Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Overview
Bosnia was the focal point of one of the most devastating and gruesome wars in the late 20th Century. Once a part of Socialist Yugoslavia, Bosnia was torn apart by ethnic rivalries that erupted into full-scale fighting in the early 1990s. Serbian nationalists residing in Bosnia launched a campaign to unite Serbian enclaves with Serbia, sparking a conflict that involved mass killings and “ethnic cleansing” that affected Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. During four years of conflict, the United States and its NATO allies refused to get directly involved by sending in troops to stop the fighting. Eventually, Western powers interceded with air strikes against the Bosnian Serb army that helped bring about a ceasefire among the warring parties. But by the time a peace agreement was reached, more than a hundred thousand people had perished, mostly Bosniaks. The administration of President Bill Clinton was criticized by some for not bringing American military might to bear to end the conflict sooner. Since the war’s end, the US has provided millions of dollars in aid to help Bosnia recover from the devastation. Today, the country continues to suffer from human rights problems, including contributing to the sex trade of women.
 
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: A mostly mountainous country in the western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina shares borders with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. The region of Bosnia occupies four fifths of the country, while the region of Herzegovina occupies a fifth of the country in the south, including the nation’s 14-mile (23-kilometer) coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Half the country is covered by forests. The capital, Sarajevo, has a population of about 305,000.

 
Population: 4.6 million
 
Religions: Muslim 40%, Serb Orthodox Christian 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%. A nation-wide religious revival followed the resolution of the war in 1994, and religious observance has been increasing across all faiths. 
 
Ethnic Groups: Bosniak (Muslim) 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6%.
 
Languages: Bosnian (official) 77%, Croatian (official) 9%, Serbian (official) 7%, Vlax Romani 7%.
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History
The region of Bosnia was controlled by the Roman Empire until its decline and splintering into western and eastern (Byzantium) empires. In the 7th Century, Slavs moved into the region, and within two decades established the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia, which divided control of Bosnia. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the kingdom of Hungary in charge of Bosnia, until the Bosniaks managed to gain their independence, which lasted for more than 200 years.
 
In 1463, the Ottoman Turks conquered the region. During Ottoman rule, many Bosniaks converted from Christianity to Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when the Congress of Berlin turned control of Bosnia over to the Austria-Hungary Empire. Meanwhile, Serbians began clamoring for the creation of a “South Slav” state. It was a Bosnian Serb nationalist, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, who unintentionally ignited when he assassinated Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
 
After WWI, Bosnia became part of the South Slav state of Yugoslavia. This lasted until the outbreak of the Second World War, when Nazi sympathizers in Croatia established a puppet government loyal to Germany. Bosnia was turned over to Croatia during World War II. During this period, many atrocities were committed against Jews, Serbs and others who resisted German occupation. When Germany was defeated, Bosnia returned to being part of Yugoslavia, which became an independent Communist state, but one that was not under the control of the Soviet Union like other Central and Eastern European countries.
 
For the next 40 years during the Cold War, Josip Tito ruled the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, keeping firm control over the diverse ethnic collection of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in the country. Tito’s death in 1980 created a power vacuum in Yugoslavia that allowed ethnic nationalists, like Slobodan Milošević, to rise to power in Serbia and create political tensions among Yugoslavia’s different states. By the beginning of the 1990s, Yugoslavia was on the verge of civil war.
 
In 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. They were followed by the Serbs in Bosnia, who, led by strongman Radovan Karadžić, declared four self-proclaimed “Serb Autonomous Regions” within Bosnia. For Bosnian Serbs, their intentions were to separate from Bosnia and join with Serbia. On January 9, 1992, Karadžić publicly proclaimed a fully independent “Republic of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Bosnian leaders responded by trying to declare Bosnia’s independence from Yugoslavia, which Serbia resisted. A few months later, the Bosnian Serb army, led by Ratko Mladić, went on the offensive inside Bosnia. Backed by Serbia, the Bosnian Serb forces laid siege to Sarajevo, which lasted almost three years. Food became scarce, and between starvation and military assaults, more than 12,000 residents were killed.
 
While Sarajevo was under siege, Karadžić’s paramilitary units also carried out a systematic policy of “ethnic cleansing” to establish a “pure” Serb republic within Bosnia. Croats (who were accused of their own atrocities and attacks, including the siege of Mostar) and Bosniaks were subjected to forced relocations, assaults, rapes and executions. Entire villages were destroyed, most prominently Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosniaks lost their lives. For three years, the slaughter was allowed to continue while Western European powers and the United States stood by, unwilling to get involved in the conflict. It wasn’t until 1995 that military forces under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched air strikes against the Bosnian Serb army to prevent more attacks on United Nations safe-havens for refugees. Later that year, in November, the warring parties signed the Dayton Peace Accords, bringing an end to the bloody conflict.
 
By the end of the war, tens of thousands of Bosniaks had been killed, with thousands more injured or forced to become refugees. Sixty percent of all houses in Bosnia, half of the schools, and a third of the hospitals were damaged or destroyed. Power plants, roads, water systems, bridges and railways were ruined.
 
