|President Jacques Chirac has been awarded honorary citizenship of the City of Sarajevo by the City Council. Mayor Mr. Alija Behmen presented him with the city’s medal in Paris on February 1, 2011.|
In June 1995, President Jacques Chirac put in place a European Rapid Reaction Force, made up most of French soldiers, that led to the release of the city that had been under siege by the Bosnian Serbs led by Radovan Karadzic, and that allowed humanitarian aid to reach the general population.
This action, working alongside the UN mission (UNPROFOR) and NATO, open the pathway to peace negotiations, a cease-fire in October 1995 and then to the Dayton Accords signed in December of the same year.
The resolution adopted by the City Council states that “since the war, Mr. Chirac has constantly and without ambiguity, supported Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other countries of the Western Balkans to create closer ties with the European Union.”
Jacques Chirac said that he was honored by and proud of this decision, and asked Mr. Behmen to pass on his appreciation for this medal to the City Council and the citizens de Sarajevo. The Mayor of Sarajevo applauded the call for “reconciliation and tolerance” made by President Jacques Chirac in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As head of his Fondation, Jacques Chirac continues his commitment for peace, particularly through the Prize for Conflict Prevention, given annually since 2009 to people or institutions that work to resolve tensions so that open conflict does not erupt.
The European Rapid Reaction Force, initiated by Jacques Chirac