Sunday, September 30, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Dr Haris Silajdžić received a Delegation of the Council of Europe Monitoring Commission, consisted of Kimmo Sasi, Mevlűt Cavusoglu, Caroline Ravaud i Artemy Karpenko.

The Delegation members were interested in reform process in Bosnia, especially turning to the human rights respect. Mr. Sasi emphasized that the Council of Europe carefully monitors the situation in Bosnia.

He was especially interested in possible steps forward regarding police reform, as well as the content of the OHR Draft Protocol.

Dr Silajdžić stressed out the importance of the Council of Europe’s role in Bosnia ,and emphasized that Bosnia would continue to fulfill all commitments as a member of the Council of Europe.

He especially pointed out that support to human rights respect in Bosnia and Herzegovina was everybody’s duty, domestic and international actors.

“Police reform in Bosnia is a key for signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union and during its implementation, above all, the principle of human rights respect must be observed”, said Dr Silajdžić.

At the end, Dr Silajdžić thanked the Delegation members for their visit and wished them a pleasant stay in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – “I welcome the decision by the Presidency of the Party for Democratic Action (SDA) to agree to the Draft Protocol on fulfilling the police reform requirements necessary for initialing and signing the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union,a basis for police reform in Bosnia," the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajcak said.

"The Protocol constitutes a proposal that is in line with the three EU principles. Its adoption paves Bosnia's way towards the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union," Lajcak said.

"This shows that SDA is committed to shaping a European future for Bosnia and ready to find solutions in the interest of all citizens of this country," Lajcak added.

Only three days remain for parliamentary parties, which still have not yet done so, to advance towards the EU road”, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajčák said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) – The FBIH Entity Government determined the Bill on Agriculture and sent it to the emergency parliamentary procedure.

The Bill determines agricultural sector; all the functional and institutional needs of the sector, as well as the goals and measures of agricultural policy that have not been determined in one document.

A large number of rules and decrees regulate the agricultural sector in the FBIH entity. There is no systematic legislation to determine all the needs of the sector. That is why this Bill is important.

Damir Ljubic, the FBIH Entity Minister of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry stated that the Bill enables a better positioning of agricultural sector and an increase of production and competition. He announced that bigger sums will be provided for the sector.

Apart from the agricultural policy measures (market, structure, land issues, monetary support); this has been the first time that the issue of agricultural economy is defined.

Ljubic added that another important novelty is formation of two councils – council for research and expert advisory bodies. They will be a part of the FBIH Entity Ministry of agriculture. Aim of the law is to enable implementation of the monitoring system in agricultural sector.

That will be ensured by the formation of agricultural information center, agricultural accountancy, and implementation of a registry office necessary for implementation of the agricultural policy.

The FBIH Entity Government also adopted the Brucellosis Elimination Program in Sheep and Goats in the FBIH.

Ljubic said that the three-year program means that the disease will be systematically eliminated and that all the department institutions will take responsibility in that sense. Entity coordination is also necessary.


OHRID, Macedonia (September 30,2007) – The first session of the CEFTA member countries’ Joint Board was held at the ministerial level in Ohrid,Macedonia.The Bosnian delegation was lead by the Bosnian Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Vilim Primorac.

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the European Delegation in Macedonia Erwan Fuere, SE Europe Stability Pact’s Special Coordinator Erhard Busek and the RCC Secretary General Hido Biscevic.

Some important decisions have been made. The Joint Board’s Rules of Procedure has been adopted; the CEFTA Secretariat mandate has been determined, as well as the way of financing the CEFTA Secretariat.

The Board also passed a decision on formation of three sub boards – for agriculture, for customs and for non-customs barriers, including the technical trade barriers.

The Board members adopted the joint Declaration which welcomes the CEFTA agreement ratification by Bosnia.It was emphasized that such form of regional cooperation is an integral component of the relationship of the EU towards the region and that the future of the Southeastern European countries lies in the EU membership.

The declaration welcomed the initiative of chambers of commerce from the region to organize a Forum of CEFTA 2006 chambers of commerce.

The ministers have obliged to urge their governments to fully cooperate with the RCC, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic relations announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - Thirty eight people, suspected of involvement in smuggling Albanians to western Europe, were arrested by Bosnian,Montenegrin and Croatian police.

Montenegrin Police Administration said that, as part of a coordinated international police action, code-named "Plitvice", eight persons had been arrested in Montenegro, while another suspect was on the run.

Croatia arrested 28 smugglers and Bosnia a further two.There are five suspects still at large, three from Croatia, one from Montenegro and one from Albania.

"This organized smuggling of people from Albania, via Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia to EU countries went on for a long period of time", the police statement said.

Montenegrin police have forwarded the case to the special prosecutor for organized crime.All those arrested are suspected of involvement in a criminal organization, illegal crossing of state borders and the organized smuggling of people.

Two of those detained are also suspected of illegal possession of arms and explosives, as well as forging money.

"During the action Montenegrin police found a quantity of munitions, explosive devices and forged banknotes. Croatian police, in addition, confiscated 6,000 pills of the ecstasy drug", Montenegrin police said.


ILIJAŠ, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - Ilijas Municipality was awarded a certificate for the successful completion of public administration reform, conducted in co-operation with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia.

This makes Ilijas the second municipality in Bosnia to conduct this reform, thus achieving EU standards in local self-governance. Robert Kogler, OSCE Information Officer, handed over the certificate to Ilijas Mayor, Nusret Masic.


LJUBUSKI, Bosnia (September 30,2007) - The Ministry of Interior of the Western Herzegovina Canton, in cooperation with the West Herzegovina Automobile and Motorcycle Club (ZHAMK), organised a series of screenings of educational movies for the first graders of the cantonal elementary schools.

These screenings are part of the Schoolboy on the street campaign, which the Western Herzegovina Canton police have been implementing since the beginning of the new school year.

“Along with the movies, we'll also teach pupils how to safely get to school from home and hand out children-friendly brochures,” said Damir Cutura, Spokesperson for the Cantonal Ministry of Interior.


WASHINGTON, USA (September 30,2007) - Languishing on the US Supreme Court docket is a review of the case of Lakhdar Boumediene et al vs. George W. Bush et al.

The Court is being asked to review the refusal of lower courts to issue writs of habeas corpus for Boumediene and five other Guantanamo prisoners who were imprisoned by the Bosnian government and handed over to United States troops and subsequently shipped to Guantanamo.

In the briefs prepared by the attorneys for the petitioners, led by Seth Waxman, a partner in the firm of Washington-based WilmerHale, the United States government is accused of coercing the Bosnian government into arresting the six Algerian-born men under suspicion of plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The brief also accuses the United States of threatening to cut off diplomatic ties with Bosnia should Bosnian authorities fail to comply.

The six men were arrested in October 2001. After a three-month long investigation involving InterPol, the European Union, and U.S. Embassy officials, the Bosnian courts ordered all six cleared of all charges, and freed them on January 17, 2002. The filing claims they were then seized by Bosnian police and turned over to the U.S. military, and transported to Guantanamo where they have languished ever since.

Five of the six are naturalized Bosnian citizens, while the sixth had acquired permanent residency prior to his arrest. The Bosnian government has since asked for the release and return of all six to Bosnia.

Within the brief lies a transcript of a portion of the tribunal transcript in which one of the six, Ait Idir, attempted to defend himself before the US military tribunal. Musftafa Ait Idir stands accused of "associating with" an unnamed but "known al Qaeda operative."

That colloquy shows that it was virtually impossible for Idir to defend himself, since instead of the tribunal having to prove his guilt, Idir was required to prove his innocence.

According to the brief, the tribunal refused to even give Ait Idir the name of the alleged associate. Ait Idir responded "I asked the interrogators to tell me who this person was. Then I could tell you if I might have known this person, but not if this person is a terrorist. Maybe I knew this person as a friend. Maybe it was a person that worked with me. Maybe it was a person that was on my team. But I do not know if this person is Bosnian, Indian or whatever. If you tell me the name, then I can respond and defend myself against this accusation."

Allegedly, the members of the tribunal burst into laughter at Mr. Ait Idir's frustrated reply.

The other four petitioners are Belkacem Bensayah, Hadj Boudella, Saber Lahmar, and Mohamed Nechla.

A writ of habeas corpus is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, under Article I, Section 9, which states: "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."

The only time in which this right has previously been suspended in the United States was under Executive Order of the US President Abraham Lincoln, who suspended the right during the American Civil War.

See also:

Saturday, September 29, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – The Bosnian leaders and leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia reached an agreement yesterday to reform the two ethnically divided police forces in the country.

The European Union had warned that Bosnia would not be allowed to sign the Stability and Association Agreement, the first step to join the EU, until it agrees to unify Bosnia's ethnically separate police forces.

It was reported that a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic and political leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Milorad Dodik,signed the agreement proposed by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak.

