GENEVA TALKS ON BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA; GENEVA
TALKS OPEN: IZETBEGOVIC, MILOSEVIC, KARADZIC GUARDEDLY OPTIMISTIC
Serbian Radio, Belgrade 2000 gmt 27 Jul 93
Text of recorded interview with Slobodan Milosevic by unidentified correspondent, in Geneva on 27th July
[Milosevic] We held talks as the heads of delegations; therefore, talks in which Presidents Tudjman, Izetbegovic, Karadzic, Bulatovic, Boban and I participated, apart from the co-chairmen. We discussed the essence of the issue. This was the first time in a long time that there were no attempts to avoid discussion on the essence of the issue and, regardless of the fact that, at the moment, we cannot speak about solutions, the great change can be best illustrated by the fact that this was the first time since the outbreak of the war that Presidents Karadzic and Izetbegovic talked to each other at the same table. They not only attended talks, as used to be the case at some plenary sessions, but also spoke to each other directly and exchanged views and proposals. I believe that this is a fact that marks a very, very significant change in the quality of the talks.
I told you this morning what I consider to be the essential issue. That is the question of maps and the talks are supposed to resume tomorrow. As for your question as to whether we can expect the final solution tomorrow, I think that it is hard to say now whether that is possible. It is probably better to say that it is impossible to expect the final solution tomorrow since these are very complex issues, but it is obvious that the talks are going in the direction of reaching a solution and that the approach that has been supported by all sides has been accepted and that is to find a just solution for all three sides, therefore to continue work in that direction and reach an agreement as soon as possible.
[Unidentified correspondent] That is what the Serbian side has been committed to from the very start, to solve all the problems through direct negotiations and that nobody is victimized in that [sentence as heard]. The solution should be reached through the agreement of all three peoples in Bosnia-Hercegovina. So there is a return to the position that Belgrade supported from the outbreak of the conflict.
[Milosevic] That is perfectly logical. There is no other solution, nor can anyone other than the three conflicting sides find a solution. If a just solution that would equally protect the interests of the three sides is not found, and we are on the way to define it, then it would not be the grounds for a lasting and just peace, but would probably mean a temporary cooling of the situation with potential tensions that could always explode [sentence as heard]. We are all committed to reaching a solution that would be final and lasting. I hope that tomorrow's talks will continue in that direction.
[Unidentified correspondent] And just one more thing. The position of the representatives of the international community, and this time special envoys Churkin and Bartholomew were present - [changes thought] are they really mediators this time or, as occasionally before, do they impose solutions?
[Milosevic] As for the position of the international community, there were no proposals that would be seen as the imposition of a solution. As far as the co-chairmen present at the session are concerned, I think that their role was very, very constructive.
Copyright 1993 The British
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT;; EE/1753/C1;
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