In December 1995, NATO deployed a 60,000-troop Implementation Force (IFOR) to enforce the peace accords. IFOR transitioned into a smaller stabilization force in 1996. By 2004, the European Union assumed primary responsibility for military stabilization operations. Approximately 2,200 EU troops remain deployed in Bosnia
 
Karadžić and Mladić were indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague in July 1995 on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Karadžić alluded capture until July 2008, when he was arrested in Serbia. Mladić remains at large.
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina today consists of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is largely Bosniak and Croat, and the Republika Srpska, which is primarily Serb. In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs are all legal citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In March 2002, this decision was formally recognized and agreed to by the major political parties in both entities.
 
History: Bosnia & Herzegovina Bibliography (World Wide Web Virtual Library)
History of the war in Bosnia (Center for Balkan Development)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1995 (The History Place, Genocide in the 20th Century)
 

 

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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United States formally recognized the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on November 29, 1945. When Yugoslavia was expelled from the Soviet Cominform and the Soviet Union withdrew its support, Josip Tito appealed to the US and other western nations for economic aid. The US provided both military and economic aid to Yugoslavia during the Cold War. Eventually, Tito mended relations with the Kremlin and struck a policy of non-alignment between the two superpowers.

 
Although the Bosnian war broke out before President Bill Clinton took over the Oval Office, it was the Clinton presidency that was mostly responsible for the United States’ decisions—and indecisions—during the four-year conflict. While running for president, Clinton pledged to stand up against aggression in Bosnia. But the US did little for most of the war, other than speak out against the atrocities being committed and calling for an end to hostilities. When Bosnian Croats and Muslims joined together in 1994 to fight the Bosnian Serbs, it was the US, according to some observers, who privately encouraged the Croats to attack the Serbs. Also, the US reportedly turned a blind eye to the smuggling of weapons to Bosnia from countries such as Iran, who supported the predominantly Muslim nation during the conflict.
 
But the US committed to little direct action to stop the war. Some critics have characterized the United States policy as indecisive and muddled, saying, “the Americans were the cavalry who never came charging over the hill.” The US did play an important role when it came time to discuss a ceasefire and forge a peace agreement. That responsibility largely fell to Richard Holbrooke, assistant secretary of state, who brokered the Dayton accords. The US also contributed 20,000 military personnel who served as part of the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia.
 
The Secret History of Dayton (by Derek Chollet and Nennett Freeman, National Security Archive)
 
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Current U.S. Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United States maintains command of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. Since the end of the war, the US has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help with reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, economic development, and military reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded programs in economic development and reform, democratic reform (media, elections), infrastructure development, and training programs for Bosnian professionals, among others.

 
Bosnian Muslims have only begun immigrating to the US recently, after being displaced by the war in the early 1990s. More than 11,000 Bosnian Muslims arrived between 1991-1994, followed by 8,300 in 1995 and 11,900 in 1996. They have formed a significant community in the Astoria section of New York City and dedicated a mosque there in 1997.
 
In 2006, 8,693 Americans visited Bosnia and Herzegovina. The number of American tourists has alternately shrunk and grown year after year, although it has increased a bit since 2002, when 7,228 Americans traveled to the Balkan nation. Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who visited the US in 2006 totaled 4,753. Tourism has grown slowly but steadily every year since 2002, when 4,068 visitors from Bosnia came to the U.S.
 
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Where Does the Money Flow

The single largest import by the US from Bosnia came in 2005, when almost $55 million in crude oil was purchased. Oddly, no crude oil was imported either before or after 2005. The most consistent top import is furniture and household items, averaging approximately $4 million a year. Recently, the US has been buying more military equipment from Bosnia, growing from $49,000 in 2005 to $3.4 million in 2007.

 
A noticeable blip among US exports to Bosnia also involves oil. In 2006, about $27 million in petroleum products was sold to the Balkan country, which purchased little to nothing before or after that. The three most consistent purchases by Bosnia from the U.S. between 2003and 2007 have been computer accessories ($1.76 million), medicinal equipment (average $1.58 million) and telecommunications equipment (average $1.26 million). In 2007, the U.S. did manage to sell to Biosnia $2.8 million worth of military uniforms.
 
The US gave $42.8 million in aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007. The budget allocated the most funds to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($13.3 million), Civil Society ($7.4 million), Rule of Law and Human Rights ($7 million), Good Governance ($4.7 million), and Private Sector Competitiveness ($2.9 million). The 2008 budget estimate decreased aid to $33.3 million, and the 2009 budget request will give $37.8 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 2009 budget request will distribute the most aid to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($11.7 million), Rule of Law and Human Rights ($8 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($6.9 million), Good Governance ($3.1 million), and Civil Society ($2.8 million).
 
The US sold $39,508 of defense articles and services to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007.
 
