Haris Silajdžić

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Haris Silajdžić
Haris Silajdžić.jpg
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
6 March 2010 – 10 November 2010
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Preceded by Željko Komšić
Succeeded by Nebojša Radmanović
In office
7 March 2008 – 6 November 2008
Prime Minister Nikola Špirić
Preceded by Željko Komšić
Succeeded by Nebojša Radmanović
Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
6 November 2006 – 10 November 2010
Preceded by Sulejman Tihić
Succeeded by Bakir Izetbegović
Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
In office
25 October 1993 – 31 January 1996
President Alija Izetbegović
Preceded by Mile Akmadžić
Succeeded by Hasan Muratović
In office
3 January 1997 – 6 June 2000
Serving with Boro Bosić (1997–99)
Svetozar Mihajlović (1999–2000)
President Alija Izetbegović
Živko Radišić
Ante Jelavić
Preceded by Hasan Muratović
Succeeded by Spasoje Tuševljak
Personal details
Born (1945-10-01) 1 October 1945 (age 68)
Breza, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia
Nationality Bosniak
Political party SBIH
Other political
affiliations
SDA (1990–96)
Religion Sunni Islam

Haris Silajdžić (Cyrillic: Харис Силајџић; born 1 October 1945) is a Bosnian politician and academic. In the 2006 elections, Silajdžić was elected as the Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina for four years in the rotating presidency.[1]

Political career[edit]

Haris Silajdžić and former Prime Minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader discuss Croatian-Bosnian relations, cooperation in energy, and the continuation of Euro-Atlantic integration processes on 27 May 2010 in Zagreb

From 1990 to 1993 he served as the foreign minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and as the prime minister from 1993 to 1996. During the Bosnian War, starting in April 1992 and finally ending with the Dayton Accords, he was perceived as the most visible advocate for self-defense and military assistance to Bosnia, insisting Bosnia faced foreign aggression by Croatia and Serbia based on Karađorđevo agreement. He also spoke on the issue of ethnic cleansing of Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats by the Serb forces. He continuously visited Western and Islamic capitals, as well as to the UN, raising the issue of injustice and ethnic cleansing.[2]

In 2007, the International Court of Justice in the Hague acquitted Serbia of the charges of complicity in genocide brought against the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" by the Bosnian government.[3] Silajdžić expressed disappointment at the court's ruling, but welcomed the fact that the court "ruled that Serbia and Montenegro had violated the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide by not preventing or punishing the perpetrators of the genocide.".[4]

Silajdžić has been a member of the Bosnian delegation which negotiated the US-brokered Dayton Accords. He continues stressing that the document was essential in ending the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but now sees it as an obstacle in reunifying the country. Making strong steps and claims in 2006 and 2007 towards canceling certain parts of Dayton accords, he directly opposes the constitution of the country, thus being a very controversial political figure, famous on the Bosniak and infamous on the Serbian side. His main directions are abolishing the existence of Republika Srpska, breaking certain relations with Serbia and reforming the country towards unity. He continues to be a key figure in Bosnian politics. Originally, he was a member and vice-president of the Party of Democratic Action, but broke away from the party in 1997 by funding his own Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[5]

At this time, Haris Silajdžić is the last Bosnian war-time politician who still actively impacts public life, in addition to Zlatko Lagumdžija who was Bosnia's Deputy Prime Minister during the war and who has held, and continues to hold, various public offices since that time. Silajdžić had a strong political comeback in the 2006 elections. He is backed by authorities and organizations throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina that voice dissatisfaction with the Dayton Accord provisions and oppose autonomy of the Republika Srpska entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina.[2][6]

In 2005 he received a Doctor honoris causa by the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Quotes[edit]

I must say, that I enjoyed it, I must say that. Because those who killed so many defenseless people, those who aimed baby hospitals, those who aimed children while playing, could finally feel what it means to be targeted, to be defenseless.. and they deserved it.[7]
- Commenting on the NATO bombing campaign against Bosnian Serb forces forces during an interview for the Death of Yugoslavia documentary, 1995.
The Allies did not bomb the railway tracks leading to Auschwitz, because they feared it would arouse the wrath of the Nazis; six million people died. In our case, an arms embargo led to "only" a quarter of a million deaths - an embargo that penalized only the victims, for the aggressors already had more arms than they could handle.[8]
- Addressing the Stockholm International forum on the Holocaust, 27 January 2000.
The origins of this horrific human tragedy lay not in Bosnia itself, but in the policies conducted by demagogues in her neighboring countries, especially the Milošević regime in Belgrade - policies that led to the violent dissolution of former Yugoslavia and the near-destruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina, its most plural republic.[8]
- Addressing the Stockholm International forum on the Holocaust, 27 January 2000.
If you kill one person, you're prosecuted. If you kill ten people, you're a celebrity; if you kill a quarter-of-a-million people, you're invited to a peace conference.[9]
- Commenting on Karadzić's U.N./E.C./U.S. invitation to New York.
The state cannot block the entity, but the entity can block the state.[10]
- Commenting about the power relations between the Bosnian entities, the Bosnian parliament and central government during a lecture at the School of Law of UCLA 17 February 2009.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mile Akmadžić
Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1993–1996
Succeeded by
Hasan Muratović
Preceded by
Hasan Muratović
Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina
1997–2000
Served alongside: Boro Bosić: 1997–1999
Svetozar Mihajlović: 1999–2000
Succeeded by
Spasoje Tuševljak
Preceded by
Sulejman Tihić
Bosniak Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Bakir Izetbegović
Preceded by
Željko Komšić
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2008
Succeeded by
Nebojša Radmanović
President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
2010