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U.S. Department of State
96/02/02 Press Conference (with Croation President Tudjman)
Office of the Spokesman



                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                          Office of the Spokesman 
 
                              (Zagreb, Croatia) 
 
For Immediate Release                                February 2, 1996 
 
 
                             PRESS CONFERENCE 
                   SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                      CROATIAN PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN 
 
 
                           Presidential Palace 
                             Zagreb, Croatia 
                            February 2, 1996 
 
 
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN:  The talks we have had with the Secretary of State, 
Mr. Warren Christopher, and the United States delegation are the 
continuation of very successful relations of cooperation, friendship and 
partnership between the United States of America and the Republic of 
Croatia, which have taken a particularly good and satisfactory after the 
Dayton Agreements and after the visit of President Clinton to Croatia.   
 
The Dayton Agreements, which have been concluded under the leadership of 
the United States of America and with the constructive participation of 
the Republic of Croatia, have contributed to the establishment of peace 
in the region and to creating the preconditions for a new international 
order in this restless part of the world.  This is why it is of further 
significance than just bilateral relations, because Croatia is 
particularly interested in comprehensive, economic, cultural and all 
other relations with the United States of America, as the leading world 
power.  We are very pleased with such a development of our bilateral 
relations. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thank you very much Mr. President.  I'm very 
pleased to be here on my first stop in this trip to this region.  I've 
brought President Tudjman greetings from President Clinton, who recalled 
the contributions that President Tudjman had made to the Dayton 
Agreements, as well as recalling very favorably his brief stop in Zagreb 
when he was in this region.   
 
Two and a half months ago in Dayton, President Tudjman and I, both, 
initialed the Dayton Agreements.  That inaugurated a new relationship 
between the United States and Croatia, a relationship of partnership 
that has great potential for the future.  As I said to President Tudjman 
tonight, the foundation of that new partnership is the commitments that 
were made in the Dayton Agreement, and the faithful execution and 
implementation of those commitments.  As a reflection of the new 
relationship between the United States and Croatia, only this week we 
lifted the travel warning on American citizens travelling to Croatia, a 
reflection as to how quickly peace is taking hold in this region.  We 
intend to work closely with Croatia to help it realize a future filled 
with hope to replace a past that was heavily burdened by war.   
 
Of course, Croatia must do its part by staying on the path of peace and 
carefully, faithfully implementing the provisions of the Dayton 
Agreement.  In our discussions tonight, I assured President Tudjman that 
the United States will continue to support the peaceful return of 
Croatian land in Eastern Slavonia, in accordance with the agreements.  I 
stressed the necessity of carrying out the negotiated solution to the 
problem of Eastern Slavonia, a solution that respects the rights of all 
peoples of that area.   
 
One of the highlights of our discussion tonight, which extended more 
than an hour, was the steps taken to bring the Federation of Bosnia-
Hercegovina to life, steps which last week indicated it was through the 
appointment of the new Federation government.  The Federation is, of 
course, a very essential building block to peace,  in Bosnia-
Hercegovina, as a whole, and I'm confident that we'll move forward here, 
with the continued support of Croatia, based upon my discussions here 
tonight with President Tudjman. 
 
Finally, let me say we also discussed tonight the importance of 
cooperation with the War Crimes Tribunal and how essential it is for 
Croatia to demonstrate its full respect for human rights of all of its 
citizens, regardless of their heritage.  This is certainly a time for 
Croatia to begin to reap the benefits of peace, to become more 
integrated into the international community.  I want to assure President 
Tudjman and the people of Croatia that you will have the support of 
America, as you assume your enormous obligations, and also at the 
possibility of considerable benefits of integration into the Western 
world.   
 
