November 3, 2010
William Montgomery, a former US ambassador to the Western Balkans has said the best solution to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s problems would be for the country to break up into two separate entities. The US authorities distanced themselves from the “politically incorrect” statement, while Bosnian Muslim leaders accused the former diplomat of lobbying for business interests.
I knew William Montgomery from his term as ambassador in Sofia in 1993-1996 and I have followed from a distance his remarkable career as ambassador in Croatia (1998-2000) and then in what was still called Yugoslavia, but consisted in fact of Serbia and Montenegro (2001-2004). Then, I learned that he had left the State Department and decided to stay in the Balkans. On several occasion, I have read with interest his opinion articles on developments in the region. As Laurence of Arabia was familiar with the Sahara desert, Montgomery knows the Balkans well.
As I have left diplomacy myself, deciding to write stories for the wider public instead of my hierarchy, I developed a sympathy for William Montgomery. He by the way was posted in the beginning of his diplomatic career in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, just as me.
When Montgomery spoke about the breakup of a country, I sincerely doubt that he was “lobbying” for anyone or anything. He may be a former diplomat, but he wouldn’t make irresponsible statements. For my part, I take good note of what he said.Georgi Gotev