Serbian TV, Belgrade 1730 gmt 14 May 93

Text of recorded interview with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic by Zoran Jevdjovic in the Belgrade Sava Centre on 14th May

[Jevdjovic] After the assembly session attended by representatives of virtually all Serbian parliaments concluded, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic agreed to tell us, first about your impressions, Mr President, and second, to comment on the fact - we all watched - that some of the deputies failed to agree, and some walked out. How would you comment on all this?

[Milosevic] First of all, this joint gathering of people's deputies should not be treated as a formal legal action. One can rather say that what is involved is an extremely significant political act or, even more precisely, a moral act. It is above all doubt, it is my firm conviction, that the text of the declaration adopted at the end of the session expresses the interests of the huge majority of the Serbian people, who are orientated towards peace, expresses the opinion and interests of the huge majority of the citizens of Serbia who are orientated towards peace. It is my firm conviction that everyone in the Serbian Republic [in Bosnia-Hercegovina] is orientated towards peace. I think that such an orientation and an interest expressed so strongly has great significance, and that no one should neglect it in the decisions that are to follow.

I believe that we are moving towards the final goal, towards attaining a just peace, and I am certain that in this respect today's session also represented a very, very large and a very significant step. I believe in peace, and am sure that there is no alternative to peace.

[Jevdjovic] Would you please tell us one more thing. We have seen that a number of deputies failed to accept the arguments. In your opinion, is everyone aware of the danger looming over virtually all Serbs, not just the Serbs in Bosnia? Does that have to be accepted as the decisive factor when deciding on adoption or non-adoption of plans which, it is clear, may justify all kinds of remarks, but the basic things must be adopted [sentence as heard]?

[Milosevic] This is not a question of, as you have put it, of all kinds of modalities of the plan. This is the question of a decision in favour of peace. I am convinced that if those deputies who decided to walk out of the joint session of all deputies had stayed, the results would have been the same, because it is beyond all doubt that the huge majority which, in my opinion, authentically expresses the interests of the entire people, and all citizens of Serbia and Yugoslavia, is orientated towards peace. This is, after all, the only way to manage to preserve what the Serbian people in Bosnia- Hercegovina won with our tremendous solidarity, and that is security and freedom, equality and freedom, and to achieve the remaining demands and settle the remaining questions under peaceful conditions and not bloodshed.

It is completely clear that it makes sense to give one's life if the cause is freedom, but when that freedom is ensured, when peace is ensured, when people's safety is ensured, it is that turning point for one to turn back to negotiations, and by no means to continue confrontation and bloodshed.

Therefore I am certain that not much time will pass until that decision is formally made. I am going to advocate it unreservedly. It is in the interest of the entire Serbian people. It is in the interest of all citizens of Serbia and, I am sure, of all citizens of the Serbian Republic as well. At the moment, many things are not sufficiently clear, but I hope that many things will become much clearer in the coming days and it will be seen that, just as we have always supported the interests of Serbia and the Serbian people in general, this position of advocating peace is in the best interest of the Serbian people at this moment. I am certain that this position will win. It must win. It opens a perspective. Any other position closes perspectives and excludes the Serbian people from further peace processes in which it can win on an equal footing what is left to be won.

I believe that this will have great influence, and that it will contribute to attaining the final goal.

[Jevdjovic] Thank you, Mr President.

Copyright 1993 The British Broadcasting Corporation  
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT;; EE/1690/C1; 

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