LETTER:Bosnia: how we got to this point

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The Independent Online
From Mr George Tintor

Sir: Andrew Marr's suggestion that the Bosnian Serbs "fear" a return to the "negotiating table" is incorrect ("No withdrawal, no war; and no neutrality", 1, June ). The Bosnian Serbs have always been prepared to negotiate with the Bosnian Muslims.

Since reneging on the Lisbon Agreement in March 1992, the Muslim-led Bosnian "government" has consistently refused to meet face-to-face with the elected representatives of the Bosnian Serbs.

What the Bosnian Serbs object to is a settlement imposed upon them from outside, particularly by the United States. It was the US that encouraged the Bosnian "government" illegally to secede from Yugoslavia in the first place, despite overwhelming evidence that the Serbs would be violently opposed to Muslim rule.

Empty promises of American support encouraged the Bosnian Muslims to pursue their insane goal of a Muslim-ruled state, rather than negotiate with the Bosnian Serbs. All subsequent attempts at a negotiated settlement have been actively obstructed by the Americans.

Contrary to Mr. Marr's opinion, the Bosnian Serbs have no "dreams of territorial conquest". The Serbs have not conquered any land. Areas presently controlled by Serbs generally had a majority Serb population prior to the break-up of Yugoslavia. The Serbs believe they have the same right to self-determination as the other former Yugoslav nations.

The time has come for the West to pressure the Bosnian Muslims to negotiate directly with the Bosnian Serbs, to reach a settlement that is fair to both parties.

Yours faithfully,

GEORGE TINTOR

London, EC3

1 June

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