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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 14, 1996


President Clinton Meets Bosnian Federation Leadership; Announces New Business Development Mission to Bosnia and Croatia

President Clinton met at the White House today with the leaders of the Bosnian Federation, along with senior officials from the governments of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, to underscore the importance of continued Federation progress for peace and stability in Bosnia. The President announced to the visiting leaders that he has asked Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor to organize and lead a business development mission to Bosnia and Croatia to continue the work begun by Secretary Ron Brown. The Kantor mission will contribute to the economic revitalization of Bosnia and Croatia and to the strengthening of the Bosnian Federation as the essential foundation for implementation of the Dayton accords. It will mark the start of a new phase in our relations with Croatia and Bosnia -- commercial and economic engagement -- and contribute to the long-term stability of the entire Balkan region.

During the talks with Federation leaders, the President also discussed the new Federation Defense Law, the consolidation of joint economic institutions, freedom of movement, and this summer's Bosnian elections. The President urged all parties to work together in the spirit of cooperation to overcome the remaining obstacles to getting the Federation fully up and running.

The Federation leadership is in Washington at the invitation of Secretary of State Christopher for the second meeting of the Federation Forum, a U.S.-led structure designed to facilitate more intensive regular consultations with the Bosnian Croats and Muslims on Federation issues. This meeting underscores the commitment of the United States and the participants in the Forum to accelerating the process of reconciliation and reconstruction and extending the benefits of peace to all the people of Bosnia.

The meetings are being attended by Kresimir Zubak, Federation President; Ejup Ganic, Federation Vice President; Izudin Kapetanovic, Federation Prime Minister; Hasan Muratovic, Bosnian Prime Minister; Jadranko Prlic, Bosnian Foreign Minister; Mate Granic, Croatian Foreign Minister; Miomir Zuzul, Croatian Ambassador to the United States; Sven Alkalaj, Bosnian Ambassador to the United States; and Michael Steiner, the Deputy High Representative for the Implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement.

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