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U.S. Department of State
96/08/15 Arrival Statement at Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Office of the Spokesman



                             U.S. Department of State 
                              Office of the Spokesman 
 
                            (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) 
__________________________________________________________________ 
For Immediate Release                              August 15, 1996 
 
            ARRIVAL STATEMENT BY SECRETARY WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                      SARAJEVO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 
 
Good morning.  President Izetbegovic, thank you for welcoming me back.  
When I came last February, Sarajevo was in the grip of winter and the 
immediate aftermath of war.  Now, as peace takes hold, I have returned 
in Bosnia's summer of hope. 
 
This once beseiged airport, remembered around the world as the symbol of 
Sarajevo's isolation, is the newest symbol of this city's reintegration 
with the world.  Yesterday, Sarajevo International Airport reopened to 
civilian traffic.  An Air Croatia charter flight has just landed.  The 
first scheduled passenger flight is due to arrive next Monday.  Step by 
step, Sarajevo's isolation is coming to an end.  The horizons which were 
shrunk by four years of hatred and war are once again lifting. 
 
The reopening of this airport also testifies to the hard work and 
enormous accomplishments of recent months.  We can be proud of the 
determination and skill of General Heinrich and IFOR, along with Dick 
Sklar and his team.  I salute them for their efforts. 
 
I also salute the hard work and courage of the Bosnians and their 
friends in the international community who are repairing roads and rail 
lines, rebuilding bridges and factories, and working in countless other 
ways to build a lasting peace. 
 
I have just come from Geneva, where I met with President Izetbegovic 
along with Presidents Milosevic and Tudjman.  I am encouraged that the 
three Presidents agreed yesterday to take a series of steps to ensure 
the successful conduct of next month's elections.  The elections are 
another critical crossroads on Bosnia's hard road to a lasting peace.  
They challenge Bosnia's leaders and people to live up to the letter and 
the spirit of the Dayton Agreement.  This is a challenge that can and 
must be met. 
 
My main purpose today will be to encourage all those involved to do 
their utmost to create the conditions for democratic elections, and to 
ensure that the election results are respected.  I will walk through the 
historic heart of Sarajevo to get a glimpse of its revival.  I will meet 
with IFOR's commander, Admiral Lopez, and  attend an OSCE-sponsored 
roundtable with a broad spectrum of Bosnian political and religious 
leaders.   
 
I will also speak directly to the people of Bosnia on television.  I 
will offer a message of support as they prepare to take up the great 
responsibility and great opportunity of choosing their own leaders and 
determining their own future.   
 
Thank you again for welcoming me this morning. 

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