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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Book Says Yeltsin Blocked Serb's Arrest

BELGRADE -- President Boris Yeltsin blocked the arrest of Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic in 1997, and U.S. President Bill Clinton persuaded France's Jacques Chirac not to insist on it, a new book says.

Florence Hartmann, former spokeswoman at the Hague tribunal for Yugoslavia, recounts in in "Peace and Punishment" how Clinton persuaded Chirac not to push the issue.

Hartmann says they met at the Elysee Palace in Paris in May 1997, 17 months after the peace accords that ended the 1992-95 Bosnia war. Chirac, fuming over the capture of two French pilots by Bosnian Serb forces in 1995, wanted to expunge the affront. "Clinton stressed that the operation could not be undertaken without informing the Russians. Chirac was opposed," she writes. But Clinton insisted, and Chirac finally gave in. Karadzic remains at large.