President Bush on Thursday issued the following statement concerning the handover of Slobodan Milosevic to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands:
"I applaud today's transfer of indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic to the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. This very important step by the leaders in Belgrade ensures that Milosevic can finally be tried for his war crimes and crimes against humanity.
"During various visits by Yugoslav authorities to Washington, they pledged that Yugoslavia was committed to cooperating with the Tribunal. Milosevic's transfer is a strong sign of that commitment. We are confident that the government of Yugoslavia will continue down the path of cooperation with the Tribunal.
"The transfer of Milosevic to the Hague is an unequivocal message to those persons who brought such tragedy and brutality to the Balkans that they will be held accountable for their crimes. Milosevic's transfer further signals the commitment of the new leadership in Belgrade to turn Yugoslavia away from its tragic past and toward a brighter future as a full member of the community of European democracies.
"The United States stands ready to assist the people of Yugoslavia as they continue to take the difficult steps to advance its democratic and economic reform."