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Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Conflict in Bosnia

October 20, 1993

Dear Mr. Leader:

The violent conflict in the former Yugoslavia continues to be a source of deep concern. As you know, my Administration is committed to help stop the bloodshed and implement a fair and enforceable peace agreement, if the parties to the conflict can reach one. I have stated that such enforcement potentially could include American military personnel as part of a NATO operation. I have also specified a number of conditions that would need to be met before our troops would participate in such an operation.

I also have made clear that it would be helpful to have a strong expression of support from the United States Congress prior to the participation of U.S. forces in implementation of a Bosnian peace accord. For that reason, I would welcome and encourage congressional authorization of any military involvement in Bosnia.

The conflict in Bosnia ultimately is a matter for the parties to resolve, but the nations of Europe and the United States have significant interests at stake. For that reason, I am committed to keep our nation engaged in the search for a fair and workable resolution to this tragic conflict.

I want to express my lasting gratitude for the leadership you have shown in recent days as we have worked through difficult issues affecting our national security. With your help we have built a broad coalition that should provide the basis for proceeding constructively in the months ahead. Once again you have earned our respect and appreciation.



NOTE: Identical letters were sent to George Mitchell, Senate majority leader, and Bob Dole, Senate Republican leader.

William J. Clinton, Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Conflict in Bosnia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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