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New U.S. Policy Chief in Bosnia on Weekend Shuttle to Balkans

John Kornblum is Replacement to Robert Gallucci
The new overseer of U.S. policy on Bosnia, Acting Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum, will visit the Balkans this weekend to stress the need for compliance with the Dayton peace accords, the State Department said Friday. Spokesman Nicholas Burns said Kornblum would travel to the region Sunday and meet leaders in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Belgrade Monday and Tuesday.

At a time when the U.S.-brokered agreement is under strain, Burns said, Kornblum will ``press upon them (the leaders) the strategic imperative of implementing successfully the Dayton accords and to work with them on all the range of compliance issues that stem in the Dayton accords.''

When chief U.S. negotiator Richard Holbrooke retired from his post on Feb. 21, the State Department named Ambassador Robert Gallucci, who had successfully negotiated the landmark nuclear agreement with North Korea, to take overall charge of implementing the Dayton accords. But Gallucci, 50, has also resigned from the State Department after 21 years to become the dean of the school of foreign service at Georgetown University.

Burns, formally announcing the change of command, said Secretary of State Warren Christopher had thanked Gallucci and praised him as "one of the most effective public servants with which I've had the privilege to work."

Burns said Kornblum, nominated by President Clinton to be assistant secretary of state for European and Canadian Affairs, will "now oversee our comprehensive policy toward the former Yugoslavia."

A career foreign service officer, Kornblum was Holbrooke's deputy and played a leading role in last year's Dayton peace negotiations. He is former U.S. ambassador to the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He will be assisted by William Montgomery, the former ambassador to Bulgaria, and Rudolf Perina, the former U.S. chief of mission in Belgrade.

Burns quoted Christopher as saying: "Under John Kornblum's direction, I'm confident that our new team will use their extraordinary skills and experience to implement successfully the Dayton accords."

Additional resources
U.S. State Department Press Briefing, March 8, 1996
Robert Gallucci Retires Only Weeks on the Job

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