"We hope this protocol would be good enough for Bosnia to sign the Stability and Association Agreement with the European Union," Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic said.

"This agreement does not answer all questions, but we want the police reform and of course we want to reform Bosnia," said Silajdzic, who first rejected Lajcak's reform proposal as unacceptable.

"If we decided otherwise, we would have decided against a European future," he added.

At the end of the 1992-1995 Serbian,Monternegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia, Bosnia was internally divided into two administrative entities : the FBIH and the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia "the RS", each with their own separate police forces.

The European Union has insisted the police be organized at the Bosnian state level, financed from a single budget and free of political bias.

It made the reform a key condition for Bosnia to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), the first step on the long road to full membership of the EU.

The Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) confirmed it had received the Dodik-Silajdzic protocol, which would be studied by the relevant EU institutions. The office advised caution.

"We would urge everyone to refrain from interpreting the document as only the European Commission can give an opinion whether this document is in line with the three EU principles," OHR's spokesman stated.

Bosnians first rejected Lajcak's plan, saying it fell short of unifying the ethnically separate police forces. The Serbians living in Bosnia said they would not give up their own force.

Experts representing their respective political parties had earlier yesterday failed to agree on the technical criteria for the reform.

But,Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic said that political leaders realized at the end that they needed to pursue reforms in order to achieve their common goal - enabling Bosnia to join the EU.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – The Bosnian government did not adopt on in Sarajevo the Decision on Confirmation of the Director of the Regulatory Agency for Communications (RAK).

Kemal Hrustanovic was nominated for the position. The Agency has been ordered to announce a new competition for the Director within 15 days. Hrustanovic will continue performing the duty until the end of the competition procedure.

Dragan Vrankic, the Bosnian Minister of Finances, stated after the session that no other data were submitted with the proposal. Those additional materials were needed in order to see who the other candidates for the position were.

Certain ministers expressed displeasure with the Agency’s work. They find certain activities of the Agency, like issuing licenses, problematic.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – Over a half a million of Bosnian citizens are socially excluded in some way. Disabled persons are at the top of the list. This has been emphasized in Sarajevo at a session discussion the topic “Social Inclusion”.

The data has been collected through a survey, which should help define the issue of social inclusion in Bosnia. That is a very important document in the process of the European integrations.

The social inclusion strategy should be adopted by the following year. After the strategy is adopted, signing of the memorandum on social inclusion will follow.

The session was organized as a part of the project entitled “support to the Development of Policies in the field of Disability in Bosnia”.

Purpose of the session was to offer experience and knowledge in the field of social inclusion to the people who are employed at the organizations dealing with the disabled persons or are engaged at the government institutions at the positions which deal with the disabled persons.

Disabled persons, who also participate at the session, are completely excluded from the social life. They face many problems in education, healthcare protection and other issues.

They are of the opinion that the Bosnian state should solve soon the disabled persons’ issues.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) - Yesterday morning at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the European Union Forces in Bosnia conducted a search operation in the premises of Boro PEKEZ in Maglajani, between Banja Luka and Bosanska Gradiska with the aim of finding material or information which could assist the ICTY in the ongoing search for and capture of persons of Serbian origin indicted by The Hague Tribunal for genocide and putting pressure on networks believed to be involved in protecting these Serbian war criminals.

The operation was supported by NATO and was closely coordinated with the ICTY.This operation is legally based upon the mandate of the ICTY, EUFOR and NATO under the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia, EUFOR said.

It is believed that Boro PEKEZ is associated with the Serbian war criminal's Stojan Župljanin support network.The local police were informed of the operation and provided support.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – Bosnian Experience in Historical and Current European Context is the topic of the international conference which began yesterday in Sarajevo.The conference is organized by the Bosnian Pan European Union.

The conference participants, including the Bosnian officials are the International pan European Community Honorary President Archduke Otto von Habsburg and the current President Alain Terrenoire; as well as members of the Pan European Unions from several European countries. They are all discussing the issues important for the Bosnian citizens’ future. The European integrations process is in the focus.

President of the Bosnian Pan European Union Franjo Topic stated that Bosnia is not only a meeting place between the members of different ethnicities, but also a meeting place of civilizations.

Topic stated that one of the key issues for Bosnia is creating conditions for a full equality of its citizens. He added that true acceptance of the varieties is an essential part of that.

He urged all Bosnia's politicians to be more patient and wiser and to show a higher degree of responsibility regarding the future.

Our joint interest is Bosnia's membership to the EU. This was stated by a member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic.

He stated that there is a paradoxical possibility that Bosnia is the last country to enter the EU, because Bosnia is a paradigm of what the EU wants to become.

He warned against the fact that some retrograde ideas have resurfaced. He brought that fact to the connection with the context of the Bosnia’s recent past.

”All the past events are legalized today”, Silajdzic said and added that it is a bad message. He emphasized that the International Community is responsible for the current political situation in Bosnia.

The International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak greeted the participants. He emphasized that the EU has given a clear message to Bosnia and that the union now expects this country to accept its principles and standards.

He stated again that Bosnia has no other alternative but to join the EU. This country belongs there both geographically and economically,Lajcak emphasized.

”Bosnia's political leaders have a choice – the European way or isolation”, Lajcak said and expressed expectation that Bosnia's politicians will show more understanding and responsibility in the process of fulfilling the obligations necessary for signing of the Stabilisation and association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union..

Archbishop Vinko Puljic urged for tolerance of coexistence in Bosnia and implementation of equality principles.

He urged the International Community representatives to advocate the same attitudes and opinions here as they do in the EU.

The international conference continues and is expected to end late in the afternoon.

The Robert Schuman Foundation is a co-organizer. The Bosnian Direction for European Integrations, the Bosnian Parliament and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation also greatly contributed in organizing this conference.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – A prosecution witness, who has testified before the Bosnian State Court yesterday about the mass execution of the Bosnian civilians in elementary school in Bratunac by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in 1995, has asked for special protection measures and immunity. The request was made because of fear caused by the threats he has received.

"I have asked the prosecutor to give me immunity as I have already received threats and I do not want to refer the guilt to one of the four indictees," witness said after defence attorney Danilo Mrkaljevic read a part of the decision on immunity during the cross-examination.

Addressing the witness, Mrkaljevic has said: "The prosecutor has considered the severity of the actions and omissions you have committed, as well as the nature of your involvement, solidity of the evidence against you and your relative guilt".

In the course of the hearing held on 19 September, witness said, during cross-examination, that Serbian war criminals Zdravko Bozic, Mladen Blagojevic, Zeljko Zaric and Zoran Zivanovic had participated in "guarding" and murdering of Bosnian men detained in an elementary school in Bratunac in July 1995.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor charges Serbian war criminals Bozic, Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic, as former members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), with having "planned, ordered, abetted, executed, aided and supported the murder, forcible deportation and detention of people".

"I remember that Bozic carried a machine gun just like me, and that Blagojevic, Zaric and Zivanovic had guns, in addition to automatic guns," witness said.

Blagojevic's defence attorney Miroslav Ristic has presented the witness with three statements he gave to the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) in the course of the investigation in 2006.

In one of the statements the witness claimed that Serbian war criminal Zaric had opened a fire from 'browing' towards a Bosnian man from Srebrenica detained in the school in Bratunac. This is in contradiction to his statement given in the course of the hearing held on 19 September, when he said that Blagojevic, and not Zaric, had been shooting,Ristic said.

"During the first examinations I was under stress and I may have said something wrong, but I have recalled the events very well since then. Those were my first testimonies and, normally, I was a little bit nervous," witness explained.

In the course of the cross-examination, attorney Stanko Petrovic asked witness to define the terms "genocide" and "secondary and primary grave".

"Secondary grave is when you transfer bodies from one grave to another in order to conceal the genocide against Bosniaks. Genocide is extermination of one nation and it is a mass crime," witness has said.

"I do not think your definition is correct, but I do not want to interfere," attorney Petrovic has said.

The four Serbian war criminals have failed to appear at the hearing yesterday. On 10 September they began a hunger strike and refuse to attend hearings.

On the basis of the daily report submitted by the Medical Service in Kula, Trial Chamber Chairman Stanisa Gluhajic has concluded that the four Serbian war criminals are "conscious and oriented. They do not have high temperature, but all of them claim they have some problems such as weakness, stomach pain...".

The trial of the four Serbian war criminals before the Bosnian State Court is due to continue on 1 October 2007, when another protected witness will be examined.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 29,2007) – The European Union Police Mission to Bosnia continues to strongly support the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak in his efforts to reach an agreement on Bosnian police reform.

“I am convinced that the political representatives of this country can and must reach an agreement on police reform by the given deadline. The Protocol put forward by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia entails all elements required for a meaningful police reform in line with the well known European Principles,” said Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola, Head of the EU Police Mission to Bosnia.

