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1994 - Mr Major’s Comments on Bosnia

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on Bosnia, made during an interview given in Washington on Monday 28th February 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the situation in Bosnia and the shooting down of planes].

PRIME MINISTER:

The No-Fly-Zone Security Council Resolution has been there for a year. At any stage in the last year, if this sort of infraction had occurred those planes could have been expected to have been shot down. On this occasion, so far as one can tell from the early reports, it is a fairly clear-cut case; the planes were where they ought not to be, were there with ill-intent, they were given a warning, they ignored the warning and then they were shot down so they ought to have been in no doubt about how they would be treated.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if Russia agreed with the military intervention].

PRIME MINISTER:

It seems so certainly but then it is a Security Council Resolution to which they would have subscribed.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked why the Serbs had taken aggressive action].

PRIME MINISTER:

Id does seem almost inexplicable, it seems to be rather an odd thing for them to have done. I can’t make a judgement as to why they did it but why ever they did it they were there, they were there for ill-intent, they could well have attacked people, they could well have attacked the arms dump that was there and it was necessary to deal with the problem. That is what happened but as to why they did it, I have no more knowledge of that than you.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he fully support the military intervention].

PRIME MINISTER:

I have complete support for the action. The Security Council Resolution was quite clear and perhaps this will serve to warn people that Security Council Resolutions are important; not only are they important, people expect them to be obeyed and if they are not obeyed certain consequences will follow.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if his visit to the United States was one of reconciliation].

PRIME MINISTER:

I read this report of it being a visit of reconciliation but that is not as I see it and I don’t think that is how the President sees it either. I think the talk of breach and difference is wildly overdone. We have a whole range of things to discuss, Bosnia, Russia, a whole range of other foreign policy and economic matters and that is what I am here for.