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1993 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview on Athens Talks on Bosnia

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview on the talks about Bosnia held in Athens, on Friday 30th April 1993.


QUESTION:

What are the prospects for the meeting in Athens this weekend?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I am delighted that there is a meeting in Athens this weekend. David Owen says he is optimistic, I hope that proves to be right.

QUESTION:

He says they will be pragmatic?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, it is a settlement we want, not just pragmatism. But I think pragmatism is necessary in order to achieve a settlement. All the parties have agreed to go, I think that is a very hopeful sign. We must hope on this occasion, as the world gets steadily more impatient with the atrocities there, that an agreement will be possible. I am delighted that they are meeting.

QUESTION:

Since various talks have been dashed in the past - it’s a triumph that Lord Owen has managed to get them around the table again?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well, I think Lord Owen has done a remarkable job with Cy Vance, and before him of course Peter Carrington over many months, there is absolutely no doubt about that, in a very difficult situation. They are back there talking over the weekend, that is far better than them not talking.

QUESTION:

The best thing you can say, is that you are pinning your hopes on them?

PRIME MINISTER:

I hope they will be successful. We have had these opportunities before and they have not proved successful, so I can not say that my hopes are sky high. But they are talking, that is an improvement, that is welcome, and I hope it will have a practical outcome.