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Cook of the Balkans

Robin Cook's finest hours on the political stage came in the former Yugoslavia

By Michael Williams   September 2005

Not long after I started working for Robin Cook as his special adviser in the foreign office, I accompanied him to Croatia. After a day in Zagreb, then emerging from the repressive Tudjman era, Robin pronounced himself at home in Croatia. I assumed he was referring to the new centre-left government, but he replied that, important as that was, he was actually talking about the fact that all the major politicians—including the president, Stipe Mesic, and the prime minister, Ivica Racan—sported beards.

No European foreign minister made as much of an impact on the Balkans as Robin Cook did between…

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