Monday, December 3, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (December 3,2007) – Reform in the defence sector is the most important reform implemented at the state level in Bosnia since the signing of the Dayton Agreement. This was stated at a press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo organised on the occasion of the Second Anniversary of the newly-reformed Bosnian Army.

The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic, his deputies Marina Pendes and Igor Crnadak and the Commander of the Bosnian Army Colonel General Sifet Podzic underlined the importance of defence reform and the fulfilment of conditions towards full membership in NATO.

They said that defence reform stands as testimony that the perspective of Bosnia, its peoples and citizens, lies in the development of state institutions capable of leading them into the family of prosperous countries, i.e. membership in NATO and the EU.

The senior Bosnian defence officials stressed that the road towards the EU leads through NATO and that the application for membership in NATO is submitted by the state, not its armed forces.

They said that it is therefore necessary to overcome the present political crisis in Bosnia as soon as possible so that institutions that are involved in creating conditions for membership in Euro-Atlantic structures can start carrying out their obligations.

Commenting on the political crisis in Bosnia, they said that it did not affect the situation in or the functioning of the Bosnian defence institutions.

Responding to questions concerning the situation in Bosnia and even the possibility of a new war, the senior Bosnian defence officials stressed that the security situation in Bosnia is stable and that all analyses show that there is no risk of a new conflict.

There are great expectations from the upcoming NATO Summit in Bucharest at which all efforts made so far should be acknowledged and Bosnia encouraged to intensify dialogue with NATO, the Bosnian defence officials stated at the press conference.

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