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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, August 9, 1999
Volume 35--Number 31
Pages 1529-1576

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]

Addresses and Remarks

    Antidrug initiative--1535
    Arkansas, departure for Little Rock--1568
    Bosnia-Herzegovina, roundtable discussion with regional independent 
        media in Sarajevo--1529
    Dan Dutko, memorial service--1538
    Democratic National Committee dinner--1544
    Democratic Unity event--1561
    Farm aid--1535, 1536
        Heat relief volunteers in Chicago--1551
        National Welfare to Work Forum in Chicago--1547, 1550
    National debt--1553
    National economy--1568
    Radio address--1534

Communications to Congress

    Budget deferral, message reporting--1544
    Child labor, convention on prohibition        and elimination of the 
        worst forms--1567
    Iraq's compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolutions, letter 

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Year 2000 computer problem, memorandum--1556

Executive Orders

    Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on the Internet--1566

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Rose Garden--1553
        South Lawn--1568

Statements by the President

    Child labor, convention concerning prohibition and elimination of 
        the worst forms--1568
    Death of Willie Morris--1552
    Federalism, Executive order--1561
    Hate crimes legislation--1556
    Juvenile crime legislation--1566
    Kenya, U.S. Embassy bombing, anniversary--1572
    National debt--1540
    New markets initiative, legislation to advance--1565
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization, selection of the new Secretary 
    Patients' Bill of Rights legislation--1565
    Republican tax plan, intention to veto--1566
    Senate action on confirmation of Richard C. Holbrooke as U.S. 
        Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.N.--1564
    Steel imports--1565
    Tanzania, U.S. Embassy bombing, anniversary--1572

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--1576
    Checklist of White House press releases--1575
    Digest of other White House announcements--1573
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--1574

Editor's Note: The President was in Little Rock, AR, on August 6, the 
closing date of this issue. Releases and announcements issued by the 
Office of the Press Secretary but not received in time for inclusion in 
this issue will be printed next week.


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to
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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
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[[Page 1529]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1529-1534]
Monday, August 9, 1999
Volume 35--Number 31
Pages 1529-1576
Week Ending Friday, August 6, 1999
Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion With Regional Independent Media in 
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

July 30, 1999

Postwar Bosnia

[The discussion began with a Sarajevo journalist thanking the President 
for his action in Bosnia and his support for democracy. He asked about 
the leadership of President Slobodan Milosevic of the Federal Republic 
of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) and U.S. efforts to help deliver 
indicted war criminals to the War Crimes Tribunal.]

    The President. Let me answer the second question first because I 
think it leads us back to the first question. We were the principal 
supporter of creating this War Crimes Tribunal, and we have made very 
strong contributions to it, financial contributions. And we have worked 
hard to cooperate with it. So the answer to that is, we have cooperated 
    We also have been a part of an operation in Bosnia that has 
arrested, I think, about 29 of the 80 people who have been indicted. In 
the case of Mr. Mladic and Mr. Karadzic, they're not in the American 
sector. And when the United Nations accepted the mandate of going into 
Bosnia, the mandate was that they could and would arrest any people who 
had been indicated by the War Crimes Tribunal if they, in effect, came 
across them, but they wouldn't start another war to get them. That was 
basically the mandate. And I think we should continue to do everything 
we can to arrest people. But I think if--there's no question that the 
effectiveness, the impact, of both those men has been, in effect, ended 
or dramatically reduced.
    Now, to go back to your first question. You said, is Milosevic the 
only nationalist politician who's causing problems? I don't think you 
could go that far, but I believe that basically the misery of Bosnia, 
the war, the 4-year war, and what happened in Kosovo is because of his 
12-year rule and because he had a policy to gain and enhance his power 
based on selling ``Greater Serbia'' to people, the idea that anybody who 
wasn't a Serb was an enemy, had no political legitimacy, that their 
religion was no good, their ethnic background was no good, it was okay 
to disregard them and uproot them, and maybe okay to kill them.
    And here in Bosnia, 250,000 people died, and a quarter of a million 
people were made refugees. In Kosovo, because we acted more quickly, not 
so many people died. We know of 10,000, although there are a lot of mass 
graves that have been dug up, and people have been moved, so we don't 
know for sure. But 800,000 or more refugees--most of them have gone home 
in Kosovo, unlike Bosnia, where, because the thing went on longer here, 
they are taking longer to go back.
    So I say, you know, each--the politicians, when they run for office, 
there are all kinds of shades, you know. There are people who may be 
nationalists but still prepared to work with people of different ethnic 
groups, different religious backgrounds. And I think that the difference 
is that he was willing to have ethnic cleansing and even mass killing to 
achieve his objectives. And I think that's wrong.
    Then you asked me if I thought Bosnia, the people could actually be 
reconciled. Yes, I believe so, but I think we have to keep giving people 
something to work for. It's not enough to go around and tell people, 
after this sort of killing and bitterness, that, ``Now, be nice 
people,'' you know, ``Just do the right thing.'' You have to give them 
something positive, some reason to work together.
    And what I saw today, with the Bosnian Presidency, was that they 
were--you know, sure, there's still tensions. There are all these 
refugee-return issues, for example--big issues out there. But they were 
much more comfortable together and, obviously, had

