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Public Papers - 1992

Statement on United States Recognition of the Former Yugoslav Republics


The United States recognizes Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia as sovereign and independent states and will begin immediate consultations to establish full diplomatic relations. The United States accepts the pre-crisis Republic borders as the legitimate international borders of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia.

We take this step because we are satisfied that these states meet the requisite criteria for recognition. We acknowledge the peaceful and democratic expression of the will of citizens of these states for sovereignty.

We will continue to work intensively with the European Community and its member states to resolve expeditiously the outstanding issues between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, thus enabling the U.S. to recognize formally the independence of that Republic as well. The United States will also discuss with the Governments of Serbia and Montenegro their interest in remaining in a common state known as Yugoslavia.

In light of our decisions on recognition, the U.S. will lift economic sanctions from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia. Sanctions were applied to Yugoslavia on December 6, 1991. We will lift sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro contingent on Belgrade's lifting the economic blockades directed against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Macedonia. The U.N. arms embargo remains in effect.

It has been U.S. policy throughout the Yugoslav crisis to accept any resolution arrived at peacefully, democratically, and by negotiation. The United States strongly supports the U.N. peacekeeping plan, as worked out by Cyrus Vance, and the full deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping force. We continue to support the EC Peace Conference as the indispensable forum for the parties to reach a peaceful settlement of their dispute and to establish the basis for future relations. U.S. recognition is without prejudice to any future association Yugoslav successor states might agree to establish.

The United States views the demonstrated commitment of the emerging states to respect borders and to protect all Yugoslav nationalities as an essential element in establishing full diplomatic relations. Equally, we view such a commitment by Serbia and Montenegro as essential to proceed in discussions on their future status.

The deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping force, the continuation of the EC Peace Conference, and the process of international recognition offer all of the former Yugoslav Republics an historic opportunity to reject decisively the tragic violence which has marked this crisis. Continued commitment to peaceful dialog should lead toward reconciliation, toward integration within Europe, and toward cordial and productive relations with the United States. The United States will continue to work to achieve these goals.

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