 
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Controversies

Hillary Clinton Imagines Sniper Fire in Bosnia

During her run for the Democratic nomination for president, Hillary Clinton claimed she and her daughter were subjected to sniper fire 12 years earlier while visiting Bosnia. In a speech and interviews, Clinton described a harrowing scene in Tuzla, Bosnia, in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit. But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which a young girl greeted the first lady on the tarmac.
 
Clinton later said she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire in Bosnia, as her Democratic rival Barack Obama challenged her credibility. Among those shocked by Clinton’s erroneous account of her 1996 visit was Emina Bičakčić, the young Bosniak girl who recited a poem to the former First Lady as she arrived in the war-torn country.
Clinton Says She Erred on Bosnia Story (by Charles Babbington, Associated Press)
 
American Whistleblower Canned for Outing Sex Trade in Bosnia
Kathryn Bolkovac, a policewoman from Lincoln, NE, was posted to Bosnia as part of a UN international police force helping to maintain law and order. What Bolkovac saw while on duty came as a shock—British and American members of the force paying for sex with under-aged girls. When Bolkovac complained to DynCorp, the American security firm that held the contract with the United Nations for staffing the international police force, she was fired. Bolkovac filed a lawsuit against DynCorp which wound up paying her compensation for the unlawful firing.
 
Bosnia Sells Military Equipment to Iraq, Irks US
Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a Bosnian company was found exporting military hardware to Iraq in violation of a UN embargo. The American Embassy in Bosnia accused Orao, a state-owned company in the semiautonomous Serbian republic within Bosnia, of selling spare parts and services to Iraq for its Soviet-era MIG-21 warplanes. After searching the offices of Orao, NATO peacekeeping troops said they had found proof of ongoing exports to Baghdad.
 
“The US expects the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia, to undertake the necessary steps to immediately halt any ongoing cooperation with Iraq, to conduct a thorough investigation and to hold accountable those responsible,” said State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher.
 
In response to the revelation, the Bosnian government fired a senior military official and the director of the state trading company Yugoimport. The trading between Orao and Baghdad had been going on for some time, dating back to when Bosnia was a republic in the larger, socialist Yugoslavia.
 
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Human Rights

Overall, Bosnia’s human rights record remains poor, according to the lastest State Department report. There were reports of “police abuses, poor and overcrowded prison conditions, increased harassment and intimidation of journalists and members of civil society, discrimination and violence against women and ethnic and religious minorities, discrimination against persons with disabilities and sexual minorities, obstruction of refugee return, trafficking in persons, and limits on employment rights,” reported US officials. The department also noted that former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić was still wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

 
In Bosnian prisons and jails, overcrowding, inadequate nutrition, and poor hygiene were chronic problems. Overcrowding and antiquated facilities remained serious problems. There were no proper facilities for treating mentally ill or special needs prisoners.
 
Despite efforts to quell hate crimes, there were still reports of ethnically-motivated religious violence in many municipalities. Ethnic symbols, clerics and religious buildings were prime targets, involving Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholics.
 
Violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault, remained a widespread and underreported problem. According to general NGO estimates, one out of every three Bosnian women was a victim of domestic violence. In addition, Bosnia remains a key location in the sex trade of women. The majority of women trafficked to the country come from Serbia or other East European countries. Most trafficked women entered the country through Serbia or Montenegro. Those who transited the country generally continued on via Croatia. Bosnian victims were also found in other parts of Europe.
 
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Victor Jackovich
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 23, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 17, 1995

John K. Menzies
Appointment: Oct 3, 1995
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 7, 1996
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 15, 1996

Richard D. Kauzlarich
Appointment: Aug 1, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1997
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 20, 1999

 
Thomas J. Miller
Appointment: Jul 7, 1999
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 27, 1999 
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 23, 2001
 
Clifford G. Bond
Appointment: Oct 1, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 2, 2001
Termination of Mission:  Left post, Aug. 6, 2004
 
Douglas L. McElhaney
Appointment: July 2, 2004
Presentation of Credentials: Sept. 15, 2004 
Termination of Mission: 2007
 
 
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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Negodić, Jadranka

The Balkan nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sent a new ambassador to the U.S. Jadranka Negodić succeeds Mitar Kujundžić, who served as Bosnia’s man in Washington starting in February 2009.


Born circa 1956, Negodić earned a law degree at the University of Sarajevo in 1979. During the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian War, she fled Sarajevo to the relative safety of Dubrovnik, Croatia. After the war, she took a job at the new Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which made sense to her because she “had always enjoyed travel and contact with other people.” Few of Bosnia’s diplomats had served under the Yugoslavian regime, and with no formal diplomatic academy Negodić got on-the-job training, including opportunities when she visited the foreign affairs ministries in Japan, Turkey, the US, Italy and Greece. Early on she headed the Department for Neighboring Countries, which required her legal expertise in dealing with post-conflict issues such as border delimitation, restitution of property and refugees, with the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo.

