December 13, 2010 – Washington, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) mourns the unfortunate passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, a distinguished American diplomat and friend to Macedonia and the Southeast European region.
“I first met Ambassador Holbrooke at a 2005 United States Institute of Peace event commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords. He was an inspirational diplomat who gave hope to Bosnians and the rest of the Balkans during a time when the entire region was plagued with turmoil,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “Ambassador Holbrooke had one of the toughest jobs imaginable.”
Ambassador Holbrooke has had a diverse career as a professional diplomat, a magazine editor, an author, a Peace Corps director, and an investment banker. Most recently, he served as the Obama Administration’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. During his time under the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian affairs, Ambassador Holbrooke visited Macedonia on several occasions and helped to mediate relations between Macedonia and the Hellenic Republic.
In March 2002, Ambassador Holbrooke delivered a lecture at Johns Hopkins University regarding the situation in the Balkans. Below is an excerpt from that lecture:
Question: How should Macedonians call themselves?
Question: Their country?
Question: Their language?
Question: How to solve the problem with the Greeks?
Answer: “the Greeks must learn to adjust”
“Ambassador Holbrooke was a friend to Macedonia and one of the few leading Americans to press for the recognition of Macedonia,” said Koloski.
UMD extends heartfelt condolences to his family.
Ambassador Holbrooke’s memories about his work in Macedonia and the region can be read in his book “To End a War.” Click here: http://astore.amazon.com/mkdiaspora-20/detail/0375753605