[[Page 1530]]

more in common than they did 2 years ago. And I think that's a plus.


[After describing current conditions in Montenegro and noting U.S. 
support for the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), a Montenegran journalist asked the 
President if he would support Montenegran independence or work against 

    The President. Well, first of all, you have asked a very good set of 
questions because--but I think I need to back up and say, we very much 
appreciate the role that Montenegro has played in these last difficult 
months. It has been in a very hard position. It has been vulnerable to 
invasion, as you pointed out. And the government of President Djukanovic 
maintained a position of independence and the position that Montenegro 
should acquire more and more autonomy and should be a democratic and 
multiethnic society--that's what we believe.
    Now, here's the problem. Obviously, and you've pointed out quite 
properly that we shouldn't punish Montenegro with withholding aid, 
reconstruction aid, for example, just because it's part of Yugoslavia. 
And that's a good example of the dilemma.
    Here's what I'm interested in. I want the people of Montenegro to 
have maximum freedom and maximum self-determination. But I don't think 
it's a good idea for the United States, or for Western Europe generally, 
to get in the business of redrawing national borders right now. Who 
knows what is going to happen in the future? I think--we need to stand 
for a certain set of principles.
    But what I want to say to all the ethnic groups of the Balkans, and 
all of southeastern Europe, is that we have to build a future in which 
your safety, your right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, 
access to education, access to a job, does not depend upon your living 
in a nation where everybody inside the nation's borders has the same 
religion you do and the same ethnic group you do. And in the past, when 
outside powers have attempted to redraw the lines of the Balkans and 
impose that, the results have been very painful for the people here. 
It's led to a lot of suffering.
    So I don't want to strip any people of their democratic aspirations, 
and I don't think it's right for the United States to do that. But I 
also don't think it's right for us or for any other outside power to 
come in and, in effect, say, ``Well, because we don't like Mr. 
Milosevic, we're going to redraw all the national boundaries,'' because 
the real trick here is to preserve democracy, self-determination, 
freedom from religious or racial or ethnic persecution in all these 
countries, without regard to the national borders.
    And what we need is--and let me just make one other point. If we had 
the right sort of economic and political integration in southeastern 
Europe and then the right ties between southeastern Europe and the rest 
of Europe--central and Western Europe--then it wouldn't matter so much 
one way or the other.
    That is, if you knew human rights were going to be protected, and if 
you knew everyone in this region was going to be tied together 
economically and politically, across national borders, and that the 
region would be tied to Europe and would have a future with the emerging 
European institutions, then the actual status--whether you were 
independent or autonomous, for example--wouldn't be nearly so important.
    And what I've been afraid of--the reason I've been reluctant to say 
anything about territorial borders is, there is a whole history in the 
20th century of disaster happening in the Balkans because of outside 
powers redrawing the national borders. We have to change the nature of 
national life and the nature of international cooperation, and then I 
believe, over the next few years, whatever is right about the national 
borders will settle down. The people will somehow determine that, not 
outsiders. That's what I think will happen.


[The journalist pointed out that the Serbian infrastructure and economy 
had collapsed and asked how stability in Serbia could return, as long as 
Serbia is refused financial aid, and how the President planned to deal

[[Page 1531]]

with strong anti-American sentiments in Serbia. He also asked about past 
meetings between the President and Mr. Milosevic.]

    The President. In Paris.
    Q. [Inaudible]--in Paris, yes. So I----
    The President. And he was, of course, in the United States, at 
    Q. Yes, but you met him in Paris. And I think that you will never 
meet him again because he is now an indicted war criminal. But I want to 
ask your personal impression about Mr. Milosevic. How do you keep him in 
your mind--as a rival, stubborn rival? You hope, now, for almost----
    The President. Let me answer you that. You asked, first of all, 
about aid to Serbia because the Serbs have been hurt very badly by this 

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