 

Negodić served as minister-counsellor at the Bosnian embassy in London, UK, from 2003 to 2006. After that posting, she returned home to serve as assistant minister of foreign affairs from 2007 to 2008. In January 2008, Negodić was appointed head of Bosnia’s mission to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. During her tenure, Bosnia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU on June 16, 2008, which set Bosnia on the road toward EU membership. She returned to London in December 2008 to serve as ambassador to the UK until 2012.

-Matt Bewig

 

Biography

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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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bath mateus 7 years ago
nice posting....i like it...it is really helpfull to all...

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U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cormack, Maureen
ambassador-image

 

On January 6, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Maureen Cormack, a career Foreign Service officer, as ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. On March 6, 2014, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider her nomination.

 

Cormack received her B.A. in performing arts management from the University of Illinois and did not go immediately into government service. She worked for a Chicago law firm, Shefsky, Saitlin, and Froelich, and from 1980 to 1985 she worked for the Ravinia Festival, an outdoor music series near Chicago, in fundraising, public relations, and artistic management. The Festival is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

Cormack then attended the University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in international relations in 1989. At that point, she joined the State Department. Much of her career in the Foreign Service has been spent in public and cultural affairs. Cormack’s first assignments were as director of the American Centers in Kwangju, South Korea and Warsaw, Poland. In the mid-1990s, she was back in Washington as European personnel officer for the former U.S. Information Agency.

 

In 1999, Cormack was in France as deputy cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and as first consul at the American Presence Post in western France, covering the regions of Brittany, Normandy, and the Loire.

 

Cormack returned to South Korea in 2002 as press attaché at the embassy in Seoul, remaining there until 2005. At that time, she became a Pearson Fellow, working on Capitol Hill. The Pearson Fellowships allow Foreign Service officers to spend a year learning about the inner workings of Congress. Cormack worked with the House Homeland Security Committee.

 

In 2006, Cormack moved back to the State Department, becoming deputy director for Korean Affairs, serving in that post until 2009. Towards the end of her tenure, she helped deal with the arrest of two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, by North Korea. The two were eventually freed after negotiations between former U.S. President Bill Clinton and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

 

Cormack moved over to become director of the Office of Western European Affairs, where she served until 2010. Cormack then was named executive assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In July 2011, Cormack became principal deputy coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs. On April 15, 2013, she was promoted to acting coordinator for international programs after a critical report by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General led to the resignation of Coordinator Dawn McCall.

 

Cormack’s husband, William, is a construction engineer with the State Department. The Cormacks have three children, Elizabeth, Margaret and William.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Statement to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (pdf)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Moon, Patrick
ambassador-image

After more than 30 years as a diplomat, Patrick S. Moon is finally getting his first crack as an ambassador. After holding a variety of posts covering issues from Africa to Europe to South Asia, he was sworn as U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina on September 10, 2010.

 
Originally from Oklahoma City, Moon graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1972. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He served as an officer in the Air Force for six years, and then joined the Foreign Service in 1979.
 
Moon served as vice consul in Beirut, Lebanon, from 1979 to 1981. His next assignment was as the administrative officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), until 1983. For the next three years, Moon was a politico-military affairs officer in the State Department’s Office of European Security and Political Affairs. In this assignment, he dealt with issues related to the deployment of U.S. intermediate-range missiles to Europe. In addition, he served during this period as an advisor on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Negotiating Group in Geneva for two sessions.
 
From 1986 to 1988, he was the executive secretary of the U.S. Negotiating Group for Strategic Nuclear Arms Negotiations (START) in Geneva. In 1989, Moon was assigned to the U.S. delegation to the negotiations on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) in Vienna. He participated in the negotiation of the CFE Treaty and was a U.S. co-chairman of the Joint Consultative Group, which was created to facilitate implementation of the CFE Treaty.
 
From 1992 to 1995, Moon served at the U.S. Mission to NATO, where he was responsible for issues related to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), the Partnership for Peace (PFP), peacekeeping and nonproliferation.
 
Returning to Washington, he served as the deputy director of the Office of UN Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs until 1997. After this assignment he served as a special assistant to the under secretary for political affairs, Thomas Pickering, covering Russia, UN, NATO and G-8 issues.
 
From 1998 to 2000, Moon was the deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs in the European Bureau.
 
Moon was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, from 2001 to 2004. In this position, he was the ambassador’s “chief of staff” for a staff of 300 people.
 
From 2004-2006, he was office director for Afghanistan in the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs, where he played a role in developing and implementing U.S. policies including annual multi-billion dollar security and assistance programs.
 
He served as the office director for Austria, Germany and Switzerland prior to becoming the coordinator for Afghanistan beginning in January 2008. From June 2008 to March 2009, he was concurrently the deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan.
 
In March 2009, Moon was appointed as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, a position he held at the time of his ambassadorial appointment.
 
Moon and his wife, Danuta, have three daughters. His foreign languages are French, Russian and Croatian.
 