“I urge political representatives of this country to respect the deadline and thus provide Bosnia with an effective police structure able to respond to the security needs of the country.“ concluded Coppola


BUDAPEST, Hungary (September 29,2007) - The European Union should continue to keep its doors open to applicants that meet all accession criteria, the Hungarian Speaker of Parliament Katalin Szili told a conference of house speakers from the West Balkan region in Budapest yesterday.

Szili said over the past few years, the EU member states seemed to be rather skeptical about further enlargement. She hoped that this enlargement fatigue would not influence the admission of West Balkan nations.

The house speaker confirmed Hungary's support for the EU and NATO accession of the countries concerned.

The settlement of Kosovo's future is the most complex challenge the European Union faces today, and the Western Balkans is the " birthplace and catalyst" of the EU common foreign and security policy, Szili said.

The conference focused on EU and NATO integration. The event was attended by the speakers of Albania,Bosnia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia as well as by the Ambassadors to Hungary of Austria, Croatia and Macedonia.


NEW YORK, USA (September 29,2007) - The Bosnian President Željko Komšić, presented an optimistic but honest outlook on the future of Bosnia in a World Leaders Forum event in New York.

Covering topics as varied as the country’s fierce war in the mid-1990s to current employment opportunities for his nation’s youth, President Komšić’s address focused on the future of Bosnia. The forum was moderated by Catherine Nepomnyashchy, director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University.

Though the country has seen much violence and political strife, Komšić said, “Our nation will fight all the diseases of the modern world ... and survive just as it has survived to this day.”

Ravaged by war from 1992 to 1995 after the Bosnian Government seceded from Yugoslavia, Bosnia has endured years of rebuilding and uncertainty.

“The most difficult task (for us) is how to heal the society, how to bring our values back,” Komšić said.

During the question and answer session, audience members raised concerns about the number of young people seeking education and employment on foreign soil—reportedly 65 to 85 percent, according to Komšić.

The president said that “the government holds responsibility to change this,” though he blamed instability caused by “those who are inciting ethnic and religious hatred” as the source of the problem.

Komšić, who was elected in 2006, was the first Croat member of the Bosnian Presidency to be elected from outside of the political parties of the Croatians living in Bosnia. A member of the Bosnian Social Democratic Party, he was the first Croat not elected primarily by Croatians living in Bosnia.

“We have yet to see whether I am a political incident or am becoming the rule,” he said. He promised “to take care of all the citizens of Bosnia, whether or not they’re Bosniak,Croat,Serb or Jewish, and also regardless of whether or not they voted for me.”

Aida Tunovic, a Columbia graduate student originally from the Bosnian capital Sarajevo who was at the event, said that the Bosnian President was “very honest ... and genuinely proud of his country.”

Moderator Nepomnyashchy agreed, saying, “He was very convincing. They (the people of Bosnia) need the help.”

But some, like former Bosnian resident and businessman Vladimir Ilic, found his words less encouraging. Ilic disputed Komšić’s optimistic presentation of his country’s future.

“It makes a big difference who you talk to,” he said. “The people that elected him were a very, very small minority. ... I don’t think he represents the Croats well.”

Despite such accusations, President Komšić looked forward. “We wish to become a member of the European Union, and we’re going to get there,” he said in his closing statement.

“It is my political intent to present Bosnia the way it is, as a good country with good people, regardless of how strange this sounds and regardless of the wars we had.Bosnia will survive all of us,” President Komšić said.


NEW YORK, USA (September 29,2007) - The Foreign Ministers of United States,Great Britain, Russia, France, Italy and Germany, discussed in New York issues on Bosnia and have released the following statement:

"The Contact Group has played a central role in efforts to achieve peace and stability in the Balkans for the past fifteen years. Since the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995, substantial progress has been achieved in Bosnia to implement the terms of the agreement and on reforms necessary to ensure the stability and sustainability of the country.

Contact Group Ministers are concerned, however, that over the past 18 months, progress on Dayton Implementation and reform has come to a halt, and extremist rhetoric has been on the rise. Ministers urge Bosnia's leaders to put polemics aside and focus on the pressing issues that will promote a normal and improved quality of life for the country's citizens, as well as progress toward the EU.

Ministers expressed their full support for the High Representative Miroslav Lajcak and his efforts to fully support the Dayton Accords and to advance reforms, particularly police restructuring, which are essential for Bosnia to move forward and build a better future for all citizens of Bosnia.

The Contact Group reiterates its support for the Dayton Peace Accords and for the territorial integrity of Bosnia. Ministers underscore that it is time for Bosnia's politicians to end the practice of questioning the fundamental structure of the state or its component parts. Changes to the governing structures of Bosnia can only be made in accordance with established procedures in the constitution of Bosnia," the statement said.

Friday, September 28, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – Ambassador of Great Britain to Bosnia Matthew Rycroft warned yesterday Bosnia's political leaders that the International Community could consider an option of returning to the old approach of imposing the solutions if no agreement on police reform is achieved.

”If no agreement on police reform is achieved, we will need to think about our role here. That could mean the return to the old-fashioned model of removing the obstacles and imposing the solutions”, Ambassador Rycroft said.

He opened this possibility at the “Open Parliament”, held yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. The event was organized by Transparency International.

Emphasizing the data from the new Global Corruption Index, Ambassador Rycroft said that the Report states that Bosnia is one of the most corrupt countries.

He emphasized that it is vital that the corruption problem is dealt with as soon as possible, for if the important issues are postponed, it will become even more difficult to deal with them later.

Several reforms need to be implemented ion order for the issue to be solved. A good structure and laws that truly function in reality are necessary for a country to function.

”Auditor’s Office functions well in Bosnia. However, implementation of their decisions needs to be insured”, Ambassador Rycroft said.

”He added that the responsibility for solving the corruption issue is in the hands of Bosnia's leaders, not the International Community. The international representatives are the ones to ensure help in the process”, Rycrof said.

Deputy Speaker at the Bosnian Parliament’s House of Representatives, Niko Lozancic, stated that Bosnia is certainly not a functional country.

He said that if everybody truly loved this country, nobody would wait for things to happen. We would all act and take some of the responsibility.

The Open Parliament was organized so that the prominent experts from Bosnia and abroad would talk about the issues of the rule of law and corruption.

One of the leading experts in the field, Professor David Chandler, attended the session.

He has written many works on Bosnia's development and talked at this session about a transparent and a responsible government.

The Open parliament was organized with the support of the British embassy to Bosnia and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – The fourth round of technical talks on Bosnian police reform, held in Banja Luka, has again ended without any results.

Experts from the eight leading political parties in Bosnia said after the meeting at the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) in Banja Luka that agreement has not been reached on a single of the five issues that were discussed, but that they did agree to continue talks in Sarajevo on Friday.

The International community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak stated after shortly attending the meeting that he expects an agreement on police reform to be reached by Sunday.

”I think nobody has any illusions as to where we are now and how serious the situation is”, Lajcak told the press.


ISTANBUL, Turkey (September 28,2007) – Haris Silajdzic,a member of the Bosnian Presidency held a meeting in Istanbul with the Turkish president Abdullah Gül at the Dolmabahce palace.

The focus of the meeting was placed upon the current political situation in Bosnia and in the region, as well as the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Silajdzic said that the Bosnian economic development cannot go at a faster pace because of the complex political system. He informed the Turkish President about the current political events in Bosnia and the halt in police reform.

They also talked about the political situation in the region. President Gul emphasized that Turkey and Bosnia are friendly countries and that Turkey has always tried to advocate the Bosnian interests.

”I have been closely monitoring the developments in the region”, President Gul said.

The two officials concluded that the bilateral relations between Bosnia and Turkey are good but can be made better through economic cooperation.


NEW YORK ,USA (September 28,2007) - The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic and the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a meeting in New york.The Bosnian President Komsic has appreciated Iran for its support for the people of Bosnia during the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.

Iran was among the few nations who determinedly supported the Bosnian nation during the conflict,Komsic said in a meeting with the Iranian President.

President Komsic also briefed the Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the recent developments in Bosnia and said his country is determined to go on with its EU and NATO membership bid.

Ahmadinejad, for his part, said Iran would always stand by Bosnia, and that Bosnia's progress towards its strategic goals, despite all obstacles, was a source of happiness for Tehran.

”Iran understands and supports Bosnia’s efforts to enter the EU. Iran will still support Bosnia and will strengthen the ties with Bosnia, especially in the sector of economy,” the Iranian President said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – A two-day Conference on Bosnia's roads began in Sarajevo yesterday.The conference is organized by the Bosnian Association of Consultant Engineers.

During the Conference, all the important issues related to the construction of roads will be analyzed, as well as the activities planned for the next 20 years.

According to the EU criteria from 2003, Bosnia should have at least 850 kilometers of roads.

Representatives from Bosnia, Spain, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Turkey will participate. Seven sessions will be held.

