Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT) are leaving the U.S. Senate come January 2013 and with their departure, BiH will lose two loyal friends in the U.S. Senate.
Senator Lugar has served in the Senate for over 30 years as chairman and as a ranking member of the Committee on Foreign Relations. Senator Lieberman served in the Senate for over two decades and like Senator Lugar, was a loyal supporter of BiH. The Senate seat from Connecticut will go to current member of the Congressional Caucus on Bosnia, Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT).
During the war in BiH, Senator Lugar was an avid advocate of increasing the pressure on the Serbs and urged then President Clinton to change his policy towards BiH. In addition, he recently introduced the “NATO Enhancement Act” – a bill that re-affirms the “open door” policy for all qualified nations to join NATO and designates BiH as eligible to receive U.S. assistance geared towards NATO accession.
Senator Lieberman co-sponsored the Bosnia and Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of 1995 – a bill to terminate the U.S. arms embargo on BiH. He has since criticized the genocidal policies of Republika Srpska and stated that “Dayton ended a war, but it did not achieve yet a genuine solution to these problems. I wonder whether the European Union and the United States ought now together to appoint special envoys to go back to Sarajevo to stay there and to try to bring the parties together, because the consequences of not doing so are very bad.”
ACBH is grateful for their support over the years. Both Senators are known for their bipartisanship and with their departure, they pleaded for continued American leadership in the world.