Saturday, October 20, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 20,2007) – There is no alternative to peace. Bosnia’s association to the Partnership for Peace Programme (PFP) and NATO is a guarantee of peace and safety. This was stated yesterday in Sarajevo at the expert conference entitled “Importance of Bosnia’s membership in PFP”.

The session, organized by the Helsinki Citizens’ Parliament and the Tuzla Youth Department Centre, aimed to analyze the importance of Bosnia’s membership to PFP.

Participants discuss the defense reform obligations Bosnia has implemented as well as about the demands that are to be implemented soon.

Vehid Sehic, President of the Tuzla Forum of Citizens, stated that the defense reform showed that there are people in Bosnia willing to cooperate and who are aware that achieving a compromise does not mean failing.

”Bosnian Armed Forces need to be treated as a peace-building structure. Regardless of the costs, peace is the most valuable possession of the country”, Sehic emphasized.

President of the Bosnian Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security in the period from 2003 to 2006 Bosko Sljegovic stated that Bosnia’s membership to NATO's PFP programme has been Bosnia’s biggest success since the signing of Dayton Agreement.

The importance increases once we take into consideration the fact that Bosnia is now facing halts in the reform processes, Siljegovic said and emphasized the importance of defense reform implementation for the purpose of bringing the country closer to the European integrations.

Marina Pendes, the Bosnian Deputy Defense Minister emphasized that the country’s membership to PFP and its future association to NATO are key for the country’s association to the EU.

”These memberships”, she said, “are helping the strengthening of collective safety and peace, relationship between the member countries, especially the countries form the region. They help solve the open issues peacefully”.

Participants of the meeting were the Bosnina Defense Ministry experts and the Bosnian Army representatives, as well as the Bosnian Ministry of Civic Affairs and Ministry of Security representatives and members of the Bosnian State Border Police,the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), NATO, EUFOR, etc.

The meeting should serve as basis for future organizing of the public tribunes in Bosnia, aimed to keep the Bosnian citizens informed about the importance of military reforms, Bosnia's membership to PFP and the country’s association to NATO.

As stated, a recent survey showed that the Bosnian citizens are not informed sufficiently on what all of these structures have to offer.

This session is also a part of the “PFP and Bosnian Society” project, supported by the US Government. Aim of the project is to create a stabile platform for building of peace in Bosnia.

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