Offical Biography (State Department)

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Overview
Bosnia was the focal point of one of the most devastating and gruesome wars in the late 20th Century. Once a part of Socialist Yugoslavia, Bosnia was torn apart by ethnic rivalries that erupted into full-scale fighting in the early 1990s. Serbian nationalists residing in Bosnia launched a campaign to unite Serbian enclaves with Serbia, sparking a conflict that involved mass killings and “ethnic cleansing” that affected Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. During four years of conflict, the United States and its NATO allies refused to get directly involved by sending in troops to stop the fighting. Eventually, Western powers interceded with air strikes against the Bosnian Serb army that helped bring about a ceasefire among the warring parties. But by the time a peace agreement was reached, more than a hundred thousand people had perished, mostly Bosniaks. The administration of President Bill Clinton was criticized by some for not bringing American military might to bear to end the conflict sooner. Since the war’s end, the US has provided millions of dollars in aid to help Bosnia recover from the devastation. Today, the country continues to suffer from human rights problems, including contributing to the sex trade of women.
 
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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: A mostly mountainous country in the western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina shares borders with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. The region of Bosnia occupies four fifths of the country, while the region of Herzegovina occupies a fifth of the country in the south, including the nation’s 14-mile (23-kilometer) coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Half the country is covered by forests. The capital, Sarajevo, has a population of about 305,000.

 
Population: 4.6 million
 
Religions: Muslim 40%, Serb Orthodox Christian 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%. A nation-wide religious revival followed the resolution of the war in 1994, and religious observance has been increasing across all faiths. 
 
Ethnic Groups: Bosniak (Muslim) 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6%.
 
Languages: Bosnian (official) 77%, Croatian (official) 9%, Serbian (official) 7%, Vlax Romani 7%.
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History
The region of Bosnia was controlled by the Roman Empire until its decline and splintering into western and eastern (Byzantium) empires. In the 7th Century, Slavs moved into the region, and within two decades established the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia, which divided control of Bosnia. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the kingdom of Hungary in charge of Bosnia, until the Bosniaks managed to gain their independence, which lasted for more than 200 years.
 
In 1463, the Ottoman Turks conquered the region. During Ottoman rule, many Bosniaks converted from Christianity to Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when the Congress of Berlin turned control of Bosnia over to the Austria-Hungary Empire. Meanwhile, Serbians began clamoring for the creation of a “South Slav” state. It was a Bosnian Serb nationalist, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, who unintentionally ignited when he assassinated Austria-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914.
 
After WWI, Bosnia became part of the South Slav state of Yugoslavia. This lasted until the outbreak of the Second World War, when Nazi sympathizers in Croatia established a puppet government loyal to Germany. Bosnia was turned over to Croatia during World War II. During this period, many atrocities were committed against Jews, Serbs and others who resisted German occupation. When Germany was defeated, Bosnia returned to being part of Yugoslavia, which became an independent Communist state, but one that was not under the control of the Soviet Union like other Central and Eastern European countries.
 
For the next 40 years during the Cold War, Josip Tito ruled the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, keeping firm control over the diverse ethnic collection of Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in the country. Tito’s death in 1980 created a power vacuum in Yugoslavia that allowed ethnic nationalists, like Slobodan Milošević, to rise to power in Serbia and create political tensions among Yugoslavia’s different states. By the beginning of the 1990s, Yugoslavia was on the verge of civil war.
 
In 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. They were followed by the Serbs in Bosnia, who, led by strongman Radovan Karadžić, declared four self-proclaimed “Serb Autonomous Regions” within Bosnia. For Bosnian Serbs, their intentions were to separate from Bosnia and join with Serbia. On January 9, 1992, Karadžić publicly proclaimed a fully independent “Republic of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Bosnian leaders responded by trying to declare Bosnia’s independence from Yugoslavia, which Serbia resisted. A few months later, the Bosnian Serb army, led by Ratko Mladić, went on the offensive inside Bosnia. Backed by Serbia, the Bosnian Serb forces laid siege to Sarajevo, which lasted almost three years. Food became scarce, and between starvation and military assaults, more than 12,000 residents were killed.
 
While Sarajevo was under siege, Karadžić’s paramilitary units also carried out a systematic policy of “ethnic cleansing” to establish a “pure” Serb republic within Bosnia. Croats (who were accused of their own atrocities and attacks, including the siege of Mostar) and Bosniaks were subjected to forced relocations, assaults, rapes and executions. Entire villages were destroyed, most prominently Srebrenica, where 8,000 Bosniaks lost their lives. For three years, the slaughter was allowed to continue while Western European powers and the United States stood by, unwilling to get involved in the conflict. It wasn’t until 1995 that military forces under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launched air strikes against the Bosnian Serb army to prevent more attacks on United Nations safe-havens for refugees. Later that year, in November, the warring parties signed the Dayton Peace Accords, bringing an end to the bloody conflict.
 
By the end of the war, tens of thousands of Bosniaks had been killed, with thousands more injured or forced to become refugees. Sixty percent of all houses in Bosnia, half of the schools, and a third of the hospitals were damaged or destroyed. Power plants, roads, water systems, bridges and railways were ruined.
 
