Friday, November 23, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 23,2007) – The U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English said, on the occasion of the 12th anniversary since the signing of the Dayton Agreement, that this document must be reformed to provide for a functional Bosnian state necessary for Bosnia's self-sustaining path to Euro-Atlantic integration.

“As we look back from this vantage point today, we must understand that Dayton was a document of its time. It was a remarkable accomplishment, but all parties understood it was, in and of itself, incomplete”, Ambassador English said speaking at the “Open Thoughts” panel debate organised in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on the 12th anniversary of the Dayton Agreement.

“Despite its limitations, Dayton has allowed slow and steady progress towards the goal, which was articulated by Secretary Rice and shared by us all: Bosnia firmly and irrevocably incorporated into the family of Euro-Atlantic nations”, the U.S. Ambassador said.

However, he warned that hard work of twelve years is being undermined by a return to the failed and empty strategies of division.

“This cannot be allowed to happen.You must defend the hard won achievements and demand more from your leaders.This is the only way forward”, Ambassador English said.

The U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English said that at the core of any functional democracy is the ability of various interest groups to reach compromise that allows the country to move forward.

“This country is being tested on this ability, and it is failing.Police reform, more than simply an initiative to reorganize security structures, was an opportunity for your leaders to demonstrate their ability to come to grips with difficult political choices and compromise on issues of substantive importance”, he said.

The blame for this failure, according to Ambassador English, falls equally on all political parties and leaders n Bosnia.The hollow rhetoric of ethnic division that has shaped the political debate in this country since last year’s elections has lead to its inevitable outcome: national paralysis that builds nothing but mistrust and fear.No political party or ethnic bloc is exempt from the responsibility for this setback,he said.

"Let me be clear.We recognize that this is a society that has been beset with fear and suspicion. The United States accepts its responsibility, as part of the broader international community, to do its part to assuage those fears and to promote a climate where all citizens feel secure and empowered in any corner of this country," English said.

"We will do our part to support the checks and balances necessary within government to ensure that the country continues to move forward. That’s why we so strongly support the High Representative’s October 19 measures.They are designed to facilitate decision making in state-level institutions, which is critical to your country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations," the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia Charles English said.

No comments: