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Bildt bites back over 'lies' in Bosnia row

Bildt bites back over 'lies' in Bosnia row

Published: 08 Apr 2012 08:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Apr 2012 08:08 GMT+02:00

Sweden's foreign minister Carl Bildt fumed on Saturday over what he described as the 'lies' spread by a French journalist who criticized his involvement in a war memorial ceremony in Sarajevo.

Bildt advised journalist Florence Hartmann to read his books after she slammed him on Friday for failing to condemn late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic and for attending 20th anniversary events marking the start of the siege of the Bosnian city.

"I'm just asking, why did he come, why is he coming today... He should have come when he could have done something" to avoid the war, said Hartmann.

"When he could do something, he was saying that Milosevic was a nice guy... he does not deserve to be here today," she said.

But Bildt rejected her criticism, accusing her of inaccuracies.

"She should read my books instead of telling lies," the minister wrote on his blog, adding that the French journalist had exhibited a "customary carelessness with the facts".

He noted that she was "in conflict to such an extent" with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that a warrant for her arrest had been issued.

Hartmann was wartime Balkans correspondent of French daily Le Monde and later spokeswoman for the former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte.

She was found guilty by the court, her former employer, of contempt for disclosing confidential details of Milosevic's trial, but has refused to pay a €7,000 ($9,000) fine.

She was also sentenced to seven days in prison and an arrest warrant was issued but France has said it will not arrest her.

As Sweden's prime minister between 1991 and 1994, Bildt played an important role during the 1992-1995 inter-ethnic Bosnian war.

From 1995 to 1997 he was also the first high representative of the international community after the signing of the Dayton peace accord that ended the conflict.

Milosevic was considered by many a key culprit of the war due to his

political and military support of the Bosnian Serbs.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:42 April 8, 2012 by sfk
Thelocal can write better than this. I am not sure if all these are crimes. However, her criminal history will not clean Carl Bildt's past.
11:04 April 8, 2012 by OUIJA
When was the last time you read or heard that Carl Bildt recognizes he did something wrong? NEVER! He has been, is and will always be right, no matter his wrongdoings. Carl Bildt is the biggest example of an arrogant Swede. Nothing more, nothing less. I agree completely with @sfk that TL could write better than this and that her criminal history will not clean Bildt's past; a past full of lies and false statements.
11:11 April 8, 2012 by kiaat
@OUIJA you are absolutely right. Bildt is shameless in his self promotion and will use any and every opportunity to do that. Bildt's id is running wild and will he please slow down on the twattering... great that a political person is taking this platform and making things transparent, but he just loves showing us his pictures of meeting old"friends" all over the place and using it as his one may show of PR. I do not understand how the Swedish foreign office allows that PR overload. They must hate him for hijacking their job and spreading his point of view in short sound bytes all the time.And I loved how he turned away from the reported looking down at the ground. SHAME. STand up like a man and speak to the woman that is talking to you. At least look her in the eye. Coward.
11:34 April 8, 2012 by tgolan
Bilt is a discrace.
13:04 April 8, 2012 by RobinHood
Perhaps Ms Hartmann might prove her worth by solving a similar crisis for us. I suggest the Israel / Palestine question. A woman of her ability and foresight, should have that one sorted out to everyones' satisfaction inside a week.
13:58 April 8, 2012 by dogbasket
Bildt is probably one of the most brilliant and certainly most energetic foreign ministers that Sweden and Europe have ever seen and indeed will see for a long time to come. For those who don't like him, I thoroughly recommend following his blog at http://carlbildt.wordpress.com/. You still might not like him after reading his daily posts, but hopefully you'll start to gain some respect for him. As for Hartmann, she's just one more loony lefty so-called journalist. It's amazing to see the garbage that lefties can get away with. Centre-right politicians would be crucified for making similar statements. And as Bildt said himself in reply to her "outrage", read his books. Start with "Uppdrag Fred" published in 1997.
14:19 April 8, 2012 by OUIJA
It seems that someone above is in Bildt's payroll. What do you expect to read in his blog? If no one makes good advertising about him, he must do it by himself. Carl Bildt is not what he claims to be. Carl Bildt is nothing more and nothing else but one who suffers from megalomania. His ego is bigger than tiny Sweden and he follows Sweden's rule, which is, to be NUMBER ONE in everything.

His "Uppdrag Fred" should have been entitled "Uppdrag Bildt". In my opinion, he is a ... and a .... and a .... Period.
14:53 April 8, 2012 by dogbasket
@ouija

I am totally independent with no political ties and no payroll. Neither do I have any personal political agenda apart from praying that Alliansen continues to govern in Sweden after the 2014 elections instead of the ratbag collection of nutty communists, green muppets and socialists dreaming of a return to state regulation of just about everything. Cheers.
17:21 April 8, 2012 by tgolan
Carl Bildt is of an arrogant Swede. and need to cut down to size
18:01 April 8, 2012 by dogbasket
@tgolan

And to what size do you want to cut him down? Please tell us, and why.
19:34 April 8, 2012 by dusanka
Mr.Bildt is a fanatastic guy and I hate to see that anyone is attacking him.That woman is in a big problem with the truth , and she better do something about all those charges.And anyways who cares what she thinks!
21:20 April 8, 2012 by Max Reaver
The right wing government has reigned in this country for too long already. During this period of time, we have had a variety of numbers of scandals exposed. Everything from Lundin Oil to the Carema affair. The doings of the right wing government has systematically destroyed the country's culture and tradition. 10 years ago ppl in this country were mostly honest. Today, I can hardly see any difference between a Swede and an American. Take salesperson for example. An auto-dealer in Sweden is not more honest than one in US. This is the choice of our so called government, they have destroyed the country's trustworthiness and credibility outward, as well as among her own citizens. In a democratic country, there is a reason for oppositions to exist. I hope they fall from their power in the next election.
22:25 April 8, 2012 by indeedmagnifier
Not only he was saying that Milosevic was a nice guy, Carl Bildt also was saying that Muammar Gaddafi was a nice guy. He likes dictators. He can not help himself.
19:39 April 9, 2012 by Greysuede
Let Florence Hartmann embrace notorious Sarkozy instead!
20:48 April 9, 2012 by Sabina 2010
TO ALL:

Intelligent discussion relating to this article would, for example, be:

1) If Carl Bildt was actually in position to do something to stop or ease suffering of all people in Bosnia (Croat, Serb and Bosniak)?

2) How come that Sweden was/is the biggest single donor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, donating more money that USA or Saudi Arabia?

3) Was Carl Bildt successful High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina?

4) What about his testimony during the court trial of (one of) Bosnian Serb wartime leaders, Biljana Plavsic (btw she served her sentence in Sweden, etc, etc).

Instead, I read about Milosevic's warning (quite sure there was no such thing, there was a warning from Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic who said that in case of referendum, which was recommended by the European Community, Bosniaks may disappear). Then, someone thought that this construction might been true, and decided to compare Milosevic with Hitler... and so on.

So, THE SMOKE GRANADE has worked well for those who wanted to derail meaningful discussion about. In my view, this was not discussion that could have harm Carl Buildt or Sweden! Sweden proved, very measurably, its dedication to Bosnia when the help was needed. This discussion would be painful ONLY to those who can't sober up and say that it was wrong to take Sarajevo in a siege that lasted for almost four years. It would hurt those who don't want to admit that it was wrong to shoot at people who look for a food, and kill over 11,000 of citizens from all ethnic groups. It was wrong to systematically destroy the city and cause suffering to hundreds of thousands in Sarajevo and millions in Bosnia.

If someone is glorifying Milosevic and constructs tails which would justify rapes, killings, concentration camps, siege etc… that person does not deserve attention and should not be replied to in civilized discussions. But, maybe I'm wrong.
02:08 April 10, 2012 by Authentica
@ dusanka: something tells me you're a Serb.

@ Sabina 2010: don't you think you're mixing "babe i zabe"? I mean, humanitarian donations is one thing and successfull politics another..
15:19 April 10, 2012 by Sabina 2010
@ Authentica

What's your point?

If you need some help, let me give you a hint - governments' decisions about where to direct aid/donations is very political!

Don't disappoint me with childish comments, again. 'Babe and zabe' almost funny!
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