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Karadzic arrest: Reaction in quotes

A round-up of reaction to the announcement that Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, one of the world's most wanted men, has been arrested in Serbia after almost 13 years on the run.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, US DIPLOMAT WHO BROKERED THE DAYTON PEACE AGREEMENT FOR BOSNIA IN 1995

Richard Holbrooke on Mr Karadzic

This is a historic day. One of the worst men in the world, the Osama Bin Laden of Europe, has finally been captured.

It is significant that Nato continued to fail and the Serbs captured him... a major, major thug has been removed from the public scene.

HARIS SILAJDZIC, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY
I don't think there is jubilation but some relief because they have waited too long - which was a disgrace for the international community, for the war of justice, and of course for Serbia and I am glad that this will now open the way for better co-operation and improvement in this part of the world.

LJILJANA ZELEN-KARADZIC, WIFE OF RADOVAN KARADZIC

As the phone rang, I knew something was wrong. I'm shocked, confused. At least now, we know he is alive.

STATEMENT BY THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY

We congratulate the government of Serbia, and thank the people who conducted this operation for their professionalism and courage. This operation is an important demonstration of the Serbian government's determination to honour its commitment to co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The timing of the arrest, only days after the commemoration of the massacre of over 7,000 Bosnians committed in Srebrenica, is particularly appropriate, as there is no better tribute to the victims of the war's atrocities than bringing their perpetrators to justice.

MILORAD DODIK, BOSNIAN SERB PRIME MINISTER

The arrest of Karadzic took off the agenda the years of pressure on the RS [Republika Srpska] authorities.

MLADEN BOSIC, HEAD OF THE BOSNIAN SERB DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOUNDED BY MR KARADZIC

The Hague tribunal is not a place where justice is being served.

STATEMENT FROM BAN KI-MOON, UN SECRETARY-GENERAL

The Secretary-General commends the Serbian authorities for this decisive step toward ending impunity for those indicted for serious violations of international humanitarian law during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

This is a historic moment for the victims, who have waited 13 years for Mr Karadzic to be brought to justice.

DAVID MILIBAND, UK FOREIGN SECRETARY

This is good news. I am glad that the Serbian authorities have successfully captured Karadzic, who has evaded arrest for over 10 years. This arrest will help close the region's decades of conflict, and pave the way for a brighter, European future for Serbia and the region.

PADDY ASHDOWN, FORMER EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA

Lord Ashdown on an "act of justice"

Karadzic was accused of being the architect of the worst war crimes that have been perpetrated in Europe since the Nazis.

It will mean a major breakthrough for the Balkans region. It is a major credit to Serbia and at last brings the prospect of justice for Bosnia.

ALEKSANDAR VUCIC, SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY
Karadzic is a Serbian hero. There will be a strong backlash.

JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT

On behalf of the European Commission, I welcome the news of the arrest of Radovan Karadzic. This is a very positive development that will contribute to bringing justice and lasting reconciliation in the Western Balkans. It proves the determination of the new Serbian government to achieve full co-operation with the ICTY. It is also very important for Serbia's European aspirations.

OLLI REHN, EU ENLARGEMENT COMMISSIONER

This is certainly a milestone in Serbia's co-operation with the international criminal tribunal on the former Yugoslavia. It proves the determination of the new government to achieve full co-operation with the tribunal.

JAVIER SOLANA, EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF

This is excellent news. The place where Radovan Karadzic belongs is in front of the tribunal in The Hague, having a fair trial and responding to the crimes of which he is accused. It shows the commitment of the new Serbian government to co-operate with international organisations.

ANDREI NESTERENKO, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL

We hope that the investigation and trial regarding the case of Karadzic will be impartial... The ICTY has shown a biased approach more than once.

MARTIN BELL, FORMER BBC CORRESPONDENT IN BOSNIA
As soon as Karadzic was on the run, he found people to protect him. He was living much of the time, we believe, in a very sparsely populated part of south-east Bosnia. I've been up there, of course, on a vain hunt to try and find him... He had a lot of people to protect him.

SVETA VUJACIC, LAWYER FOR RADOVAN KARADZIC

He just said that these people showed him a police badge and then he was taken to some place and kept in the room. And that is absolutely against the law what they did.

SERGE BRAMMERTZ, HEAD PROSECUTOR FOR THE ICTY

This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest for over a decade.

It is also an important day for international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to justice.

DENIS MACSHANE, FORMER UK MINISTER FOR EUROPE

Serbia must transfer the arrested war criminal Karadzic to the International Tribunal in The Hague and move to detain his partner in the Srebrenica massacre and other war crimes Ratko Mladic.

The arrest of Karadzic in Serbia, not in the neighbouring state of Bosnia-Herzegovina where we were always told he was hiding, is to be welcomed but Ratko Mladic was also protected by Serbs and needs to be brought to justice.


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