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1994 - Mr Major’s Comments on the Former Yugoslavia

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on the former Yugoslavia during an interview given in Brussels on Tuesday 11th January 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked whether air strikes would be necessary].

PRIME MINISTER:

I do not know, that is not a decision that I can make. What we have made perfectly clear is precisely what we expect to happen. Now whether air strikes are necessary will depend upon other people, but it is clear that if it is necessary to use air strikes for these purposes then air strikes will be used.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if British forces on the ground were in danger of air strikes were started].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, emphatically not. If you look at the declaration we have made it perfectly clear as we draw up plans that it is necessary to take into account the security of the troops. That is why we have said that plans need to be finalised and drawn up. And what will be fundamental to those plans is to ensure the safety of United Nations troops, whether British, French, Spanish or Canadian.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he was preparing the ground for withdrawal].

PRIME MINISTER:

No,no, I am not preparing the ground for a withdrawal from Bosnia. There are very great difficulties in getting the humanitarian operation through and potentially there are very great risks for those delivering the humanitarian operation, whether civilian or whether soldiers. Now all of the troop contributors are immensely concerned about that, it is conceivable that the security situation would worsen to such an extent that the humanitarian operation could not continue, that is conceivable. Each of the Heads of Government with troops there recognises that that is conceivable. But for the moment we are seeking to see what we can do to improve the delivery of humanitarian aid.