In December 1995, NATO deployed a 60,000-troop Implementation Force (IFOR) to enforce the peace accords. IFOR transitioned into a smaller stabilization force in 1996. By 2004, the European Union assumed primary responsibility for military stabilization operations. Approximately 2,200 EU troops remain deployed in Bosnia
 
Karadžić and Mladić were indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague in July 1995 on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Karadžić alluded capture until July 2008, when he was arrested in Serbia. Mladić remains at large.
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina today consists of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is largely Bosniak and Croat, and the Republika Srpska, which is primarily Serb. In July 2000, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled that Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs are all legal citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In March 2002, this decision was formally recognized and agreed to by the major political parties in both entities.
 
History: Bosnia & Herzegovina Bibliography (World Wide Web Virtual Library)
History of the war in Bosnia (Center for Balkan Development)
Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1995 (The History Place, Genocide in the 20th Century)
 

 

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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United States formally recognized the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on November 29, 1945. When Yugoslavia was expelled from the Soviet Cominform and the Soviet Union withdrew its support, Josip Tito appealed to the US and other western nations for economic aid. The US provided both military and economic aid to Yugoslavia during the Cold War. Eventually, Tito mended relations with the Kremlin and struck a policy of non-alignment between the two superpowers.

 
Although the Bosnian war broke out before President Bill Clinton took over the Oval Office, it was the Clinton presidency that was mostly responsible for the United States’ decisions—and indecisions—during the four-year conflict. While running for president, Clinton pledged to stand up against aggression in Bosnia. But the US did little for most of the war, other than speak out against the atrocities being committed and calling for an end to hostilities. When Bosnian Croats and Muslims joined together in 1994 to fight the Bosnian Serbs, it was the US, according to some observers, who privately encouraged the Croats to attack the Serbs. Also, the US reportedly turned a blind eye to the smuggling of weapons to Bosnia from countries such as Iran, who supported the predominantly Muslim nation during the conflict.
 
But the US committed to little direct action to stop the war. Some critics have characterized the United States policy as indecisive and muddled, saying, “the Americans were the cavalry who never came charging over the hill.” The US did play an important role when it came time to discuss a ceasefire and forge a peace agreement. That responsibility largely fell to Richard Holbrooke, assistant secretary of state, who brokered the Dayton accords. The US also contributed 20,000 military personnel who served as part of the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia.
 
The Secret History of Dayton (by Derek Chollet and Nennett Freeman, National Security Archive)
 
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Current U.S. Relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The United States maintains command of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. Since the end of the war, the US has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help with reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, economic development, and military reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded programs in economic development and reform, democratic reform (media, elections), infrastructure development, and training programs for Bosnian professionals, among others.

 
Bosnian Muslims have only begun immigrating to the US recently, after being displaced by the war in the early 1990s. More than 11,000 Bosnian Muslims arrived between 1991-1994, followed by 8,300 in 1995 and 11,900 in 1996. They have formed a significant community in the Astoria section of New York City and dedicated a mosque there in 1997.
 
In 2006, 8,693 Americans visited Bosnia and Herzegovina. The number of American tourists has alternately shrunk and grown year after year, although it has increased a bit since 2002, when 7,228 Americans traveled to the Balkan nation. Citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who visited the US in 2006 totaled 4,753. Tourism has grown slowly but steadily every year since 2002, when 4,068 visitors from Bosnia came to the U.S.
 
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Where Does the Money Flow

The single largest import by the US from Bosnia came in 2005, when almost $55 million in crude oil was purchased. Oddly, no crude oil was imported either before or after 2005. The most consistent top import is furniture and household items, averaging approximately $4 million a year. Recently, the US has been buying more military equipment from Bosnia, growing from $49,000 in 2005 to $3.4 million in 2007.

 
A noticeable blip among US exports to Bosnia also involves oil. In 2006, about $27 million in petroleum products was sold to the Balkan country, which purchased little to nothing before or after that. The three most consistent purchases by Bosnia from the U.S. between 2003and 2007 have been computer accessories ($1.76 million), medicinal equipment (average $1.58 million) and telecommunications equipment (average $1.26 million). In 2007, the U.S. did manage to sell to Biosnia $2.8 million worth of military uniforms.
 
The US gave $42.8 million in aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007. The budget allocated the most funds to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($13.3 million), Civil Society ($7.4 million), Rule of Law and Human Rights ($7 million), Good Governance ($4.7 million), and Private Sector Competitiveness ($2.9 million). The 2008 budget estimate decreased aid to $33.3 million, and the 2009 budget request will give $37.8 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 2009 budget request will distribute the most aid to Stabilization Operations and Security Sector Reform ($11.7 million), Rule of Law and Human Rights ($8 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($6.9 million), Good Governance ($3.1 million), and Civil Society ($2.8 million).
 
The US sold $39,508 of defense articles and services to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2007.
 
