GENEVA TALKS ON BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA; MILOSEVIC
SAYS GENEVA AGREEMENT MEANS SERBIA'S "SELF-DENIAL" HAS BEEN WORTHWHILE
Serbian TV, Belgrade 1730 gmt 30 Jul 93
Text of recorded interview with Slobodan Milosevic for Serbian Television by Zoran Jevdjovic in Geneva on 30th July 1993.
[Jevdjovic] After two plenary sessions between the delegation heads, held today at the conference on the future of Bosnia-Hercegovina here in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, it is clear that we can be satisfied. Mr President, can you tell us first-hand what has been adopted, what kind of agreement has actually been reached and whether we can be satisfied with it?
[Milosevic] I believe that we can very satisfied with the result of the talks that we have conducted these past three days in Geneva. I am very pleased with what our public will be informed about this moment, that we have achieved full accord on the constitutional agreement of the three republics of the former Bosnia-Hercegovina: the Serbian Republic, the Republic of Herceg-Bosna and the Republic of Bosnia.
We have been coordinating this concept for a very long time and what we have here is not an acceptance of constitutional principles. It is a much greater result. We have here the acceptance of the entire constitutional agreement by the three republics, a constitutional agreement about a union of Bosnia-Hercegovina republics. The three we are currently discussing.
Simply, at the moment, we can say that we have gone a very long way in order to achieve this accord. Every letter, every word, has been coordinated. All three sides are in accord. What remains is that we talk about the remaining issues concerning the maps. However, we can say that the greater part has been agreed upon.
[Jevdjovic] What does this mean, practically? Can you clarify this, three republics within the framework of a union in Bosnia-Hercegovina? Does that actually mean that the Serbian Republic and the other national entities are retaining their territories and some kind of sovereignty on their territory?
[Milosevic] Certainly that is so. In this way the Serbian Republic is fully affirming its identity. As far as territory is concerned, that will be the subject of negotiations that still have to be held here. Today, all of us together assessed, when we concluded the greater part of the job, that we have achieved a new quality in mutual coordination of the three sides. They are now complete, they are in direct contact, so President Tudjman and myself, together with the co-chairmen, have assessed that a phase of their [the three sides'] mutual, direct coordination is now at hand.
Therefore, we can say that we have concluded our part of the business. Of course, we are ready, once again, directly to participate in the negotiations, should all three sides and the conference co-chairmen assess that this is necessary. However, I hope that the remaining issues will be most successfully and directly resolved in direct negotiations with the delegations, headed by Izetbegovic, Karadzic and Boban, here in Geneva.
We have made a suggestion - and it has been accepted - that the talks, negotiations that is, should not be discontinued, but rather that the three delegations headed by Karadzic, Izetbegovic and Boban should resume as early as tomorrow, so that they can go on coordinating the remaining issues which concern certain annexes to the constitutional agreement and the remaining open issues of the maps. I wish to stress that, in my opinion, even these issues have been directed towards a successful solution.
[Jevdjovic] Can we say that, at the conclusion of these negotiations, we have reached standpoints that Serbia has been advocating practically from the very beginning of this tragic conflict?
[Milosevic] I believe that it is quite logical that there could not have been any other, realistic, serious, just approach to the solution for Bosnia-Hercegovina, other than the approach that will secure the affirmation of interests of all three peoples, the affirmation of the interests of all three sides in the conflict, because only an honest agreement, which has not been drawn up to the disadvantage of any one side, can form the basis of a lasting peace.
If this agreement is not entirely just, then it cannot be a basis for a lasting peace. I expect that this agreement, along with the resolution of the remaining issues in the direction of which I have spoken earlier, will truly be a basis for a lasting peace.
[Jevdjovic] One more thing. Does this mean that there is no more danger of a unitary Bosnia-Hercegovina and that the Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina can sleep serenely after this constitutional agreement?
[Milosevic] I think that the Serbs in Bosnia-Hercegovina, or better yet, in the Serbian Republic, can sleep quite serenely after this constitutional agreement. Simply, this constitutional agreement affirms the Serbian Republic, but of course, in the same way in which it affirms the Republic of Bosnia and the Republic of Herceg-Bosna. Moreover, in their relations they will now negotiate, themselves, about what they want to cooperate on and aid each other in. In the same way, they will be able to decide which things they should do independently. In any case, I would venture to say that this is a status of three truly independent republics which will form the union of Bosnia-Hercegovina republics.
[Jevdjovic] I believe that this will initiate a more hopeful outlook for the Republic of Serbia and Yugoslavia. Can we hope that this will remove an enormous burden from the shoulders of our state?
[Milosevic] Every single one of our citizens is aware just how great a burden was shouldered by the Republic of Serbia, helping, expressing its solidarity with our people outside Serbia. It is now evident that this effort, the self-denial, that all this that we have had to go through in these past few years, was worthwhile. It deserved this help, this self-denial. I hope that we are now facing a process of complete normalization and I hope that even the toughest protagonists in the imposing and maintaining of sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will now lose their arguments for maintaining them further.
I believe that this will be achieved very soon and I believe, I expect, that the remaining part of the talks in Geneva will confirm this.
[Jevdjovic] To put it in nutshell, better days are in store for us?
[Jevdjovic] Thank you.
Copyright 1993 The British
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT;; EE/1756/C1;
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