The participants will also discuss the Land – Peljesac bridge. Participants are of the opinion that Bosnia and Croatia can easily solve all the problems related to the issue.

The Bosnian Ministry of Communications and Traffic is the main sponsor of the Conference


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – CIA Director Michael Hayden visited Bosnia.During his visit, Hayden visited the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) headquarters.

During a meeting with the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency officials, a good cooperation was emphasized between SIPA and CIA.The officials also agreed further activities in the field of advancement of cooperation and joint participation in fight against organized crime.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The Appellate Panel of Section II for Organised Crime, Economic Crime, and Corruption of the Bosnian State Court issued a decision on appeals against the Trial Panel’s verdict rendered of 17 November 2006 in the case of former bosnian President Dragan Covic and Others.

The decision upholds the appeals filed by the Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office and defence counsel for Dragan Covic, revokes the Trial Panel’s verdict and orders a retrial before the Appellate Panel.

The decision states that the appeals were upheld on the basis of essential violations of criminal procedure provisions.

On 17 November 2006, the Trial Panel handed down the first instance verdict in this case, finding Dragan Covic guilty of Abuse of office or official authority and sentencing him to five years imprisonment.

The Panel acquitted Dragan Covic, Jozo Ivankovic – Lijanovic, Slavo Ivankovic – Lijanovic, Mladen Ivankovic – Lijanovic, Jerko Ivankovic – Lijanovic, Mato Tadic, and Zdravko Lucic of the remaining charges in the indictment.

As the Bosnian State Prosecutor’s Office did not file appeals in relation to the Accused Mato Tadic and Zdravko Lucic, their acquittals by the Trial Panel have become final.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic and Head of the NATO’s Department for Defensive Planning Frank Boland harmonised in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo the document on defining partnership objectives for Bosnia, which will be delivered to all NATO member states, the Bosnian Ministry of Defence stated.

The document has been harmonised after two days of work by NATO experts from Brussels, representatives of the Bosnian Defence Ministry, the Bosnian Armed Forces, the Bosnian Ministry ofn Security, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bosnian Ministry of Finance.

The Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP) document for 2007 has been prepared based on NATO guidelines.

The partnership objectives, which will be adjusted to Bosnia, will be prepared after NATO experts discuss this document.

This is the first PARP cycle for Bosnia. All countries that aspired to joining NATO had to go through these procedures.


NEW YORK, USA (September 28,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic addressed the UN General Assembly in New York.Here is a part of that address:

"You are all well aware that my country has in the recent past paid a high price for the imperfect and inefficient UN system. The UN alone have admitted that mistake and underlined in their Report on Srebrenica that the 'UN experience in Bosnia was one of the most difficult and painful in the history of this organisation' and that the 'Srebrenica tragedy will haunt us forever'.

The International Court of Justice, a UN court, passed a verdict on 26.02.2007 concerning Bosnia's lawsuit against Serbia and Montenegro for genocide. The Court ruled that genocide was committed against the Bosniaks in and around Srebrenica in the eastern Bosnia. You will agree that this was not an isolated case. It is for these reasons that Bosnia is fully committed, together with the dominant majority of the member states, to the necessary reform of the UN.

Bosnia thinks that only a strong UN can be an efficient instrument for collective regulation of international relations based on the UN Charter and international law. Besides necessary reform of the Security Council, further work is also needed on the revitalisation of the UN General Assembly and its committees, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat and other bodies.

I wish to stress that it is the interest of Bosnia – if reform results in the increase of the number of non-permanent members of the Security Council – that the East European Group be given one more seat.

Bosnia as a multiethnic and multiconfessional country with its historic legacy, having survived the failures of the international community, primarily the UN, which have carried serious consequences for my country, but also positive experiences in the post-war development of peace and in cooperation with UN officials, bodies and agencies, can significantly contribute to the UN becoming an efficient instrument in the regulation of international affairs. My country thinks that there can be no peace and security without economic and social development. It still stands at the position that the Security Council should remain an unavoidable body of international cooperation in the field of peace and progress in the rights of all nations.

I come from a country which has moved from a post-conflict phase to a phase of building a modern democratic society and integration with European and transatlantic structures. My country is therefore fully committed to the strengthening of international cooperation at the regional, European and global level.

I can say with great pleasure today that BiH is an active participant in all initiatives and processes of regional cooperation in Southeast Europe.

Bosnia is building relations with the neighbouring countries based on equality, full independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bosnia has adopted the position of non-involvement in the internal matters of the neighbouring countries and thinks that the solution to the problem of Kosovo needs to be pursued through dialogue between the interested parties. Bosnia supports dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and is willing to support the search for a solution within the framework of regional initiatives.

BiH has also made significant advances at the wider international stage.BiH authorities are permanently committed to full cooperation with the ICTY. All indicted war criminals from the territory of the former Yugoslavia must be arrested.

ICTY should not close before the most wanted indicted war criminals, namely Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, are arrested.Bosnia supports all activities and peace initiatives directed towards prevention of conflict.

We are confident that the strengthening of the multilateralism of the UN can lead to efficient measures in the prevention of armed conflicts.

Bosnia urges all ethnic and religious communities in Iraq to abandon sectarian divisions and to actively join political processes and that joint efforts of the international community and the Iraqi government encourage comprehensive national political dialogue.

Considering the potentially catastrophic consequences of the further escalation of the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program, Bosnia welcomes the readiness of Iran to cooperate fully with the International Agency for Nuclear Energy and to engage in political dialogue with the key players.

The Bosnian foreign policy is directed towards the preservation and promotion of lasting peace, security, a stable democratic and comprehensive state development and to contributing to international peace and security," the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic said in his address before the UN General Assembly.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) – SDA Party delegates, as well as the SBiH and SDP BiH Party delegates, formulated joint conclusions at the emergency session of the FBIH Entity Parliament’s House of Representatives that was held on Wednesday. The session solely focused on the police reform.

The SDA and SBiH suggested joint conclusions at first, and the opposition party SDP added some of their own. These conclusions were made a document and were sent to the delegates for procedure.

Majority of delegates approved the conclusions. Majority of the political parties of the croatians living in Bosnia did not support the conclusions, as well as the Bosnian Patriotic Party “Sefer Halilovic” delegates.

The conclusions state that the FBIH Entity Parliament's House of Representatives asks the Bosnian Council of Ministers, the OHR and all the representatives participating in the process of police reform negotiations, to ensure the implementation of the three basic EU principles: that all legislative and budget jurisdictions are passed to the state level, that police work is not interfered with politics and that the functional police jurisdiction and competences are to be determined on the basis of the technical criteria. The operative command is to be formed at the local level.

The FBIH Entity Parliament expects all the participants in the police reform to accelerate the reform, fully respecting the EU principles and the European Parliament’s Resolution passed March 15 2007.

As a part of the FBIH Entity Parliament, one of the legislative organs in Bosnia which has accepted the Agreement on Reorganization of Police Structures, HoR demands an efficient implementation of the process of police reform and its synchronization with the Bosnian state institutions, in accordance with the constitutional and legislative jurisdictions, obligations and responsibilities, for the benefit of all the Bosnian citizens.

Keeping in mind the importance of police reform, active and coordinated relationship with the International Community, the High Representative, NATO and Elections commission is of the essence.

This emergency session was held a week prior to the High Representative’s address to the FBIH Entity Parliament’s delegates.The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak is to address the assembly October 2.

Some information have leaked that Lajcak could pass the address on Tuesday, but the OHR announced that the speech will be postponed.

38 delegates of the FBIH Entity Parliament’s House of Representatives demanded the emergency session on September 14.

At the beginning of the session, SBiH delegate Mehmed Zilic stated that Lajcak’s document is unacceptable.

He said that the protocol is contradictory in certain segments. It is clear that it foresees the survival of the genocidal "police" of the Serbians living in Bosnia ("the RS police") and that the FBIH police will be eliminated.

Mate Franjicevic, on behalf of the Croat parties’ coalitions, stated that Lajcak’s document should be approved.

The FBIH Entity Parliament is to further discuss the police reform at the October 2 session, when the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia is to address the delegates.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The defence teams of the 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide before the Bosnian State Court, have announced that they want to invite Serbian war criminals indicted and convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague to testify.

The list of potential witnesses drawn up by Borislav Jamina, defence attorney of Serbian war criminal Branislav Medan, includes, among others, ICTY Srebrenica genocide indictees Ljubisa Beara, Zdravko Tolimir and Milan Gvero, as well as Serbian war criminal Radislav Krstic (convicted to 35 years imprisonment) and Serbian war criminal Vidoje Blagojevic (sentenced by a first instance verdict to 18 years imprisonment for genocide committed by the Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica).

Serbian war criminal Ljubisa Beara has already been included in other potential witnesses lists, but the Trial Chamber was informed that he refused to testify. Attorney Jamina considers that these people are "a source of information" and that their refusal to testify should not represent a problem.