 
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Controversies

Hillary Clinton Imagines Sniper Fire in Bosnia

During her run for the Democratic nomination for president, Hillary Clinton claimed she and her daughter were subjected to sniper fire 12 years earlier while visiting Bosnia. In a speech and interviews, Clinton described a harrowing scene in Tuzla, Bosnia, in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit. But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which a young girl greeted the first lady on the tarmac.
 
Clinton later said she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire in Bosnia, as her Democratic rival Barack Obama challenged her credibility. Among those shocked by Clinton’s erroneous account of her 1996 visit was Emina Bičakčić, the young Bosniak girl who recited a poem to the former First Lady as she arrived in the war-torn country.
Clinton Says She Erred on Bosnia Story (by Charles Babbington, Associated Press)
 
American Whistleblower Canned for Outing Sex Trade in Bosnia
Kathryn Bolkovac, a policewoman from Lincoln, NE, was posted to Bosnia as part of a UN international police force helping to maintain law and order. What Bolkovac saw while on duty came as a shock—British and American members of the force paying for sex with under-aged girls. When Bolkovac complained to DynCorp, the American security firm that held the contract with the United Nations for staffing the international police force, she was fired. Bolkovac filed a lawsuit against DynCorp which wound up paying her compensation for the unlawful firing.
 
Bosnia Sells Military Equipment to Iraq, Irks US
Prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, a Bosnian company was found exporting military hardware to Iraq in violation of a UN embargo. The American Embassy in Bosnia accused Orao, a state-owned company in the semiautonomous Serbian republic within Bosnia, of selling spare parts and services to Iraq for its Soviet-era MIG-21 warplanes. After searching the offices of Orao, NATO peacekeeping troops said they had found proof of ongoing exports to Baghdad.
 
“The US expects the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Yugoslavia, to undertake the necessary steps to immediately halt any ongoing cooperation with Iraq, to conduct a thorough investigation and to hold accountable those responsible,” said State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher.
 
In response to the revelation, the Bosnian government fired a senior military official and the director of the state trading company Yugoimport. The trading between Orao and Baghdad had been going on for some time, dating back to when Bosnia was a republic in the larger, socialist Yugoslavia.
 
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Human Rights

Overall, Bosnia’s human rights record remains poor, according to the lastest State Department report. There were reports of “police abuses, poor and overcrowded prison conditions, increased harassment and intimidation of journalists and members of civil society, discrimination and violence against women and ethnic and religious minorities, discrimination against persons with disabilities and sexual minorities, obstruction of refugee return, trafficking in persons, and limits on employment rights,” reported US officials. The department also noted that former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić was still wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

 
In Bosnian prisons and jails, overcrowding, inadequate nutrition, and poor hygiene were chronic problems. Overcrowding and antiquated facilities remained serious problems. There were no proper facilities for treating mentally ill or special needs prisoners.
 
Despite efforts to quell hate crimes, there were still reports of ethnically-motivated religious violence in many municipalities. Ethnic symbols, clerics and religious buildings were prime targets, involving Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholics.
 
Violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault, remained a widespread and underreported problem. According to general NGO estimates, one out of every three Bosnian women was a victim of domestic violence. In addition, Bosnia remains a key location in the sex trade of women. The majority of women trafficked to the country come from Serbia or other East European countries. Most trafficked women entered the country through Serbia or Montenegro. Those who transited the country generally continued on via Croatia. Bosnian victims were also found in other parts of Europe.
 
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Victor Jackovich
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 23, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 17, 1995

John K. Menzies
Appointment: Oct 3, 1995
Presentation of Credentials: Jan 7, 1996
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 15, 1996

Richard D. Kauzlarich
Appointment: Aug 1, 1997
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1997
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 20, 1999

 
Thomas J. Miller
Appointment: Jul 7, 1999
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 27, 1999 
Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 23, 2001
 
Clifford G. Bond
Appointment: Oct 1, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 2, 2001
Termination of Mission:  Left post, Aug. 6, 2004
 
Douglas L. McElhaney
Appointment: July 2, 2004
Presentation of Credentials: Sept. 15, 2004 
Termination of Mission: 2007
 
 
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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Negodić, Jadranka

The Balkan nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has sent a new ambassador to the U.S. Jadranka Negodić succeeds Mitar Kujundžić, who served as Bosnia’s man in Washington starting in February 2009.


Born circa 1956, Negodić earned a law degree at the University of Sarajevo in 1979. During the breakup of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian War, she fled Sarajevo to the relative safety of Dubrovnik, Croatia. After the war, she took a job at the new Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which made sense to her because she “had always enjoyed travel and contact with other people.” Few of Bosnia’s diplomats had served under the Yugoslavian regime, and with no formal diplomatic academy Negodić got on-the-job training, including opportunities when she visited the foreign affairs ministries in Japan, Turkey, the US, Italy and Greece. Early on she headed the Department for Neighboring Countries, which required her legal expertise in dealing with post-conflict issues such as border delimitation, restitution of property and refugees, with the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo.

