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BosNEWS -- 04 Oct. 95

Bosnia-Herzegovina News Directory

From: Davor <>


The press overseas judged the Clinton administration's foreign policy successes last week -- the New York agreement on Bosnia and the official signing of the Oslo II accord at the White House -- were sterling examples of the administration's "comeback in the diplomatic arena" and its role as the world's "Bundesbank for security." President Clinton, said Milan's top-circulation, centrist Corriere della Sera, has regained "international leadership" and credibility through his efforts to "resolve the most serious international crises of this decade through diplomacy and force." Some qualified their praise by suggesting that the timing of the Bosnia and Middle East accords was motivated by domestic political concerns, but most declared that regardless of motivation, the agreements were "a triumph" of U.S. "hope and determination." Even from France came grudging acknowledgment of the important role the U.S. plays in the international arena.

Writers looked ahead with some trepidation to the obstacles facing the foundations of peace laid by the U.S. initiatives (...) In the Balkans there is still no general ceasefire, the question of territorial delineation remains, and there are problems regarding the creation of a constitution that would govern the new Bosnia.


UNITED KINGDOM: "Two Foreign Policy Successes"

Glasgow's independent Herald observed in an editorial (9/29), "It seems extraordinary that, without a ceasefire and with fighting raging, the combatants in Bosnia have managed to reach some sort of agreement on a document which seeks to define the future constitutional arrangements for the country. The talks in New York, brokered and driven by the United States, are a triumph of hope and determination. Their arrangements may be full of problems and without guarantees that anything agreed will actually take place but, as Warren Christopher said wisely, they represent an important point psychologically....

GERMANY: "Lessons In Diplomacy"

National ARD-TV broadcast this comment by Stefan Bergmann (9/27): "The U.S. president and his multi-talented Holbrooke are teaching the amazed Russians and the Europeans an exemplary lesson in peace diplomacy.... A beginning has now been made. And the United States can consider the new tones from Belgrade its greatest success so far. War-weary and sanction-weary Milosevic is tightening the reins on the Bosnian Serbs and accepts even the latest Croatian and Bosnian territorial gains in an almost relaxed manner. The dream of Greater Serbia is over anyway.... The example of the Middle East shows that perseverance and not wailing is now necessary. And in the case of Bosnia, it could come true that without the United States, nothing will work."

FRANCE: "Pax Mediatica"

Conservative Le Figaro contended (9/28), "America is back. Mr. Clinton too. Not so long ago, diviners were talking about the decline of the United States and its president. But that was wrong. They are still alive.... After many economic, legislative and political failures, he is coming back to the front of the U.S. stage through the diplomatic window. One must not blame him for this. At least he pushes history forward."

ITALY: "Clinton Thanks Two 'Bad Guys'"

A commentary by Washington correspondent Alberto Pasolini Zanelli in leading rightist Il Giornale (9/28) held, "The details of the two compromise agreements reached on Bosnia and the Middle East are known to everybody. Yet, despite all the anger, the fear and the sorrow to which the Holy Land has inured us, it seems for now that the peace buds have stronger roots in the dry sand between Jerusalem and Jericho than in the woody mountains between Sarajevo and Banja Luka. But more important at this time are the protagonists. The shuttle diplomacy of Holbrooke in the Balkans and the showbiz diplomacy of Middle East summits are identical in one thing: in the recognition that there cannot be peace without the Bad Guys. Slobodan Milosevic and Yasser Arafat meet all too precisely the critera of the Bad Guy.... It is a bitter victory of realpolitik over moralism, perhaps even over morality. But it is also a victory of good sense, which often prompts sadness.... The time has come for men of good will to bet on the bad guys."


Washington correspondent Ennio Caretto wrote for the front page of centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera (9/29), "Ironically...domestic protest against President Clinton is rising during the days of his foreign policy triumphs--Bosnia and the West Bank. Rather than rewarding him for regaining international leadership and beginning to resolve the most serious international crises of this decade through diplomacy and force, America is penalizing him for not resolving its domestic problems and calming down its anxiety.... This is evidence that, in Italy as well as in America, not even appropriate management--or even miraculous--of the country can curb popular uneasiness."

"'Pax Americana'?"

