November 1,1995. The Dayton peace conference began today. Balkan leaders gathered in Dayton Ohio for a series of Peace Talks, hosted by Secretary of State Warren Christopher in an attempt to finally bring peace to the war-torn region known as the former Yugoslavia. For the Balkans, the negotiations were a matter of peace or war. For the Clinton Administration, which had rarely received high marks for its Foreign policy, the political stakes were very high. For everyone concerned the outcome was by no means assured, as Chief U.S. Negotiator Richard Holbrooke made clear upon his arrival, he said there was a very tough job ahead; they were not gathered to promise success, but only their best efforts. The three Balkan leaders were to receive detailed proposals from their American hosts later on in the day. The Proposals dealt with the constitution for Bosnia, with elections, with the return of refugees, with maps that divided the land they were fighting over, and with details of a plan to separate the armies which had been engaged in war for the past four years.
State Department officials said the talks were anticipated to last for weeks, not days. And they were counting on a pledge from each of the three Presidents that they would stick with the talks until an agreement was reached. All of the taking place behind the closed gates of a military base, away from the media and the political distractions of Washington.
Meanwhile, in Washington – President Clinton was scheduled for a series of talks with Congressional leaders over Bosnia Policy. Mr. Clinton faced stiff opposition to his plan to send American ground forces to Bosnia to enforce a peace agreement, if one was reached. Republican leader Alphonse D’amato saw Bosnia as a quagmire the U.S. should avoid. The President was seeking an expression of support from Congress before sending in troops, but Spokesman Mike McCurry made clear that Mr. Clinton was not asking for permission, contending the Constitution gives him all the authority he needs to send troops to Bosnia.
And there was a lot of other news happening on this November 1, 1995 – but the big news was Bosnia as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.