Skip to comments.Last U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia Dies
Posted on 02/04/2004 1:01:40 PM PST by joan
WASHINGTON (AP) - Warren Zimmerman, the last U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 69.
Zimmerman, a career Foreign Service officer, was named ambassador to Yugoslavia in 1989 by the first President Bush. At the time, the former communist country was breaking up into warring factions, and Zimmerman led the administration's efforts to keep the state together. Bush recalled Zimmerman in 1992 to protest the outbreak of civil war.
The war lasted until 1995 and pitted the country's Muslims, Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats against each other. The war killed 260,000 and forced 1.8 million to flee their homes.
Zimmerman resigned from the Foreign Service in 1994 over what he felt was President Clinton's refusal to intervene forcefully in the Bosnia war. Clinton eventually persuaded NATO to bomb Bosnian Serb artillery positions and later brought together the leaders of the warring parties in Dayton, Ohio, to negotiate the peace deal that ended the bloodshed. The NATO bombing campaign ended the Serbs' attacks on ethnic Albanians, a victory achieved without the loss of one American life in combat.
Zimmerman served in several other overseas posts, including two stints in Moscow, from 1973-75 and 1981-84, and was ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1986 to 1989. He received the Sharansky award from the Union of Councils of Soviet Jews for his support of Jewish emigration from the former Soviet Union, as well as several State Department citations.
After leaving the Foreign Service, Zimmerman taught at the Johns Hopkins School of International Affairs and Columbia University.
His books include "Origins of a Catastrophe," about his experiences in Yugoslavia, and "First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power," about U.S. involvement in the Spanish-American War.
Survivors include his wife, Corinne, of Great Falls, Va., two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.
DE MORTUIS NIHIL, NISI BENE!