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PRESS REVIEW FROM SLOVENIA, June 29, 1992, (STA)

Ljubljana, 29 June - THE SLOVENEC: MITTERAND'S CHALLENGE - In the midst of the feverish military-political assessing, warnings, threats and count-down to the fatal "D-Day", Mitterand himself has made a significant gesture by stepping onto the scene. Already yesterday's landing on Split Airport had many an observer filled with concern and respect for the 72 years old statesman, wrote Davorin Vuga and continued: At the price of risking his own head, Mitterand made his way into the bit of hell on earth called Sarajevo. Both the risk he has taken and the courage he has shown are truly great, yet the distinguished European statesman is all too well aware of the fact that the failure of his mission may well lead to a military intervention in the Balkans - and to all- out war. This gesture made by Francoise Mitterand is also intended to spare Serbia final military and political humiliation on the country's greatest national holiday. It is interesting, wrote Davorin Vuga, that this French peace initiative coincided exactly with the great Vidovdan Day Assembly in progress in Belgrade, where, alongside the increasingly strong opposition, even the aspirer to the Serbian throne has made an appearance. By issuing this challenge to the Serbian extremists, Francoise Mitterand has at the same time offered his hand in friendship and support to all those who have realized how senseless the bloodshed on the territory of former Yugoslavia is. Yet is there still time for the seething passions to die down in this fatal corner of southwestern Europe and for a peaceful coexistence to be established in the spirit of the new political reality, asks the commentator and stresses at the end of the article, that this attempt at mediation made by the experienced French statesman by pitting his personal influence and diplomatic wisdom against the fire threatening to spread throughout this corner of Europe is without doubt worth all our admiration.

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© STA, 1992