[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-
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.