The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Joint Statement with President George Bush – 20 December 1992

Below is the text of Mr Major’s joint statement with President George Bush on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, issued on 20th December 1992.


The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have agreed as follows.

The objectives of our policy are:

(a) to work for a peaceful and just settlement in the former Yugoslavia;
(b) to prevent the spread of the fighting in particular to Kosovo and Macedonia;
(c) to maintain the humanitarian aid effort which includes over 2,000 British troops and without which many more lives will be lost this winter.

The President and Prime Minister paid tribute to the work of the United Nations in the former Yugoslavia and to the courage and dedication of the troops who are ensuring that convoys get through. They welcomed the success of the UN and its agencies, despite all the odds, in delivering large quantities of aid to those in need. They agreed on the importance of enabling that effort to go ahead.

The United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to cooperate on a Resolution in the United Nations to enforce compliance with the ‘no-fly’ zone for Bosnia should violation of the existing ban continue. The aim of the resolution would be to prevent flights taking place other than those specifically authorized by the United Nations.

The President and the Prime Minister:

(a) agreed that steps need to be taken to prevent the spread of fighting into Kosovo and Macedonia;
(b) welcomed the decision to deploy UN troops in Macedonia and hoped that this UN presence would be stepped up over the coming weeks;
(c) agreed also to press for the very early increase in the numbers of observers in Kosovo;
(d) agreed that our attitude to sanctions would depend on a rapid and radical change of policy by Serbia;
(e) confirmed that they would be ready, depending on Serbia’s response, to impose new sanctions. They could initially include cutting postal and telecommunication links and could lead to closing the borders and complete diplomatic isolation for years to come.

The President and the Prime Minister paid tribute to the work of Cy Vance and David Owen in trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement in the former Yugoslavia. Both Governments will continue to give the negotiators their full support.