"I do not know about Beara, but I think that many of these witnesses are the citizens of Bosnia. I would not say that they have the choice to refuse to testify," Jamina has explained.

The Prosecution considers that the 11 members of the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS) guarded, in the Bosnian village of Sandici on 13 July 1995, several thousand captured Bosnian civilians, who were then driven to concentration camps or executed by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

In addition, the Bosnian State Prosecutor charges the 11 Serbian war criminals with the murder of around 1,000 Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica.

Two defence teams have examined two more witnesses. Slobodan Mijatovic,former member of the genocidal Serbian formations, has said that he was guarding and escorting former VRS commander,Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic - now a ICTY fugitive - on 13 July 1995. Mijatovic has recalled that Serbian war criminal Mladic visited the Bosnian civilians held by VRS on a meadow in the village of Sandici.

"Mladic told them not to worry. He also said that their families had been taken in the desired directions and that they would join as soon as the transportation was organised. Applause followed and people started shouting 'Cheerio!'," the witness said, adding that he did not see any policemen, because the Bosnian civilians were "guarded" by the VRS.

Mijatovic has said that, in the evening of the same day, he passed by the Agricultural Cooperative in Kravica but he did not "notice anything unusual".

During cross-examination, the Bosnian State Prosecutor Ibro Bulic presented the witness with the statement he gave to the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) on 8 September 2006. According to this statement, on 13 July 1995 Mijatovic passed by Kravica and saw "a large group of soldiers" and he "supposed" that the Bosnian civilians, whom he had seen in Sandici earlier, were killed on that location.

The witness has not denied this part of the statement.

The trial is due to continue on 3 October, when four defence witnesses will be examined.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - Although he was given permission to defend himself while on bail, the Bosnian State Court ordered to police to arrest Serbian war criminal Rajko Vukovic,again.He is charged with war crimes committed in the eastern Bosnian town of Foca in 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

On 19 September, the Bosnian State Court rendered a decision allowing Vukovic to defend himself while on bail and ordering certain prohibiting measures.But,the Bosnian State Prosecutor filed a complaint against the decision.

Partially acknowledging the Prosecution's complaint, the Bosnian state Court has rendered a decision ordering custody for Serbian war criminal Rajko Vukovic that "may last until the completion of the main trial, but not beyond 26 September 2010".

"There are some indications that, if released, the indictee may hinder the criminal proceeding by influencing the witnesses and accessories," the Bosnian State Court announcement reads.

Serbian war criminals Ranko and Rajko Vukovic are charged with having participated in the persecution of Bosnian civilians from Foca municipality and with having participated in "a joint criminal enterprise" with the aim of "depriving other people of their lives".

Serbian war criminal Rajko Vukovic was first arrested in Foca area on 11 July this year.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The Bosnian Border Police Officers and the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) Officers took part in a Strategic Crimes Analysis training session provided by Europol’s Serious Crime Department from 17 to 26 September. The course provided them with detailed information on how to analyze crime and criminal networks at a national level.

“This training had been seen as a priority by the European Union Police Mission to Bosnia (EUPM) for quite a while and the Mission agreed to pay for the trainers’ travel and accommodation expenses,” explained Hamish Fink, EUPM’s Human Resource and ICU Adviser to SIPA.

“EUPM and SIPA have translated all the material associated with the course, which is substantial, and we have also provided language assistants to translate during the course,” he went on, adding that SIPA themselves provided accommodation and work material for the training.

The students who successfully completed the course received certificates.


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The International Community's High Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajcak told leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia to stop isolationist policies that were blocking Bosnia's progress towards European integration.

Lajcak addressed members of parliament of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia ("the RS") as part of campaigning to win approval for his plan to reform ethnically separate police forces and remove a key obstacle for Bosnia to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

Lajcak warned the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia ("the RS") to stop behaving as a state within a state, specifically within the economy.

"According to the Bosnian constitution,'the RS' has its place in Bosnia and this must be respected,but I cannot ignore the fact that there is almost no Bosnia in 'the RS'," Lajcak said.

The Serbians living in Bosnia fear they will lose a great deal of autonomy if their police become part of the Bosnian state-wide force, while Bosnians complain that Lajcak's plan falls short of unifying the police forces in Bosnia, as originally planned under a EU-sponsored reform.

Lajcak said the reform had nothing to do with the issue of Bosnia's internal organization.

Lajcak also warned against what he said was obstruction by the Serbians living in Bosnia of key reform legislation in the Bosnian Parliament.

"The choice is yours,you will either continue to opt for isolationist solutions and limit your own prospective in that way or you will be a driving economic force with positive effects for the economy of Bosnia," Lajcak said.

The Prime Minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia ("the RS") Milorad Dodik reiterated that Serbians living in Bosnia would not approve any reform that would deprive them of having their own police force, regardless of consequences.

But,Lajcak said that consequences would surely follow unless the police reform had been agreed by September 30.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The European Union Force (EUFOR) in Bosnia said yesterday they had handed over the full responsibility for mine clearance to the Bosnian Army, as a sign of a growing confidence in Bosnia's post-war institutions.

"The ownership and responsibility for all demining activities in Bosnia brings with it a sense of pride and progress for the armed forces" of the country, the statement from the EUFOR said.

EUFOR will also transfer ownership of demining equipment, vehicles, ground penetrating machines and the mine detection dogs, it added.

Almost 12 years since 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia ended, landmines still litter more than four percent of the country's territory, representing some 2,000 square kilometres (800 square miles).

Some 1,500 accidents involving landmines and other explosives have since killed more than 400 people. A fifth of the victims have been under 18.

The work on mine clearance and removal of unexploded ordnance would be undertaken by newly established joint demining battalion.

However, "EUFOR will continue to support their demining activities offering advice and assistance to ensure a sustainable and effective demining organization," the statement from the EUFOR added.

Due to the improved security situation, the EU this year reduced its EUFOR peacekeeping force in Bosnia from 6,500 to some 2,500.

EUFOR, which took over from a NATO peacekeeping mission in 2004, is charged with military tasks set out in the Dayton peace accords that ended Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - The Bosnian National Football Team Coach Fuad Muzurović has named three newcomers in his 20-man squad for Bosnia's EURO 2008 qualifiers against Greece and Norway.

Defenders Semir Merzić and Ante Aračić will get the chance to impress along with forward Sejad Salihović as Bosnia faces Greece in Athens on 13 October before taking on Norway in Sarajevo four days later.

Muzurović reckons successive defeats by Hungary and Moldova have ended his side's Group C chances, saying: "Our aim now is to play the best we can and to get some decent results."

Bosnia squad:

Goalkeepers: Adnan Gušo (CS Pandurii Lignitul Târgu Jiu).

Defenders: Džemal Berberović (FC Kuban Krasnodar), Branimir Bajić (TuS Koblenz), Safet Nadarević (NK Zagreb), Ivan Radeljić (NK Slaven Koprivnica), Ante Aračić (FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek), Samir Merzić (FK Teplice).

Midfielders: Mirko Hrgović (HNK Hajduk Split), Zvjezdan Misimović (1. FC Nürnberg), Elvir Rahimić (PFC CSKA Moskva), Darko Maletić (FK Partizan), Branislav Krunić (FC Moskva).

Forwards: Sejad Salihović (TSG Hoffenheim), Vedad Ibišević (TSG Hoffenheim), Edin Džeko (VfL Wolsfburg), Adnan Čustović (R. Excelsior Mouscron), Zlatan Muslimović (Atalanta BC), Senijad Ibričić (NK Zagreb), Dragan Blatnjak (FC Khimki), Admir Vladavić (MŠK Zilina).


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 28,2007) - For the past two years, Delaware 4-Hers have opened their homes to Bosnian teens, as part of the Bosnia Youth Leadership Program. Now, the Bosnians are playing the role of host to four Delaware 4-H members departed for Bosnia on Sept. 23 for a two-week visit.

The 4-H youth organization, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative Extension System, was founded in 1902 by A. B. Graham in Clark County, Ohio, and now serves over 9 million members in the U.S. in almost 100,000 clubs from kindergarten through high school and various other programming.

It is a club for young people in third through twelfth grades sponsored by the Extension Service to foster agricultural, homemaking and other skills. The four H’s stand for “head, heart, hands, and health.”

Guided by state 4-H Extension educators Mark Manno and Katy Daly, as well as Kathy DiSabatino, a teacher and 4-H volunteer, the teens are crisscrossing the country, visiting Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla and Livno. In most locations, the'll be staying with host families.

The Delaware 4-Hers will meet with Bosnian civic leaders and elected officials; make presentations at Bosnian schools and community centers; and attend a youth conference. Plus, they hope to squeeze in visits to museums and tourist attractions, including the Olympic facilities at the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

The U.S. State Department initiated the Bosnia Youth Leadership Program in 1999 to train the future leaders of Bosnia as it continues to recover from the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions.