Ugo Tramballi asserted in Il Sole-24 Ore (9/27), "America is again the crossroad of history, even of the confused history of our era. America hosts under its large mediating umbrella the enemies of the former Yugoslavia; America blesses another Arab-Israeli agreement. They are both episodes of American peacemaking. "It does not seem that things have changed over the last few weeks: not the president or his staff, not Republican opposition and even less Americans themselves. In reality, at the end of this century, it does not take much for the United States to act as superpower and impose its will on others..... There is nothing new in all of the above: Bill Clinton has not changed, just as the indifference of Americans toward the rest of the world has not changed. Any U.S. administration would have acted as Clinton has in Bosnia, since it was not necessary to do much. And peace in the Middle East is a heritage of the previous presidency. The new international order, in sum, does not exist yet. And when the next political crisis or local conflict breaks out, we will still have to hope that the United States remembers what it is."


Centrist Haagsche Courant commented editorially (9/26), "The war in Bosnia demonstrated how little Paris means in Europe. Without American interference, the war grew to become Europe's shame.... Only thanks to American 'intervention' do we finally have a peace settlement on the way.... Dutch Foreign Minister Van Mierlo regards NATO and the U.S. role as still the basis of Dutch security policy. As long as Paris only provides lip serve to a 'European defense' and continues ignoring European criticism of its nuclear tests, Van Mierlo better stick to this view. For a small country like The Netherlands, it is never good to rule out options, but when it comes to NATO led by the United States, or a WEU led by France, the choice should be obvious."


INDONESIA: "Credibility"

In the opinion of the leading independent, English-language Jakarta Post (9/29), U.S. involvement in Bosnia "is based on President Clinton's domestic needs.... We are optimistic that the West will force the Serbs to accept a just and lasting peace because both the United States and NATO, which earlier stood by and permitted aggression, ethnic cleansing and mass rape, need to regain their credibility. For Clinton, that means credibility in the eyes of both the international community and his own people."


ISRAEL: "Don't Count Your Chickens Before They're Hatched"

Under the headline above, Washington correspondent Akiva Eldar commented in liberal Haaretz (9/28), "As is the case with the Middle East, White House parties are not enough to solve problems in the Balkans as well. The United States is pumping money into Gaza and the West Bank to enhance the viability of the Oslo agreement, but in Bosnia it will have to come up with more than greenbacks. There's no chance of ending the war in the former Yugoslavia without military involvement by NATO.... If Clinton is looking for a free lunch, he's not going to get it in Bosnia."

TUNISIA: "U.S. Diplomacy Scores Two Big Successes"

An editorial by Mustapha Khammari appeared in independent, French-language Le Temps (9/28), "All of a sudden, U.S. diplomacy scored two big the Middle East and in Bosnia.... Washington has proved that it will be the one to decide what should happen.... Is this the new world order promised at the end of the Gulf War?"

* Frontlines, Bosnia and Herzegovina * Bosnian Prime Minister In Russia * Holbrooke: "Peace talks Are Not At An Impasse" * EU endorses most of Franco-German Bosnia plan * Milosevic Hints At Recognition Of Macedonia * Macedonian President Injured In An Assassination Attempt * Krajina Refugee Resettlement * Separatist Serbs fire on Slovenian ambassador's car

FRONTLINES, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On the battlefront northeast of Bosanska Krupa nationalist Bosnian Serb forces kept up pressure on Bosnian government forces on Monday, firing tank shells and mortars at government positions. The Bosnian army replied with anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns at the newly recaptured village. Three Serb soldiers were killed in the area, Serb sources said on Monday. The Bosnian Government and the separatist Serbs are providing conflicting accounts of the fighting. UN officials in Zagreb describe it as see-saw (back and forth) fighting, and they report no new changes in the frontlines.

U.N. officials insist substantial progress has been made in lifting the siege of Sarajevo. They point to the reopening of the city airport after a five-month closure and to humanitarian aid convoys which are using two highways west of the city. However, more than two weeks after the unilateral commitment there is still no civilian traffic on any of the many highways to and from the Bosnian capital, for reasons illustrated by the Slovenian Ambassador's experience on Monday.

MOSCOW, Russia - Bosnian Prime Minister In Russia

Bosnia's Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev have ended a meeting in Moscow saying they are optimistic about the chances for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Silajdzic comes away with a pledge that Russia will resume the delivery of natural gas to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. For his part, Foreign Minister Kozyrev says he expects stepped up efforts in the next two days to bring about a ceasefire in Bosnia. He said any agreement imposed by force would fail. His comments were mild compared with some of the harsh rhetoric from Moscow in defense of separatist Serb interests during recent NATO airstrikes in Bosnia. Mr. Silajdzic says he hopes Russia will soon establish a diplomatic mission in Sarajevo. He described Moscow's efforts to work toward the settlement as constructive.

