kingdom and France along 
with other nations already have forces serving with UNPROFOR in "safe 
areas."  Troops from other countries, including Spain and Canada, are 
playing an important role on the ground.  The Russian Federation is 
considering making forces available in Bosnia in addition to its forces 
presently in Croatia.  The United States is prepared to meet its 
commitment to help protect UNPROFOR forces in the event they are 
attacked and request such action.  Further contributions from other 
countries would be most welcome

5.  No-Fly Zone.  The No-Fly Zone should continue to be enforced in 
Bosnia.

6.  War Crimes Tribunal.  We support the rapid establishment of the War 
Crimes Tribunal, so that those guilty of atrocities may be brought to 
justice.

7.  Durable Peace.  Negotiated settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
building on the Vance-Owen process and intensified international 
cooperation and effort, is the way a durable peace can be established.  
France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States will 
assist and actively participate in a continued political process to this 
end.  To the extent that the parties decide to implement promptly 
mutually-agreed provisions of the Vance-Owen Plan, this is to be 
encouraged.

8.  Central Bosnia-Herzegovina.  We are deeply concerned about the 
fighting between Bosnian Croatian and Bosnian Government forces and the 
related "ethnic cleansing," and we agree that Croatia should be put on 
notice that assistance to Bosnian Croatian forces engaged in these 
activities could result in the international community imposing 
sanctions on Croatia.

9.  Containment.  We will cooperate closely to enhance efforts to 
contain the conflict and prevent the possibility that it will spill over 
into neighboring countries.  We would regard such a development with the 
utmost seriousness.

10.  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  It is essential that 
everyone in the region understands that aggression against the Former 
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would have grave consequences.  We will 
support an increase in the international presence there in consultation 
with the authorities in Skopje.  The United States is considering a 
contribution to this effort.

11.  Kosovo.  We favor an increase in the international monitoring 
presence in Kosovo.  International standards of human rights should be 
strictly respected in the formerly-autonomous region of Kosovo, although 
we do not support declarations of independence there.

12.  Croatia.  The same considerations apply to the Serb-populated areas 
of Croatia.  We will work for the renewal and strengthening of 
UNPROFOR's mandate.  The Croatian Government and the local Serb 
authorities should maintain the cease-fire and constructively pursue 
their dialogue leading to settling practical, economic, and, eventually, 
political problems between them.

13.  Further Measures.  We will keep open options for new and tougher 
measures, none of which is prejudged or excluded from consideration.

We five members of the United Nations Security Council are firmly united 
and firmly committed to taking these immediate steps.  We will work 
closely with the United Nations and the involved regional organizations 
as we carry out these efforts.

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