BRUSSELS, May 26 (Reuters) - NATO on Thursday welcomed the arrest of Serbian war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic, saying it offered a chance for justice to be done.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Mladic "played a key role in some of the darkest episodes of Balkan and European history, including the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre of thousands of Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995".
"Almost sixteen years after his indictment for genocide and other war crimes, his arrest finally offers a chance for justice to be done," he said in a statement.
NATO carried out bombing campaigns in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s to try to halt attacks on civilians by ethnic Serb forces.
"NATO has been a guarantor of security in the Balkans for the best part of two decades and today we have seen an important step towards a Europe that is whole, free and at peace," Rasmussen said in the statement. (Reporting by David Brunnstrom, editing by Rex Merrifield)