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U-S/BOSNIA DIPLOMATS (L) BY DAVID GOLLUST/STATE DEPARTMENT

From: yanni@ix.netcom.com (Ioannis Bousnakis)

DATE=8/21/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-184001

TITLE=U-S/BOSNIA DIPLOMATS (L)

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST

DATELINE=STATE DEPARTMENT

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SAYS THE DEATHS OF THREE SENIOR U-S OFFICIALS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA WILL NOT DE-RAIL EFFORTS TO BRING PEACE TO THE BALKANS. TOP CABINET OFFICIALS WERE AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE NEAR WASHINGTON MONDAY AS THE BODIES OF THE THREE AMERICANS -- KILLED IN A ROAD ACCIDENT SATURDAY NEAR SARAJEVO -- WERE RETURNED TO TO THE UNITED STATES. V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

TEXT: AN AIR FORCE TRANSPORT BEARING THE FLAG-DRAPED COFFINS OF THE THREE MEN WAS MET AT ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE BY TOP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS, INCLUDING SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER, DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM PERRY, AND NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER ANTHONY LAKE.

PRESIDENT CLINTON'S SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA ROBERT FRASURE WAS KILLED IN THE ACCIDENT, ALONG WITH DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JOSEPH KRUZEL AND NELSON DREW, A MILITARY ADVISOR TO THE WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL.

THEY HAD BEEN ON THEIR WAY TO SARAJEVO FOR TALKS ABOUT THE NEW U-S PEACE INITIATIVE FOR BOSNIA WHEN THE U-N ARMORED VEHICLE THEY WERE RIDING IN SLIPPED OFF THE TREACHEROUS MOUNT IGMAN ROAD AND PLUNGED INTO A RAVINE.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER, WHO LED THE AIR FORCE BASE CEREMONIES, SAID THE LOSS OF THE THREE AMERICANS WAS A TERRIBLE BLOW TO PEACEMAKING EFFORTS -- BUT U-S DIPLOMACY IN THE BALKANS WILL GO FORWARD:

                  /// CHRISTOPHER ACTUALITY ///

THE EFFORT TO BRING PEACE TO BOSNIA WILL CONTINUE AND WITH A RENEWED SENSE OF COMMITMENT. WE WILL HONOR THEIR SACRIFICE BY STRIVING TO COMPLETE THEIR WORK. ONE DAY THE SHELLS WILL STOP FALLING IN BOSNIA, MINEFIELDS WILL BE CLEARED, AND THE TERRIBLE CYCLE OF NEEDLESS VIOLENCE AND DEATH IN BOSNIA WILL FINALLY COME TO AN END. WHEN IT DOES, IT WILL BE DUE TO DEVOTED PEACEMAKERS LIKE BOB AND JOE AND NELSON, AND TO THEIR COLLEAGUES WHO SURVIVED -- ESPECIALLY DICK HOLBOOKE AND GENERAL WES CLARK. IT WILL BE DUE TO THEIR SPIRIT OF SERVICE.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE DEATHS FORCED ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE RICHARD HOLBROOKE TO BREAK OFF WHAT OFFICIALS HAD DESCRIBED AS A PROMISING BALKANS SHUTTLE MISSION, AND PROMPTED THE POSTPONEMENT OF A MEETING OF THE FIVE-NATION CONTACT GROUP IN BOSNIA SET FOR THIS WEEK IN GENEVA.

THE U-S INITIATIVE BUILDS ON THE CONTACT GROUP PLAN FOR DIVIDING CONTROL OF BOSNIA BETWEEN ETHNIC SERBS AND THE ALLIANCE OF BOSNIAN MUSLIMS AND CROATS -- REFLECTING THE DRAMATIC CHANGES ON THE GROUND IN RECENT MONTHS.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PERRY TOLD THE ASSEMBLED OFFICIALS AND GRIEVING RELATIVES AT THE CEREMONIES THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN TEAM HAD BROUGHT THE BOSNIAN PARTIES CLOSER TO A NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT THAN AT ANY TIME IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS.

PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL INTERRUPT HIS WESTERN VACATION TO ATTEND MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR THE THREE OFFICIALS WEDNESDAY. (SIGNED)

NEB/DAG/RAE

21-Aug-95 2:13 PM EDT (1813 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

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