Message from Lady Thatcher
on the occasion of a Memorial Service for Dr Irfan Ljubijankic, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, delivered on 10 June 1995 at the Central Mosque in London.
The assassination of Dr Irfan Ljubijankic was more than a tragedy: it was an outrage.
For the rebel Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and their backers in Belgrade, it was just one more atrocious act of callous barbarism along the trail of blood which has led from Vukovar to Sarajevo, from Bihac to Tuzla. But to kill the foreign minister of an internationally recognised sovereign state is to challenge directly the whole international order. Such acts of terrorism are ultimately aimed at all statesmen everywhere. For that reason, if for no other, this vile act should have received far more attention and far louder condemnation than it has.
Dr Ljubijankic died because he had the courage and spirit of service required to hold public office in such dangerous circumstances as those in which Bosnians find themselves today. I knew Dr Ljubijankic all too briefly. But I was impressed by his sincerity and his sense of purpose. He was constant in pressing Bosnia's just cause on every occasion - even when he knew that so many stopped their ears against his arguments.
The best tribute we can pay to his memory now is to ensure that the independent state of Bosnia and its people come through this valley of death; that they are given the means to defend themselves; that their internationally recognised borders are honoured in fact as well as in name; and that the spirit of tolerange and cooperation, which marked out Bosnia before the men of violence manipulated by Belgrade distrubed it, flourishes anew.
I honour Dr Ljubijankic: I offer my deepest sympathy to his family: I shall continue to do all I can to ensure that the Bosnia in which he believed and for which he died survives and succeeds.