Letters: Britain should back French call to reinforce safe havens

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The Independent Online
From Professor Pierre Hassner and others

Sir: We are writing to urge the British Government to support the French proposals to reinforce the safe havens in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The fall of eastern enclaves will represent a tragic and humiliating failure for the UN and for Europe. It will make Sarajevo much more vulnerable. It will threaten the fragile federation between Croats and Muslims. Above all, it is a blow for human values and international principles. Britain is part of Europe. As Europeans, we have admired the principled positions taken by Britain in the past, especially during World War II. Now British reluctance is an obstacle to a stronger more principled stance in Bosnia- Herzegovina.

If this moment is not to go down in history as one of dismal appeasement and weakness, the British must overcome their reluctance and join the French in reinforcing Gorazde and lifting the siege of Sarajevo.

Yours sincerely,

Pierre Hassner, Foundation Nationales des Sciences Politiques, Paris; Alain Joxe, Ecole des Haut Etitudes en Sociale Sciences, Paris; Anne Marie de Gloannec, Foundation Nationales des Sciences Politiques, Paris; Mient Jan Faber, Inter-Church Peace Council, the Hague; Dominique Moisi, Institut Francais pour Relations Internationale (IFRI), Paris; Nicolle Guesotto, IFRI, Paris; Francois Heisbourg, Foundation Nationales des Sciences Politiques, Paris (former Director, International Institute for Strategic Studies); Arie Oostlander, European Parliament, Raporteur for Yugoslavia; Gerd Weisskiarsken, Member of Bundestag; Freimut Duve, Member of Bundestag; Martin Palous, Chair of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Prague; Mary Kaldor, Sussex European Institute


17 July