Bill Clinton photo

Exchange With Reporters on Bosnia

May 21, 1993

Q. Mr. President, have you reached agreement with the Russians on a Bosnia policy?

The President. Well, Secretary Christopher is talking to Foreign Minister Kozyrev today, and we will try to reach an agreement about what we do next. As you know, the United States is skeptical that we'll be able to satisfactorily resolve this within the framework that has been proposed, but we do want to work with our allies. And we're trying our best to reach a joint position, and I hope we can do it.

Q. Are you still ruling out safe havens?

The President. Well, I don't want to see the United States get in a position where we are recreating Northern Ireland or Lebanon or Cyprus or anything else. There may be some potential down the road for something to be done in connection with the peacekeeping operation, but I think it's something we have to be very skeptical about. We don't want our people in there basically in a shooting gallery.

Q. [Inaudible]—the issue, though, for now of the land the Serbs have grabbed by force in favor of the idea of this containment?

The President. I will say what I said from the very beginning. Our fundamental interests here, the United States interests, are two. We want the conflict to be contained, and we want the slaughter and the ethnic cleansing to stop.

We believe in order to get that done ultimately there will have to be some reasonable borders, some political solution to this which has a reasonable territorial component. And we'll just have to see what happens over the next few weeks.

NOTE: The exchange began at 10:15 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at The White House, prior to a Cabinet meeting. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters on Bosnia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives