On 13 October 1998, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, considered to be the pre-eminent US negotiator of agreements to halt ethnic conflict and bloodshed in the Balkans, emerged from a marathon session with the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), Slobodan Milosevic. The two were old sparring partners from the 1995 peace talks on Bosnia that resulted in the Dayton Accords. Holbrooke's announcement to the waiting media was a welcome one; he stated that he had convinced President Milosevic to accept the presence of an international civilian peacekeeping force in the troubled province of Kosovo. Holbrooke had apparently overcome the Serb leader's long-held opposition to such a foreign presence; Milosevic's steadfast assertion throughout the 1990s that whatever happened in Kosovo was a strictly internal affair that neither required, nor permitted external intervention.