Each year since, selected Bosnian teens have traveled to the U.S. for a month-long stay. In 2006, Delaware 4-H became responsible for organizing and executing the program. The current trip marks the first time that the U.S. State Department has permitted U.S. teens to travel to Bosnia.

“I'm excited that Delaware 4-Hers have been given the opportunity to participate in this groundbreaking cultural exchange,” said Manno, who is making his fourth visit to Bosnia.

“They will witness firsthand the many ways that Bosnia is moving forward as a nation, as well as the social and economic challenges that the next generation must tackle.

“Few Americans travel to the destinations on our itinerary,” Manno added. “These kids are well aware that they will be serving not only as ambassadors of 4-H, but of our nation.”

A key component of the trip is to re-connect with the Bosnian teens who traveled to Delaware in 2006 or earlier this spring. Upon their return home, each teen was responsible for creating a community service project. “The Bosnian youth were trained using a 4-H model called TRY (Teens Reaching Youth),” Manno said.

“All of our Delaware travelers have project leadership experience and will be able to assist the Bosnian teens as they work to make their projects self-sustaining.The 4-H members will be just as much of a resource as I will be,” Manno said.

The entire travel delegation has studied up for the journey. Assigned readings, projects and meetings have kept the group busy since August,

“The books we read in preparation for this trip were a great help to me,” said chaperone Kathy DiSabatino of Dagsboro, Del. “One book, in particular, was not an easy read; it covered the history of Bosnia from the 1st century until 1992. I don't feel like I'm an expert by any means, but I certainly know much more now than I did before.”

Delaware 4-Hers (from left) Margot Miller of Wilmington, Jordan Reardon of Newark, Stephanie Bailey of Smyrna and Johnny Vann of Newark are on a two-week tour of Bosnia

A Sept. 14 trip to Washington, D.C., also contributed to the delegation's knowledge of Bosnia. The group left Newark, Del.,to begin a whirlwind schedule of visits with high-level U.S. and Bosnian leaders, including Chuck English, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Bosnia,and Darko Zelenika, the deputy chief of mission of the Embassy of Bosnia to the United States.

“Both embassies made it clear that we are ambassadors at the grass roots level that the Delaware 4-Hers and the experiences they share with the Bosnian youth will help to provide their country with hope for the future,” DiSabatino said.

“It really put me in a state of awe to think that this program could make a difference in the future of some of the towns of Bosnia, and maybe even the country, as we help to form its future leaders,” he said.

“It wasn't until this day in Washington that it hit me I was really going to Bosnia as one of the first teenage ambassadors from the U.S.,” said Stephanie Bailey, a 16-year-old 4-Her from Smyrna, Del.

Bailey said she applied to the program to broaden her view of other peoples and cultures. In her suitcase are fitting gifts for her host families - books about Delaware and photos of state landmarks. In her carry-on is something she considers as vital as air and water - an iPod loaded with tunes.

“I think I'd go crazy on an eight-hour flight without it,” Bailey said, with a laugh.

In that respect, Bailey won't find things very different in Bosnia. “Bosnian teens are just as crazy about music as teens here,” Manno said.

When the delegation returns in early October, they'll travel to 4-H club meetings and community events throughout the state, sharing what they've learned with other Delawareans.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The meeting of experts from Bosnia's eight leading political parties on police reform has started at the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) in Banja Luka yesterday.

This is the fourth round of technical talks on the Proposal on Police Reform in Bosnia, which was presented to the political leaders in late August.

Participants said before the start of the meeting that five issues will be on the agenda, including two issues concerning police regions, as well as representation in the collegium of ministries, the national composition and the appointment of the police director.

All participants agree that there is not much time left and that an agreement has to be reached by Sunday.

However, PDP representative Slobodan Nagradic thinks that there is time for an agreement even after that deadline.

Alma Colo (SDA), Sejfudin Hodzic (SBiH), Mile Vukovic (SDS), Slobodan Nagradic(PDP), Ivica Gaspar (HDZ 1990), Barisa Colak (HDZBiH),Stanislav Cado (SNSD) and Tomislav Limov (SDP) are taking part in the meeting.


NEW YORK ,USA (27.September 2007) – Speaking at the annual high-level debate at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday,the Bosnian President Željko Komšić said all suspected war criminals from the various territories of the Southeastern Europe who have not been arrested should be brought before the courts.

The United Nations war crimes tribunal set up in the aftermath of the 1990s Balkan wars should not close until the most notorious suspects still at large, the former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, are brought to justice, the Bosnian President told the General Assembly.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, was set up by the Security Council in May 1993 to deal with the worst violations of international humanitarian law during the Balkan wars.

Serbian war criminals Karadžić and Mladić,who are wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and other war crimes,are still at large, but under the completion strategy established with the Council, the ICTY has said it will try to finish all trials at the first instance by the end of next year.

A former political leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić faces two counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, three counts of violating the laws or customs of war and one count of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladić, who led the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), faces 15 charges, including two of genocide, seven of crimes against humanity and six of violating the rules or customs of war.

The Bosnian President Željko Komšić said authorities in Bosnia had been working closely with the ICTY on issues ranging from extradition and the processing of criminal charges to the provision of working conditions for court representatives and access to documents.

“We are creating a legal framework and have a special department of the War Crimes Court to start processing war crime cases.This is one of the conditions for establishing mutual trust and reconciliation in a post-conflict Bosnia," Komšić said.

During his address Komšić also stressed the need for urgent UN reform, saying the July 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica by the genocidal serbian aggressor – a Security Council-designated “safe area” – was a notorious example of how “my country paid a high price for the imperfect and inefficient UN system.”

Therefore, the Bosnian President said, it was essential that the UN and its various bodies and agencies be strengthened and revitalized, including the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretariat.


WASHINGTON, USA (27.September,2007) - Thanks to reforms of business regulation, more businesses are starting up, finds Doing Business 2008 - the fifth in an annual report series issued by the World Bank and IFC.Countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union reformed the most in 2006/07 — along with a large group of emerging markets, including China and India.

Doing Business 2008 ranks 178 economies on the ease of doing business and Bosnia has been given the 105th position.

The top 25, in order, are Singapore, New Zealand, the United States, Hong Kong (China), Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Thailand, Switzerland, Estonia, Georgia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Austria.

Singapore once again topped the World Bank's ranks for the best place in the world to do business, and Egypt is the leader in reforms to invite more business, the World Bank said Tuesday. "For the second year running, Singapore tops the aggregate rankings on the ease of doing business" in 2006-2007, the World Bank said in releasing its "Doing Business 2008" report.

Starting a business is not easy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It takes 13 procedures and 155 days—and it costs five times the annual income per capita. The situation is even worse for women: they need the consent of a husband. And if you are a single woman, a judge decides whether you can become a businesswoman.

The result: Only 18 percent of small businesses are run by women in the DRC. Next door, in Rwanda, which has no such regulations, women run more than 41 percent of small businesses.

But many countries are making it easier to do business. The Doing Business 2008 report identifies 200 reforms in 98 countries between April 2006 and June 2007.

The top reformer was Egypt. Unhappy with its Doing Business ranking last year, the Egyptian government pulled out all stops. Its efforts cut deep—with reforms in five of the 10 areas studied by the report. It made the single fastest climb in the overall rankings on the ease of doing business.

Georgia, the top reformer last year, remains in the top 10 and continues to target better rankings each year. Its efforts are paying off: Georgia is now in the top 25 countries in overall rankings for the ease of doing business. Two African countries—Ghana and Kenya—also made this year's list of the top 10 reformers.

"Overall, Doing Business has had a powerful catalytic effect," says Simeon Djankov, the lead author of the report. "For example, in the past two years, we have recorded 413 reforms in the countries we study. We have been able to confirm at least 113 instances where Doing Business inspired or informed business regulatory reforms worldwide."

The Financial Times has noted that in publishing Doing Business, the World Bank Group is "producing a public good: measurements of regulatory performance that may become as indispensable to reformers and academics as national income accounts."

Doing Business 2008 finds that large emerging markets are reforming fast, with the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of people. Egypt, China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Vietnam all improved in the ease of doing business.

Doing Business is also analyzing the benefits of reform. "The report shows equity returns are highest in countries that are reforming the most," said Michael Klein, World Bank/IFC Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development. "Investors are looking for upside potential, and they find it in economies that are reforming—regardless of their starting point," he added.

By far the fastest reforms are in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which, as a region, surpassed East Asia this year in the ease of doing business. Estonia, the most business-friendly country of the former socialist bloc, ranks 17th on the ease of doing business. "The results show that as governments ease regulations for doing business, more entrepreneurs go into business," said Djankov.

"Eastern Europe has witnessed a boom in new business entry, and many of the new companies are becoming global leaders, such as the Estonian-born software company Skype and the Czech car maker Skoda," he added.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian Parliament’s House of Representatives did not appoint at the session yesterday the Serb and Bosniak ombudsmen.The delegates have supported the nomination of the Croat candidate Mariofil Ljubic for the position of the Ombudsman.