 

Negodić served as minister-counsellor at the Bosnian embassy in London, UK, from 2003 to 2006. After that posting, she returned home to serve as assistant minister of foreign affairs from 2007 to 2008. In January 2008, Negodić was appointed head of Bosnia’s mission to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. During her tenure, Bosnia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU on June 16, 2008, which set Bosnia on the road toward EU membership. She returned to London in December 2008 to serve as ambassador to the UK until 2012.

-Matt Bewig

 

Biography

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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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bath mateus 7 years ago
nice posting....i like it...it is really helpfull to all...

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U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cormack, Maureen
ambassador-image

 

On January 6, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Maureen Cormack, a career Foreign Service officer, as ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina. On March 6, 2014, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing to consider her nomination.

 

Cormack received her B.A. in performing arts management from the University of Illinois and did not go immediately into government service. She worked for a Chicago law firm, Shefsky, Saitlin, and Froelich, and from 1980 to 1985 she worked for the Ravinia Festival, an outdoor music series near Chicago, in fundraising, public relations, and artistic management. The Festival is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

Cormack then attended the University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in international relations in 1989. At that point, she joined the State Department. Much of her career in the Foreign Service has been spent in public and cultural affairs. Cormack’s first assignments were as director of the American Centers in Kwangju, South Korea and Warsaw, Poland. In the mid-1990s, she was back in Washington as European personnel officer for the former U.S. Information Agency.

 

In 1999, Cormack was in France as deputy cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and as first consul at the American Presence Post in western France, covering the regions of Brittany, Normandy, and the Loire.

 

Cormack returned to South Korea in 2002 as press attaché at the embassy in Seoul, remaining there until 2005. At that time, she became a Pearson Fellow, working on Capitol Hill. The Pearson Fellowships allow Foreign Service officers to spend a year learning about the inner workings of Congress. Cormack worked with the House Homeland Security Committee.

 

In 2006, Cormack moved back to the State Department, becoming deputy director for Korean Affairs, serving in that post until 2009. Towards the end of her tenure, she helped deal with the arrest of two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, by North Korea. The two were eventually freed after negotiations between former U.S. President Bill Clinton and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

 

Cormack moved over to become director of the Office of Western European Affairs, where she served until 2010. Cormack then was named executive assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In July 2011, Cormack became principal deputy coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs. On April 15, 2013, she was promoted to acting coordinator for international programs after a critical report by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General led to the resignation of Coordinator Dawn McCall.

 

Cormack’s husband, William, is a construction engineer with the State Department. The Cormacks have three children, Elizabeth, Margaret and William.

-Steve Straehley

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Statement to Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (pdf)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Moon, Patrick
ambassador-image

After more than 30 years as a diplomat, Patrick S. Moon is finally getting his first crack as an ambassador. After holding a variety of posts covering issues from Africa to Europe to South Asia, he was sworn as U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina on September 10, 2010.

 
Originally from Oklahoma City, Moon graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1972. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He served as an officer in the Air Force for six years, and then joined the Foreign Service in 1979.
 
Moon served as vice consul in Beirut, Lebanon, from 1979 to 1981. His next assignment was as the administrative officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), until 1983. For the next three years, Moon was a politico-military affairs officer in the State Department’s Office of European Security and Political Affairs. In this assignment, he dealt with issues related to the deployment of U.S. intermediate-range missiles to Europe. In addition, he served during this period as an advisor on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Negotiating Group in Geneva for two sessions.
 
From 1986 to 1988, he was the executive secretary of the U.S. Negotiating Group for Strategic Nuclear Arms Negotiations (START) in Geneva. In 1989, Moon was assigned to the U.S. delegation to the negotiations on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) in Vienna. He participated in the negotiation of the CFE Treaty and was a U.S. co-chairman of the Joint Consultative Group, which was created to facilitate implementation of the CFE Treaty.
 
From 1992 to 1995, Moon served at the U.S. Mission to NATO, where he was responsible for issues related to the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), the Partnership for Peace (PFP), peacekeeping and nonproliferation.
 
Returning to Washington, he served as the deputy director of the Office of UN Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs until 1997. After this assignment he served as a special assistant to the under secretary for political affairs, Thomas Pickering, covering Russia, UN, NATO and G-8 issues.
 
From 1998 to 2000, Moon was the deputy director of the Office of European Security and Political Affairs in the European Bureau.
 
Moon was the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, from 2001 to 2004. In this position, he was the ambassador’s “chief of staff” for a staff of 300 people.
 
From 2004-2006, he was office director for Afghanistan in the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs, where he played a role in developing and implementing U.S. policies including annual multi-billion dollar security and assistance programs.
 
He served as the office director for Austria, Germany and Switzerland prior to becoming the coordinator for Afghanistan beginning in January 2008. From June 2008 to March 2009, he was concurrently the deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan.
 
In March 2009, Moon was appointed as the principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, a position he held at the time of his ambassadorial appointment.
 
Moon and his wife, Danuta, have three daughters. His foreign languages are French, Russian and Croatian.
 
Offical Biography (State Department)

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