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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Press Statement by Spokesman Nicholas Burns
February 14, 1997

Arbitral Decision on the Status of Brcko

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The United States welcomes the arbitral decision on the status of Brcko announced by Roberts Owen in Rome this morning. We commend Mr. Owen and the other members of the tribunal for their careful consideration of this difficult and complex issue. The U.S believes the judgment is a fair decision, which places a high priority on reducing the underlying tensions which burden the area, as the key to resolving the status of this strategically important region.
The U.S. is deeply committed to the successful implementation of the decision and will be working closely with the High Representative Carl Bildt, Contact Group members and other involved parties to ensure that the decision is implemented in full. As Carl Bildt announced today, the first step will be a Peace Implementation Council Steering Board meeting on February 19, followed by an international implementation conference to be hosted in Vienna on March 5-6.
Under the terms of the Dayton Agreement, the parties are obligated to support and implement the arbitral decision. We call on all sides to exercise restraint and to work together to carry out this gradual and integrated program of increased reconstruction assistance, organized refugee return and enhanced security. The decision of the arbitral tribunal has the potential to make a substantial contribution to lasting peace in Bosnia but achieving that goal will require a long-term effort from all involved.

[end of document]

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