THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
The President today certified the Bosnian Government's compliance with the requirement in the Dayton Accords that foreign forces be withdrawn from Bosnia. He also certified that Iranian-Bosnian intelligence cooperation on training, investigations, and related activities has been terminated.
Since the signing of the Dayton Accords, the Bosnian government has made major progress in meeting our demands on foreign forces and in ending its military and intelligence relationship with Iran. Although some individuals have assimilated into Bosnian society and assumed civilian roles, there is no evidence of any remaining organized Mujahedin units.
With respect to the Iranians, the Bosnian government has assured that all IRGC personnel we identified to them have left Bosnia. We have no evidence that those IRGC remain. The Bosnian government has also assured us that none of the Iranians can be brought back to Bosnia without its knowledge and that, should any of them return, they would be expelled.
Although we have never demanded that all Iranian nationals depart Bosnia or that Bosnia terminate diplomatic or economic relations with Tehran, we have insisted that the Bosnian government end bilateral intelligence cooperation in such operational areas as training and investigations, and end all military ties. The Bosnian government has moved to end the operational military and intelligence relationship with Iran. It has removed from positions of authority key officials that were heavily engaged in intelligence cooperation with Iran, including the former head of the Bosnian intelligence agency.
Congress conditioned appropriation of the final $70 million for economic reconstruction assistance in FY 1996 on the President certifying Bosnian compliance with these requirements. With this certification, these funds will now be available to meet the needs of the Bosnian people and to begin the long process of rebuilding the war-shattered Bosnian economy. The President's certification also removes a major stumbling block to commencing the U.S.-led program to train and equip Bosnian Federation armed forces and to strengthening Bosnia's self-defense capability. We are eager to move ahead with this program and will do so as soon as final defense arrangements between the Bosnians and Croats have been completed.
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