Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

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1995 Jun 4 Su
Margaret Thatcher

Statement for Sunday Times (Serb hostage crisis)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: -
Venue: -
Source: -
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: Listed by date of release to Sunday Times
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: -
Themes: Foreign policy (Central & Eastern Europe)

Embargoed for use by The Sunday Times only on Sunday 4th June 1995.


I wrote the above words late last year. It is no surprise and no comfort to me that I was proved right. The analysis I offered of what has gone wrong – failure to stand up to aggression, failure to allow the victims to defend themselves, failure to implement UN Security Council Resolutions – does not need to be modified. It is indeed amply confirmed.

The situation remains volatile. But thankfully, it now appears that the Serbs are releasing the hostages. If true, this demonstrates once again that the only thing the Serbs understand is force – or at least credible threats of force. The Prime Minister personally deserves great credit for showing the world that Britain will not bow to threats of blackmail.

But the big questions about our policy in Bosnia have not gone away. Only when the Serb aggressor is defeated by a properly armed Bosnian army will peace return to the Balkans. And that must be the long term goal.