In Brussels on 22 July 2008, Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier made the following statement on the arrest in Belgrade of the alleged Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic:
“The Federal Government is pleased and relieved that, after many years, Radovan Karadzic has now at last been arrested. This arrest is a milestone in relations between Serbia and the European Union.
By taking Karadzic into custody, the new Serbian government under President Tadic has sent a clear signal that it seriously desires stability, a balance of interests, and reconciliation. With this arrest, the Serbian government is paying tribute to all those who have suffered because of Karadzic and who were victims of the crimes he has been indicted of.
Moreover, with this arrest, the Serbian government has demonstrated that it is serious about drawing closer to Europe. Through the presidential and parliamentary elections, the citizens of Serbia have demonstrated they want their country to have a European future. By arresting Karadzic, the Serbian government has once again underlined this desire.
We hope that Karadzic will now be handed over as soon as possible to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague, and that Serbia will continue to search for those war criminals who have not yet been apprehended.”
Radovan Karadzic has been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Among other things, Karadzic is believed to have been responsible, along with Ratko Mladic, then commander of the Bosnian Serb armed forces, for the Srebrenica massacre, during which an estimated 8000 Muslims were killed. General Ratko Mladic is still at large.