However, Bosniak and Serb candidates Emina Halilovic and Vitomir Popovic did not get the majority of votes needed for nomination. Votes of the Collegiums are now needed.

Although members of the Collegiums have agreed upon the issue earlier, the delegates did not support yesterday the nomination of the Emina Halilovic and Vitomir Popovic.

A new competition will be announced because the country needs the ombudsmen, Milorad Zivkovic, Speaker of the House said.

The delegates supported the nomination of Mensur Sehagic for the position of the Bosnian Commission for Concessions member, as well as the nomination of Ljerka Maric for the position of the Head of the Direction for Economic Planning.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – Austria wishes to intensify cooperation with the Bosnian Mine Action Centre (BHMAC) in the future.austria is, after Germany,the second most important supporter of the demining process in Bosnia.

Austria plans to support BHMAC with 150.000 Euros next year, which will be used for the purchase of all-terrain vehicles for four reconnaissance teams, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) General Director Michael Linhart said yesterday during a visit to BHMAC.

“Bosnia and Austria have excellent cooperation in the demining sector and I think that Bosnia has expert and competent deminers. We support the return of people to their homes and demining significantly contributes to that process”, Linhart said.

BHMAC Director Dusan Gavran said that Austria has significantly supported demining operations in Bosnia with 850.000 Euros and added that Bosnia is in strong need of such assistance.

3,6 percent of Bosnia's territory or 1.820 square kilometres is contaminated with mines. Some 1 million mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance are still hiding at 11.000 locations.

36 accredited demining organisations are currently active in Bosnia. They have 3.000 trained deminer, 22 machines, 1.020 mine detectors and 85 specially trained dogs.

One person was killed and seven injured by mines in the first six months of this year.


NEW YORK, USA (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic has continued to hold intensive meetings with foreign officials in New York. Komsic met with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried to discuss the current situation in Bosnia.

The meeting with Italian Prime Minister Roman Prodi was used to discuss the state of bilateral relations between Bosnia and Italy.They highlighted improving economic cooperation between the two countries and intensive activities in the field of culture, however, they stressed the need for regulating certain issues from the previous period which would allow Italy to provide significant loans for small and medium projects in Bosnia.

Considering the growing presence of Italian banks at the Bosnian market they agreed that the two sides would with the support of Italian banks intensify meetings between businesspersons and stressed that this is the road that will encourage the arrival of Italian capital in Bosnia.

Komsic and Prodi supported the ARS AEVI project and agreed to intensify cooperation through UNESCO. Prodi strongly supported efforts of all countries from the region of former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia, towards joining the EU and NATO.

Komsic also met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.He thanked for the service of Chilean troops as part of the international peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.Bechelet invited Komsic to visit Chile.

Komsic also met with newly appointed UN General Assembly President Srdan Kerim.

Komsic underlined the commitment of Bosnia to play a more active role in the UN system and expressed confidence that the UN has a clear position on the verdict of the International Court of Justice, which should allow the victims of genocide to receive satisfaction and to build a better future for Bosnia through reconciliation.

He also described as justified the initiative of our country for the documentation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to be given to Bosnia once this court ends its work. He expressed hope that the final resolution for the status of Kosovo will be reached within the framework of the UN and added such an outcome would be the best solution for all UN member states.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj held separate meetings in New York with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Slovakia, Algeria, Russia and Slovenia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian citizens are burdened with many problems and contradictions. One of the most prominent is the contradiction in statements made about the personal life and situation in the country. A survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), entitled “Voice of a Silent majority in Bosnia” showed this contradiction.

The survey, conducted by the Oxford research house on behalf of the UNDP, states that almost all of the interviewed Bosnian citizens are quite satisfied with the private life.

Some of the interesting points made in the study were presented in Sarajevo at a debate entitled “Changing Things in Bosnia: Social Research and Democratic Changes”. The goal of the study was to emphasize the basis of a possible consensus on Bosnia's future.

Prof. Anthony Heath, who is in a visit to the UNDP BOSNIA, analyzed some of the findings made in the study.

Professor Heath stated that the research emphasized some of the priorities that need to be solved,primarily the Bosnian economic development and solving the unemployment issues.

The study shows that 62 per cent of the Bosnian citizens under 30 want to leave the country because of unemployment.Corruption is also one of the biggest problems for the citizens. They see association to the EU a long-term solution for Bosnia.

Only seven per cent of people interviewed are of the opinion that others can be trusted.Almost 9 out of 10 citizens stated to be the citizens of Bosnia. 14 per cent of them have an exclusive identity.

Membership to the EU and the EU’s help to Bosnia is something the Bosnian citizens see as helpful in creating the future of the country.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - The defence teams of seven of the 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide committed by the Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica,have jointly invited three more witnesses to appear before the Bosnian State Court.

Witness Zdravko Zivanovic has said that indictee Dragisa Zivanovic (his cousin) was in Skelani on 13 July 1995. The indictment alleges that Zivanovic and the ten other Serbian war criminals were in the village of Kravica on that day and took part in the murdering of about 1,000 Bosnian civilians by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

"Dragisa's brother was due to start his military service on that day and there was a farewell party that he organised. He left in the morning hours on 14 July," Zdravko Zivanovic said, adding that his cousin Dragisa was in Skelani all the time.

Witness Stana Ostojic lived in the village of Resagici, near the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, in July 1995.She claims that there was "some squad" next to her house. She has recalled that, on 13 July 1995, "the squad members returned to their headquarters…as one of their colleagues had been killed".

The three witnesses have said that they attended the funeral of Krsto Dragicevic on 15 July 1995 and that they saw the members of his squad.

The trial is due to continue on 27 September, when two more defence witnesses shall be examined.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - A Protected Prosecution witness has spoken yesterday before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic about an attack on the Bosnian village of Ahmici committed by the Croatian agressor in April 1993.

"In the morning of 16 April 1993, while my mother and I were running to the basement in our house, we noticed we were surrounded. Five soldiers in camouflage uniforms with HVO marks, "Jokers" and "Knights", followed us to the basement. They were looking for men. They told us we should go to Zenica as it was in 'our country, Alija's country'," witness recalled.

The Bosnian Prosecution charges Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic, in his capacity as member of the Croatian aggressor's formations, with having participated in the "planning and execution of the attacks on the Bosnian towns and the surrounding villages in the Lasva valley". The indictment alleges that members of the Croatian aggressor's military police and the "Jokers" attacked the Bosnian villages of Ahmici, Nadioke, Pirici and Santici on 16 April 1993. In the course of the attack on Ahmici most village residents were murdered or deported, while their property was demolished.

"The soldiers ordered us to get out of our house and we headed towards Vitez, together with other women and children. I saw smoke and houses on fire. On our way to Pirici village we saw soldiers in black and camouflage uniforms," witness told the Bosnian State Court. The convoy of the displaced persons stopped in that village. The people were detained in one house in that village,witness said.

Witness also said that all of them moved on towards "the school in Dubravica, as per an order issued by a person named Vidovic" on 18 April 1993. They stayed in the school until 1 May that year.

"I saw trenches surrounding the school. We were met by two soldiers who started separating us. Women with small children were sent to one room, while the others were sent to the sports hall. That is where I went, together with my mother. Soldiers used to come in the sports hall and take men with them to dig trenches. Later on, I found out that they also took women out of the second room. I guess they raped them," witness said.

During cross-examination, the witness did not confirm ever personally seeing anyone being maltreated, beaten or raped during the period of detention in the school that lasted until 1 May,1993.

The witness stated that Bosnian civilians, who were detained by the Croatian aggressor in the school, were later transported, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), by buses to Zenica, which was under the control of the Bosnian Army.

The trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic is due to continue on 8 October 2007.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - This year’s global Corruption Perception Index shows most Southeastern European countries have moved up in the international league table, but they remain among the more corrupt states.

The latest survey by the corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), shows Bosnia, Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia climbing up in the rankings while Bulgaria has fallen back.

The Corruption Perception Index, CPI, published yesterday, shows Bosnia up from 93rd place to equal 84th, a position also occupied by Macedonia (up from 105th) and Montenegro.

In one of the first local reactions to the report, the Montenegrin Minister of the Interior Jusuf Kalamperovic stated that the results of the fight against corruption in Montenegro were limited, and there was a need to change legislation.

“We’ll do our best to make conditions for an efficient fight against corruption and organized crime”, Kalamperovic stated at a conference on key strategies for successful criminal persecution of corruption”, held in Milocer yesterday.

Although Bulgaria has moved down from 57th to 64th place out of 179, it remains the Balkan nation whose corruption perception is the best.

Croatia now shares that place, having improved its standing from 69th place in 2006.Romania is ranked 69th, up from 84th.

