[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)] [September 8, 1995] [Page 1333] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
[[Page 1333]] Statement on the Agreed Basic Principles for a Settlement in Bosnia- Herzegovina September 8, 1995 Today's successful meeting in Geneva of the Foreign Ministers of Bosnia, Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is an important milestone on the road to peace in the former Yugoslavia. As a result of intensive mediation by Ambassador Holbrooke and his team--supported by our Contact Group partners in the European Union and Russia--the three Foreign Ministers have endorsed a set of Agreed Basic Principles that will serve as the framework for a political settlement to the conflict in Bosnia. The Foreign Ministers of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have also agreed to work actively toward a peaceful solution in Eastern Slavonia, the Serb-controlled area of the Republic of Croatia also known as U.N. Sector East. The Agreed Basic Principles commit all three governments to support a settlement consistent with the goals we have long sought in Bosnia. Most importantly, for the first time, all three have agreed that Bosnia- Herzegovina will continue as a single state, with its present borders and with continuing international recognition. Consistent with the Contact Group plan, under the terms of a settlement, all three agree that Bosnia-Herzegovina will consist of two entities: the Federation, established under last year's Washington Agreements, and the Serb Republic. The 51:49 parameter of the Contact Group's territorial proposal will be the basis for a settlement, subject to any adjustments that the parties make by mutual agreement. The two entities will have the right to establish relationships with neighboring states, but these must be consistent with the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The parties have pledged to adhere to international human rights standards, to ensure freedom of movement and the right of displaced persons to return to their homes and to collaborate on joint economic projects that will promote transportation links and communication among all of Bosnia's peoples. These are important principles around which we now can move toward intensive negotiations for a full peace agreement. I want to congratulate the three Foreign Ministers, Secretary of State Christopher, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, Ambassador Holbrooke and his team, and our Russian and other European partners for today's impressive achievement. Much work remains to be done in translating these principles into a final peace agreement. All the parties will need to display the same flexibility and statesmanship that made today's agreement possible if we are to turn away from war and achieve our common goal of a durable peace in the Balkans.