Letter: Stop blaming the Serbs

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Indy Lifestyle Online
MARK ALMOND'S statement that "in the case of Bosnia the Serb militants reacted to referendum results they did not like by being the first to take up arms and start a campaign of ethnic cleansing to punish the majority" is untrue ("'Never again' again", 4 October) . What happened was that in late 1991, after Bosnia was declared independent by the EU, the three leaders representing Serbs, Croats and Muslims were invited to Lisbon for talks. Under the inspired brokerage of Lord Carrington an agreement was reached, and the three returned to Bosnia undertaking to achieve its ratification.

However, the American ambassador in Belgrade, Warren Zimmerman, flew to Sarajevo, and persuaded Alija Izetbegovic, a fundamentalist Islamic fanatic, to renege on the agreement, with promises of full US support. Izetbegovic stationed his green-berets (Muslim militia) snipers on the roofs and announced his unitary state and renunciation of the Lisbon protocol. The Serbs had no alternative but to defend themselves against the bloodbath which the Muslims and Croats had inflicted on them in living memory under German patronage. The Americans subsequently blocked every attempt by the Europeans to broker an agreement, to which the Serbs made concession after concession.

SIR ALFRED SHERMAN

London SW7

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