This is the message that I'll be bringing here to Zagreb, but it's also 
the message that I'll be taking with me to Sarajevo tomorrow and to 
Belgrade on Sunday.  I'm here on the forty-fifth day after the signing 
of the agreements in Paris, on what I think it is a very hopeful 
situation, one in which I expect to have reports tomorrow on the 
compliance and implementation of the Dayton Agreements, and I must say I 
think it is a very hopeful prospect.  Thank you. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. President, even this week, we were hearing some 
expressions of temptations from your Foreign Minister about Croatia 
recovering Eastern Slavonian land accorded to you under the Dayton 
Agreements.  Are you assured, or are you more assured now, that this 
transition, which has some time, will be carried out, or might you be 
compelled to resort to force? 
 
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN:  Today, we are faced with a situation which would not 
ever have been imagined before the Dayton Agreements.  Thanks to the 
leadership and to the efforts of the United States of America, we have 
reached a general agreement on the peaceful solution of Croatia.  We 
believe that we are on the way to the implementation of this.  Croatia 
will do everything in its power not to have to resort to other means, 
but rather to solve this in a negotiated way, and peacefully.  That's 
all that we expect, thanks to the United States of America, and I 
believe Mr. Christopher's visit this time is also proof of this, that we 
shall achieve this goal, of course, provided this other side also 
complies with the provisions of the agreement. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. President, were you able to give Secretary of State 
Christopher any assurances about Croatia's  cooperation with bringing 
those, particularly among the Bosnian Croats, who have been indicted by 
the War Crimes Tribunal?  Will you be able to cooperate with that 
request? 
 
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN:  Croatia has been constructive so far in the peaceful 
efforts and it will continue to be constructive, as far as this 
cooperation in the Hague Tribunal is concerned.  Of course, Croatia has 
its own constitution and, in accordance with this constitution, the 
Croatian government is now preparing a bill which will be submitted to 
parliament so that we can fully comply and provide full cooperation with 
The Hague Tribunal. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. President, considering everything that has happened so 
far  the Dayton Agreements, what do you consider to be decisive in this 
respect and which problems do you expect in its implementation? 
 
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN:  As far as the Dayton Agreements are concerned, of 
course, the essential issues for the Republic of Croatia are two.  
First, the peaceful reintegration of the still occupied parts, and here 
I think we're on a good roadway, and a problem, an issue which is also 
linked with the first, and this is the implementation of the Croat-
Muslim Federation in Bosnia-Hercegovina.  I think that what I said, that 
a few weeks ago we could  not even imagine the progress that we have 
achieved so far, holds true from this particular point.  Now the 
representatives of the Croats and Muslims have reached essential 
agreements on the establishment of the two governments of the Federation 
and of Bosnia-Hercegovina.  We are on the way to dealing with other 
problems which will guarantee peace and new order in this part of the 
world. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Christopher,  the United States of America has approved 
the sending of U.S. police to the Croatian Danubian (Eastern Slavonia) 
area.  How do you intend to provide for compliance with human rights, 
particularly of the people who were then expelled/displaced from that 
particular area in 1991? 
  
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  The United States wants to try to ensure that 
the integration of Eastern Slavonia back into the Croatian government is 
done in a  satisfactory and peaceful way.  The United States and other 
countries in Europe are contributing police forces to try to ensure that 
this is done.  There will be a transitional government there during the 
twelve months that is provided for the transition.  The police will 
assist the parties in ensuring that this transition is one in which the 
rights of the individuals are  respected.  Then concern about their 
property is fully being taken into account.  So, I think the police are 
there primarily to ensure this can be done in a constructive, orderly, 
and peaceful manner.  Obviously, they'll need the cooperation of the 
citizens involved in that area.  But, based upon my discussions here 
today, I'm more hopeful than ever that this transition can be achieved 
in a peaceful way because of the positive attitude that has been taken 
by the Croatian government.  I expect that, before I leave the region,  
I'll have opportunities to discuss this matter with others who can help 
make sure that the transition is peaceful and constructive. 
 
QUESTION:  What about the people who were expelled in 1991?  What about 
their rights? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: On your second question, I discussed with 
President Tudjman tonight the obligation, on the part of Croatia, to 
permit the return of those who were expelled from that area, a 
requirement that we expect to be complied with, and I hope it will 
happen promptly in the near future.  Thank you. 
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