Serbian TV, Belgrade 1730 gmt 25 May 93

Text of recorded interview with Slobodan Milosevic, president of the Republic of Serbia, by Zoran Jevdjovic, in Belgrade on 25th May

[Jevdjovic] Mr President, let us first hear your impressions, after the talks with Vitaliy Churkin, special Russian envoy to the talks on solving the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Russian deputy foreign minister. As far as we know, Mr Churkin has come with, how shall I put it, reports on the results of the Washington meeting of the five foreign ministers.

[Milosevic] Well, let me be very brief. I think that the meeting of the five ministers is very significant, and I think that the most important parts of all the elements contained in the result of this meeting should be derived from it. The most important thing is the following: namely, the Washington meeting, with a choice between continuing the peace process and a possible military intervention, opted for the peace process.

This is a great step towards removing the danger of war in these areas, the danger of the war escalating, and undoubtedly a step that will prompt and speed up the peace process. However, bearing this in mind, I think it would be irresponsible if anyone should find, in this, reasons for great self-satisfaction. The real answer to this proposed option, which is the only right one, is, precisely, to have every one of the political factors that are participating in solving the crisis in Bosnia-Hercegovina do everything to ensure that peace is finally achieved, and that the negotiations are finally speeded up, and a solution is found that will protect the interests of all three sides equally.

Such an approach is the only responsible one. Therefore, one should activate the continuation of the work on the peace plan and bring the peace process to a successful end. I am sure, and this is, after all, confirmed by everything about which we talked last week with our interlocutors here in Belgrade, that there is no alternative to peace, that is, that any foreign military interference into this civil war would only lead to the deepening of the crisis and an escalation of the war, and that only peace negotiations can bring a final, just and reliable solution to this crisis.

[Jevdjovic] There is also the new Russian role. Where do you see the further (?efforts) of Russian diplomacy?

[Milosevic] Well, it is clear that the Russian role in this was very constructive. I hope that, among the five ministers, this role will continue to be constructive.

[Jevdjovic] Tell us just one more thing. There is a question that is topical in the wake of these Washington proposals: observers along the borders between Bosnia and Yugoslavia and, some people say, possibly along the borders between Bosnia and Croatia.

[Milosevic] We have a principled stance here and this stance of ours is known: we want cooperation with the international community, but are of the opinion that successful cooperation between our country and the international community and all other countries, if we really want it to be successful, can be so only if it is founded on an equal basis. That means that we must solve our internal questions by ourselves alone. That means that a foreign presence cannot, by any means, help solve our internal political questions. Thus, our stance here is completely exact and completely clear.

[Jevdjovic] Thank you, Mr President.

[Milosevic] Not at all.

Copyright 1993 The British Broadcasting Corporation  
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C.1 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT;; EE/1699/C1; 

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