Today, April 6, marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the siege of Sarajevo, the longest siege of the 20th century. For four long years, Serb forces bombarded the city and sniped at the residents of the famously multiethnic city, targeting and killing 11,541 men, women and children of all ethnicities. Today we pause to remember them. We also pay tribute to the resilience shown by the residents of Sarajevo throughout the siege, and reflect upon the terrible price they paid as the international community struggled to develop an effective response.
On April 7, 1992, the United States recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sovereign and independent country, beginning a friendship and partnership that continues today. Bosnians can be proud of all that their country has achieved in the past two decades. Bosnia and Herzegovina is working towards activation of its Membership Action Plan with NATO and has signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union. The United States will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path toward full integration into Euro-Atlantic and European institutions.