Radio Belgrade - December 31, 1991

Text of recorded interview with Slobodan Milosevic, President of the Republic of Serbia, after his talks with Cyrus Vance, special envoy of the UN Secretary General, in Belgrade on 31st December

[Milosevic] I think I have good news for you regarding the talks that we held. I can say that there is not a single contentious point concerning Cyrus Vance's plan from the point of view of the policies of the Republic of Serbia. We think that this plan is very good and expect, on the basis of this plan, that the UN peace forces will protect the entire territories of the Krajinas and that this will help towards the Yugoslav crisis being resolved in a peaceful way.

This is not all. I think that this should facilitate the earliest possible return of the refugees to their homes. This means that people will be able to return to their normal lives without fear that they will be attacked or that they will again be exposed to the genocide to which, as we can see, they have been exposed in those regions for the third time in this century.

[Question] Could you tell us whether this is a new formula or a modification of the initial version for bringing in the blue helmets?

[Milosevic] This is in fact the consistent approach that the mission of Cyrus Vance has had right from the beginning. Of course, this approach has evolved and has adjusted itself to the existing situation as a whole. Therefore, I think at this moment such an approach offers guarantees that in fact no military formations or armed groups will be allowed to be present on the territories of the Krajinas, in which the citizens will therefore be able to feel completely safe and to decide freely on their fate, their political will, and their future.

However, I must also say - so that this does not sound like excessive optimism - that there is a big problem, namely the problem of observing the cease-fire. As you know, the problem with respecting the cease-fire is on the side of the Croatian formations that carried out very serious crimes against the population in Western Slavonia, particularly in the last few weeks. We indeed expect the international public and Cyrus Vance's mission to contribute towards having the Croatian side also observe the truce, that is to say, to create conditions for the final arrival of peace forces. There are no disagreements about this on our side. I think that we have resolved all contentious issues very successfully.

[Q] Was anything said about the proposal made in Brussels on recognising the independence of the Yugoslav republics?

[Milosevic] We discussed this. I cannot speak on behalf of Cyrus Vance, but I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in the international public, and in the statements of the Secretary- General, and Mr Vance himself, there was a very negative stand towards this prior and premature recognition before the Yugoslav crisis is resolved. I think that this stand is correct, that is to say, that this premature recognition of some republics by certain countries will certainly not contribute towards the denouement of the Yugoslav crisis. However, if Cyrus Vance's concept is carried out, I think that we will find ourselves in a completely new situation, in a situation in which peace is finally established so that we can finally, without pressure, resolve the crisis in a peaceful way and through negotiations.

Copyright 1992 The British Broadcasting Corporation  
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

SECTION: Part 2 Eastern Europe; C. SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT; 1. YUGOSLAVIA ; EE/1268/C1/ 1; 

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