Europe

Ratko Mladic arrested: International reaction

International reaction after former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic was arrested 15 years after his indictment for war crimes:

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

"I applaud President Tadic and the government of Serbia on their determined efforts to ensure that Mladic was found and that he faces justice. We look forward to his expeditious transfer to The Hague.

"Today is an important day for the families of Mladic's many victims, for Serbia, for Bosnia, for the United States, and for international justice. While we will never be able to bring back those who were murdered, Mladic will now have to answer to his victims, and the world, in a court of law.

"May the families of Mladic's victims find some solace in today's arrest, and may this deepen the ties among the people of the region."

UK PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

"This is excellent news because we have to remember this man stands accused of some absolutely horrific war crimes.

"And I think today of all days we should remember the thousands who died in Srebrenica and in the siege of Sarajevo - some of the most terrible things that have happened in recent decades on our continent.

"People should recognise that it's right that international law has a very long reach and a very long memory. It will send a signal to war criminals everywhere: In the end we'll get you."

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL

"The arrest of Ratko Mladic is good news, not only for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also for Serbia, the western Balkans, and so for the whole of Europe.

"This is at once the best basis for the region achieving reconciliation and a future in Europe."

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY

"It is very good news and it is a very courageous decision by the Serbian president. It is one more step towards Serbia's integration one day into the European Union."

SERGE BRAMMERTZ, UN WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

"I welcome the arrest of Ratko Mladic today in Serbia. We await arrangements for his transfer to The Hague where he will stand trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

"We recognise the work done by the Serbian authorities, specifically the National Security Council and Serbia's Action Team, in apprehending Ratko Mladic."

UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

"This an historic day for international justice. It marks an important step in our will to end impunity. I thank the Serbian government and president for their efforts."

NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN

"Almost 16 years after his indictment for genocide and other war crimes, his arrest finally offers a chance for justice to be done.

"General Mladic played a key role in some of the darkest episodes of Balkan and European history.

"Nato has been a guarantor of security in the Balkans for the best part of two decades and today we have seen an important step towards a Europe that is whole, free and at peace."

EUROPEAN COMMISSION CHIEF JOSE MANUEL BARROSO

"I strongly welcome the arrest of Ratko Mladic by Serbia's authorities. This is an important step forward for Serbia and for international justice. I congratulate President Tadic and Serbia's government for this courageous action.

"I expect Ratko Mladic to be transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia without delay. Full co-operation with the ICTY remains essential on Serbia's path towards EU membership."

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