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Brussels, 26 May 2011

Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the arrest of the former Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić

Today, I received confirmation from the Serbian authorities regarding the arrest of General Ratko Mladić.

1. Justice is being served and a great obstacle on the Serbian road to the EU has been removed.

2. I talked to President Tadić, congratulated him and Serbia's citizens, because this is a big day for Serbia, but also for the Western Balkans and for all of us.

3. Let me pay a special tribute to President Tadić for his leadership and personal role in not only bringing General Mladić to the Hague tribunal, but also in playing an important role for reconciliation and regional stability in the Western Balkans.

4. Serbian leadership has repeatedly promised to bring General Mladić to justice. They have delivered and thus proved their credibility and the credibility of Serbia.

5. Today, Serbia has fulfilled an important international obligation. Tomorrow, in this new momentum created, work must intensify on reforms which are key to enable the Commission to present a positive Opinion later this year.

Let me close by remembering the victims. My thoughts are with their relatives and their close ones.

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