Updated: 20-Oct-2003 NATO Press Releases


20 October 2003

Statement from NATO Secretary General following the death of Alija Izetbegovic, the Former President of Bosnia-Herzegovina

On behalf of the Atlantic Alliance, I want to express my condolences at the death of Alija Izetbegovic, the former President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who passed away yesterday in Sarajevo.

Throughout the Bosnian war, Alija Izetbegovic remained the President of a country whose existence was threatened by nationalist forces. From 1992 until 1995, he was the voice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, fighting for her survival. He led the resistance from the besieged capital Sarajevo and worked hard to preserve the unity and independence of the country. At the end of the war, he became one of the key personalities to negotiate and sign the Dayton peace agreement.

I want to pay tribute to this courageous statesman, who not only allowed Bosnia and Herzegovina to exist but whose leadership took his country on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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