Updated: 13-Mar-2003 NATO Press Releases


12 March 2003


from NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson
following the Assassination of Prime Minister Djindjic of Serbia

I am profoundly shocked and saddened by the assassination of the Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic. I have already spoken to the Foreign Minister of Serbia and Montenegro, Mr Svilanovic, to express my horror at this assassination.

At this difficult hour, my sympathy goes to his family and to the people of Serbia. Mr. Djindjic was a reformer who worked hard to bring democracy and prosperity to his country and region. In the face of constant threats to his life, Mr. Djindjic behaved with great courage to help his country at a time of crisis. He was a true believer in peace and pursued with vigour the legitimate ambitions of his country to fully integrate the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.

This tragedy demonstrates that anti-democratic forces and extremism are still active in Serbia. There will be no sustainable peace, no prosperity, no justice until extremists are brought to justice. The attack on Mr. Djindjic is an attack against all who want to break with the past.

This is the desperate action by violent extremists who want return to Milosevic authoritarism. They will not win, they must not win.

I expect the people of Serbia to react with dignity in the face of tragedy. They must rise to the challenge and bring to justice criminals who undermine democracy in their country. Democracy will prevail and the memory of Zoran Djindjic will live on.

The 46 nations of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council met this afternoon and issued a unanimous message of regret and sympathy to the people of Serbia and Montenegro.

News and information will routinely be posted on the NATO website.

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