Kantor Follows Brown in Bosnia
Smucker, Phillip, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina - On a visit charged with emotion, Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor returned to the Balkans over the weekend with a group of American businessmen on a mission to inject new life into a devastated economy.
Mr. Kantor characterized the trip as a "mission begun by Secretary Brown and those who were lost with him."
Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown was killed, along with 34 others, when his airplane crashed April 3 on approach to Dubrovnik airport.
Mr. Kantor was to have arrived in Sarajevo early Friday, but his Boeing 707 was rerouted to the Croatian capital of Zagreb because of fog. He landed in Sarajevo five hours later. On Saturday, he returned to Croatia to help put together several business deals involving U.S. companies.
Accompanying Mr. Kantor on his mission were representatives from 13 of the original 16 companies on the ill-fated Brown trip.
But, as Mr. Kantor underscored during a roundtable discussion with journalists in Sarajevo Friday, the battle here for peace and prosperity in Bosnia is still far from over.
At a journey through the ravaged landscape on the edge of Sarajevo, Mr. Kantor walked a path carved through land mines to look at work being done by NATO civil engineers.
Bulldozers had removed a broken railroad bridge connecting this city to the Croatian port of Ploce, clearing the way for a new bridge to be funded in part with U.S. assistance.
"If you don't create an infrastructure, then there will be no building of permanent peace in the region," said Mr. Kantor.
"The devastation is almost beyond anyone's ability to imagine, but the commitment to revive the economy is impressive and, at times, miraculous," said Mr. …