Sarajevo’s Mayor and City Council Chairman awarded retired Republican US senator Bob Dole the Key to Sarajevo on Monday.
“The United States will help Bosnia and Herzegovina, as you deserve it,” Dole said as he expressed gratitude for the award.
Sarajevo’s Mayor Abdulah Skaka said that Dole is one of the most important people who helped build up strong foundations for the friendship between Bosnia and the US.
“The Key to the City is a crown and a way for Sarajevo to repay the Senator. Sarajevo has friends in the east and the west, but Senator Dole was special for Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war and throughout the post-war period,” he said.
Dole clearly and publically called what happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 a genocide and he helped the country as head of the International Commission on Missing Persons following the war, Skaka said.
“Sarajevo handed him its key today, as Sarajevo is a key for life in togetherness between people of different religions and traditions. That is a model which we maintain and build for centuries. Today we symbolically handed it to Dole,” he said.
Dole received the award on his 96th birthday. He said the US remains committed to the progress and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Robert Joseph ‘Bob’ Down is a retired US Senator from the state of Kansas who served from 1969 to 1996, and was for some time the leader of the majority parliamentary group in the US Senate. Dole was also a candidate for US President in 1996.