Bill Clinton photo

Remarks on Arrival in Zagreb, Croatia

January 13, 1996

Thank you very much, President Tudjman, for making me feel so welcome. And thank you for coming out in such large and enthusiastic numbers. It's wonderful to be here in Zagreb and in Croatia. And I thank you for making me feel so welcome.

I have just come from Bosnia, from visiting our troops there who are working with the others to support the peace process. And I come here to thank President Tudjman and the people of Croatia for supporting the peace process in Bosnia. I come to support not only the peace process but the federation in Bosnia between the Muslims and the Croats, the peaceful agreement for the return of Croatian lands in Eastern Slavonia, and the ultimate partnership of Croatia with not only the United States but with other Western nations who believe in freedom and human rights and democracy and peace and progress, working together.

My friends, on behalf of the United States, I have been honored to work for peace from the Middle East to Northern Ireland to Bosnia. And I believe that, in these conflicts I have seen, that the fight has not been between Arab and Jew in the Middle East, not between Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland, not between Serb and Croat and Muslim in Bosnia. It is a conflict between those who choose peace and those who would stay with war, those who look to a better future and those who are trapped in the past, those who open their arms to their neighbors and those who would keep their fist clenched.

So I ask you in closing to choose peace, choose the future, open your arms. The United States extends its hand in friendship to you.

Thank you again for making me feel so welcome.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:45 p.m. at the Zagreb Airport. In his remarks, he referred to President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on Arrival in Zagreb, Croatia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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