Holbrooke: "Peace talks Are Not At An Impasse" ZAGREB, Croatia

American peace envoy Richard Holbrooke, who is meeting in Belgrade with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, denies that his attempts to end the war in the former Yugoslavia are at an impasse. Before he left zagreb, Mr. Holbrooke repeated there are still major differences among the Bosnian Government, Bosnian Croats, and the separatist Serbs over the terms of a cease-fire in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He added a cease-fire is not the only issue he is discussing. He indicated progress is being made on some issues, and that negotiations on a cease-fire are not necessarily deadlocked. Progress also is reported in separate talks on the re-integration of the rebel Serb-held Eastern Slavonia region with the rest of Croatia. These talks involve Croatian Government and rebel Serb representatives and American and UN mediators.

EU endorses most of Franco-German Bosnia plan LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg

European Union foreign ministers on Monday endorsed most of a Franco-German plan to rebuild Bosnia in the event of peace, but held back from calling for a European to co-ordinate the multi-national effort. The proposal had also called for a European to be appointed by the UN's Security Council to coordinate the rebuilding of Bosnia if and when peace is won. The six points in the Franco-German plan were: implementing the peace plan, dealing with refugees, providing humanitarian aid, reconstruction, controlling arms and regional security, and dealing with open questions such as human and minority rights. Monday's meeting had condensed those into three areas-- help for refugees including human rights, physical rebuilding and future economic and institutional relations between the countries of former Yugoslavia and the EU. The EU, anxious to polish its Bosnia-tarnished image by taking a leading but not solo role in rebuilding the country, has already begun urgent talks with the US, and the five-nation Bosnia contact group has met the Islamic nations.

Milosevic Hints At Recognition Of Macedonia BELGRADE, Serbia

Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on Monday welcomed a recent agreement between Macedonia and Greece and indicated it could result in mutual recognition by Belgrade and Skopje. "Full normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Skopje and Skopje and Athens must be urgently achieved in keeping with the positive political developments," he was quoted as saying in the statement. Western diplomats in Skopje have said the Macedonian problem would be solved as part of the overall settlement between Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia.

Krajina Refugee Resettlement BELGRADE, Serbia

The Serbian Government is drawing up permanent resettlement plans for the more than 160-thousand Croatian Serb refugees who flooded into the country last august, after Croatian Army troops recaptured Krajina. More than half the Krajina refugees were sent to the Vojvodina region that is home to large numbers of ethnic Hungarians and Croats as well as Serbs. UN officials here say around 500 Croats and some Hungarians were evicted from their homes by the refugees and local Serbs in the initial stages of the influx. The evictions sparked protests by ethnic Hungarian leaders in Vojvodina, and a formal diplomatic complaint to Belgrade from the Hungarian Government. While some Croats And Hungarians are continuing to leave Vojvodina, UN officials say the evictions appear to have stopped. At the same time they say that the improving situation in Vojvodina is in sharp contrast to the escalating tensions in the southern province of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up around 90 percent of the population. About 10-thousand of the Krajina refugees have been sent to Kosovo so far, and local Serb authorities say that figure could rise sharply as Belgrade moves ahead with its permanent resettlement program. The ethnic Albanian leadership sees the Krajina refugees as colonizers, dispatched to Kosovo by a Belgrade Government intent on altering the ethnic balance of the province. UN officials have quietly urged Belgrade leaders to consider the ethnic sensitivities in Kosovo but so far Belgrade has given no sign it is prepared to alter its resettlement policy. The Government says it has more to offer the refugees -- including land, houses, and jobs -- in Kosovo than in other parts of the country. It is not clear how many of the Krajina Serbs will be enticed by this offer.

Separatist Serbs fire on Slovenian ambassador's car SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Separatist Serbs besieging Sarajevo shot out the tyres on an armoured BMW carrying the Slovenian ambassador after it strayed into Serb-held territory on Monday, the UN said. The two vehicles evidently made a wrong turn departing Sarajevo and drove into Serb-held Krtelji, west of the city at about 9 a.m. UN sources said that when the party were told they were on Serb-held ground they made a quick U-turn and tried to speed back down the road on which they had arrived. Serb soldiers opened fire on the lead vehicle but that car made good its escape and arrived at Sarajevo's UN-run airport moments later. The second vehicle, reported to be a van, struck a Serb soldier trying to block the road and was halted. Its two occupants -- one a diplomat and the other a security officer were held for questioning and finally released several hours later after UN officials intervened.

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