Albania, which comes last among the Balkan states in 105th place has climbed up from last year’s 111th.Serbia is ranked 79th (up from 90th).

Boris Divjak, the head of TI’s Bosnian chapter, stressed that despite the apparent improvements, in relative terms Bosnia continued to fall further behind the rest of the region, as several other countries had made bigger improvements.

Divjak blamed this on the “complete paralysis of government” in Bosnia.The CPI report measures perceptions of corruption of public servants and politicians worldwide, based on at least three separate surveys conducted in each country.

CPI marks are given out of 10, which stands for the least, while 1 stands for the most perceived corruption.

World leaders with the least corruption perception are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand with 9.4 points each.At the bottom of the list are Myanmar and Somalia with 1.4 points.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic,the Director of the Bosnian Border Police Vinko Dumancic,the Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the EC Delegation to Bosnia and other officials of the ‘EU family’ in Bosnia, amongst whom Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola, Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia, officially inaugurated the Bosnian Border Police Headquarters yesterday.

The construction of the brand-new headquarters was financed by the EU with over 2.8 million Euros and co-financed by the Ministry of Security and the Bosnian Border Police with 850,000 Euros.

“The EU is ready to invest more funds if an agreement is reached regarding police reform and its implementation,” said Ambassador Kourkoulas. “A quick fulfillment of the conditions to sign the Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) would send apositive message to the EU tax-payers and ensure them that their money is well invested.”

This project is part of the wider assistance of the European Union in support to the strengthening of the Bosnian Border Police and all the judicial and other policing structures in the country.

“By moving into this new building we are going to strengthen the Border Police’s capacities even more,” said Dumancic. “This is no doubt going to reflect positively upon all our efforts to fight cross- border crime.”

The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic also welcomed the inauguration of the new headquarters, stressing that strong institutions make for a strong state.


INVERNESS, Great Britain (27.September,2007) - Scotland based Mackay Consultants has won a £150,000 contract to produce an energy strategy for Bosnia.It will build an energy model and database and train local staff.

Tony Mackay is moving to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo to head a team of 15 international experts who will cover the electricity, coal, oil, gas and renewables sectors. The company is carrying out the work with Exergia of Greece and Human Dynamics of Austria.

In June, Mackay Consultants was commissioned to carry out an feasibility study of a gas pipeline from Kazakhstan to European markets.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (27.September,2007) - The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana called on Bosnia's political leaders to reach an agreement on police reform and other reforms without further delay.

In an interview published in the Wednesday issue of Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz, Solana warned Bosnia's political leaders of the upshots of the prolonged blockade of reforms in that country, and of postponing the necessary changes.

“The political situation in Bosnia has been deteriorating and the EU is very concerned with it,” Solana said, adding that Bosnia could be doomed to self-isolation should it fail to reach an agreement over police reforms.

He stressed that the gap between political representatives in Bosnia was growing wider, and that it would be a bad sign if Bosnia remained behind neighbouring countries in EU integration processes this autumn.

DNEVNI AVAZ: The situation in Bosnia is worsening. It seems that the country is heading inevitably towards dissolution. Do you share this view?

SOLANA: Yes, it is true that the political situation is worsening, and we are again concerned about the situation in Bosnia at the highest level. The views of the main leaders continue to diverge and it seems increasingly difficult to reach agreement on the key issues. It would be a very bad signal if Bosnia falls behind Serbia this autumn in the EU integration process. But I do not share the view that Bosnia is heading for dissolution. Bosnia is an internationally recognised sovereign state whose territorial integrity is guaranteed under international law. The EU has made a firm commitment to the country. So instead of questioning the existence of the state or its entities, the country’s political leaders should focus on the pressing issues that the country faces, such as meeting the requirements for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Croat and Serb political leaders have spoken out in favour of the creation of a third entity in Bosnia. What is you view on this issue? It seems that the EU does not have a clearly defined position in this respect?

SOLANA: Each EU member state has its own constitutional structure, and there is no single model that can be applied to every country. I understand that there are various proposals being put forward for the future constitutional organisation of Bosnia, both at the political and expert level. For the EU the goal of constitutional change in Bosnia is to make the country more functional and efficient, and its administration less expensive. In the end, Bosnia needs to find a model that reflects its nature, but that at the same time prepares the country for the process of European integration.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Some Bosniak political circles are of the opinion that the international community is ready to compensate Serbia for the loss of Kosovo by recognizing the independence of (the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia) "the RS". Is this true?

SOLANA: I do not expect that the outcome of talks on the future status of Kosovo will have any effect on Bosnia. Any statements drawing parallels between decisions on Kosovo’s future status and the position of "the RS" in Bosnia are irresponsible and serve only to raise political tensions.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Some Bosniak politicians are also convinced that the EU does not sincerely want Bosnia, despite proclamations to the contrary by Brussels and European leaders. They say that new obstacles are being invented all the time so as to prevent Bosnia (like Turkey) from becoming members of the EU. What is your response to such claims?

SOLANA: I think such speculations are absurd. At every EU summit since 1999, the EU has sent a clear signal to Bosnia that it will support the country’s efforts to integrate with the EU and that the doors of the EU are open for Bosnia. Bosnia is a European country. I would also like to stress that Bosnia, as a multiethnic country is wholeheartedly welcome in a multiethnic and diverse European Union. In addition there is an extraordinarily high level of public support in Bosnia for its EU future, much more so than in some candidate countries. Bosnia, like all countries aspiring to join the European Union must meet the criteria and honour their commitments. As a clear example, in October 2005 Bosnia's Parliaments committed to a police reform process in line with the three EU principles. Unfortunately, this commitment remains to be fulfilled. Each country’s progress is assessed individually, and the speed at which Bosnia, or any other country, moves closer to the European Union depends entirely on its own merits.

DNEVNI AVAZ: On the other hand, some analysts believe that European Union – and the International Community in general – will focus their energy on addressing the situation in Bosnia as soon as the Kosovo issue is resolved. Is this prediction correct?

SOLANA: Discussions on the future status of Kosovo might be in the media spotlight at the moment, but that does not mean that the EU is not following the situation in Bosnia very closely. We are very concerned about the stalemate in the reform process. The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Miroslav Lajčák, is working hard to get the reform process back on track and ensure that Bosnia can still conclude an SAA with the EU as soon as possible.

DNEVNI AVAZ: How do you look upon the rejection by Bosniak and Serb political leaders of Lajčák’s police reform concept, which he presented to them recently?

SOLANA: The important thing is that the process is now continuing. I strongly encourage all political parties to continue to work constructively with my Special Representative Mr. Lajčák on the basis of his proposal and reach a comprehensive agreement without delay. The proposal that is now on the table is a fair and balanced compromise solution that enjoys the full backing of the European Union. It meets the three EU principles for police reform and builds on the work of the last three years on this issue. I sometimes have the feeling that political leaders in Bosnia do not see the wood for the trees. They are gambling the European future of the country over a technical reform for the sake of symbols and short term interests.

DNEVNI AVAZ: What is your message to Bosniak and Serb politicians in this regard?

SOLANA: I call on all political leaders in Bosnia, whether at the state or entity level, to think of the country as a whole and of all its citizens when negotiating key reforms. Only compromise in the interests of all can move the reform process forward and bring Bosnia closer to the European Union. A large majority of Bosnian citizens of all backgrounds believes that the key priority of their elected representatives should be European integration, and it is irresponsible from political leaders to deny them the European future to which they aspire.

DNEVNI AVAZ: There are increasing indications that the failure of police reform, and the overall blockade of the reform process, will not pass without consequences. What concrete consequences can we expect? Will Bosnia be isolated and put in quarantine?

SOLANA: The inevitable consequence of such a scenario is self-isolation as the rest of the region continues towards integration with the EU. The European Union will not change its requirements. Whether the country makes progress depends therefore solely on Bosnia and its political leaders.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - Bosnia's largest power company Elektroprivreda BiH signed deals worth 105,59 million Bosnian Marks (76.29 million US Dollars) to sell surplus electricity in 2008, despite calls from the regulator to postpone the process.

The Sarajevo-based power firm agreed to sell 725 GWh to Swiss-based power utility Atel at 75 euros per megawatt hour, the Bosnian state radio reported.

The quantity accounts for up to 60 percent of Elektroprivreda's expected surplus next year, officials said.Fourteen firms had applied in response to the company's public tender for the sale of the power surplus in 2008.

The FBIH entity government, the company's majority owner, objected to the sale saying it should await the government's final assessment of energy needs in 2008.On Tuesday, the region's power regulatory body FERK asked Elektroprivreda's management to halt activities on the sale.

But Elektroprivreda General Manager Enver Kreso dismissed the objections as unfounded, pledging to cover all domestic needs with the remaining surplus.

"I only know that this business deal will bring Elektroprivreda BiH to a more favourable financial position in 2008," Kreso told Bosnian state radio.