Wednesday, September 5, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 5,2007) – The Bosnian State Parliament will debate the ratification of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) today. When Bosnia negotiated and signed CEFTA in December 2006, it showed its commitment to economic development and regional cooperation in the Southeastern Europe.

The Parliament must now honour this commitment and ratify the Agreement.The Bosnian State Parliament has already postponed its ratification twice. Any further delay would undermine the credibility of Bosnia as an international trade partner,the office of the international community's high representative in Bosnia (OHR) stated.

That would leave Bosnia on the sidelines on 28 September when Ministers gather in Ohrid for the First Ministerial Meeting of the Joint Committee of CEFTA,OHR said.

CEFTA will boost trade and attract investments; it simplifies trade among the countries of region and provides its members with a clear framework for the development of domestic industries. It implements common rules on antidumping, safeguards and provides an efficient arbitration system in case of disputes.

Bosnian farmers have been vocal about their concerns and deserve more attention from the Bosnian government and the Bosnian Parliament. However, delaying the CEFTA ratification will not help farmers to increase their competitiveness,OHR said.

A first concrete step to help farmers is the adoption of the Agricultural Law, which is currently before the Bosnian State Parliament.Failure by Parliament to ratify CEFTA would also further delay the development of a functioning market economy, which is a key requirement for European integration.


ST.LOUIS, United States (September 5,2007) – On the last day of his visit to the United States, Bosnian President Željko Komšić met in St.Louis with US Senator Russ Carnahan, who is also a member of the US Congress Foreign Policy Committee.

During the meeting, Congressman Carnahan emphasized the importance of urgent reform implementation in Bosnia, especially police reform, which is the principal condition for Bosnia’s integration in EU.

This meeting was a follow-up of the successful cooperation established during the recent visit of the US Congress members to Sarajevo.

At the end of the meeting, they stressed out the need to intensify that kind of cooperation which is in the interest of Bosnia and the United States, but especially in the interest of Bosnian citizens that live and work in USA.

After the meeting, in the presence of congressional representatives, senators and the St. Louis Mayor, before several thousands of people, Chairman Komšić opened the IV. Bosnian Festival, traditionally held in St. Louis.

On that occasion,US Senator Harry Kennedy, as an outstanding recognition, has presented Komšić with a Senate charter and a flag of the State of Missouri.

President Komšić performed a kickoff at the football game, which was being held within the festival, within the tournament, in which participate the Bosnian-American teams from the entire United States.

On that occasion, the tournament organizers and players awarded Komšić a jersey with his name on it and an ordinal number 10.

President Komšić also visited the construction site of the new mosque in St. Louis, which is being built by American citizens of Bosnian origin.

On the third day of his visit to St. Louis,Komšić visited the St. Josip parish and the branch office of the Croatian Cultural Society “Napredak” in St. Louis.

In an open and cordial atmosphere,President Komšić talked with the American citizens of Croatian origin about a larger number of issues related to the current and the future position of the Croatian people in Bosnia.

At the end of the day, a meeting was organized with the representatives of several associations that gather the American citizens of Bosnian,Croatian and Serbian origin.In a long conversation,President Komšić answered questions of the present and informed them about the current situation and possible developments in Bosnia.

Komšić also met with representatives of the North American Bosniak Congress, who informed him about the plans and activities of that organization, all aiming to obtain the most efficient influence and engagement possible to help Bosnia.

The participants of the meeting agreed about the necessity for a more intensive engagement of the Bosnian state in solving problems related to communication and the overall relation with the Bosnian Diaspora.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 5,2007) – The international community's high representative and EU special representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak will address a plenary session of the Bosnian Parliament tomorrow.

Other than Bosni'a Parliamentarians, the international community's high representative and EU special representative in Bosnia has invited the members of the Bosnian Presidency, members of the Bosnian Council of Ministers, Entity Prime Ministers and the Speakers of Entity Parliaments.

Miroslav Lajcak will highlight that Bosnia faces a stark choice this autumn: to continue down the road to the EU and play a role in the region or to isolate itself further from both,the office of the international community's high representative in Bosnia (OHR) announced.

The challenges posed by the Stabilisation and Association Process, Constitutional Reform, poverty and providing justice can only be effectively tackled if all the institutions of this country play a constructive role, and all sides show a readiness to compromise for the benefit if the country as a whole and all of it’s citizens,OHR stated.

Lajcak will underline that there is no longer any room for the politics of confrontation and delay.He will address Parliament at 10.00 on Thursday 6 September. He will then take questions from Parliamentarians. Representatives of the media are invited to attend throughout,OHR said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 5,2007) – The international community's high representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak said that the entire international community stands behind his proposal on police reform and that this proposal represents a compromise.

In an interview to Bosnian daily “Dnevni Avaz”, Lajcak said that this document provides an opportunity for an agreement to be reached, but also to “all negotiators to save face”.

“If there is willingness to reach an agreement, then that can be done based on what has been offered. If there is no such willingness then you do not need excuses”, Lajcak said.

He stressed that the end of September is the final deadline for police reform in Bosnia and that he soon expects political leaders to present their comments on the proposed document on police reform.

“What Bosniak and Serb politicians have done shows that they give greater importance to their narrow party interests than the interests of the citizens of this country”, Lajcak said and added that the police reform in Bosnia cannot be imposed from the outside.

He said that it is important to unblock the process of stabilization and association with the EU and start constitutional changes that will define Bosnia as a modern European state.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 5,2007) – The OSCE Mission to Bosnia urged the B0snian Parliamentary Assembly to consider carefully candidates for the Bosnian Central Election Commission and the Ombudsman Institution at its session today, September 5,2007.

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia strongly believes that the selection should be based upon an objective evaluation of the candidates’ qualifications and not on their political affiliations. The Bosnian Parliamentary Assembly should strive to select the best candidate with the skills, experience and integrity necessary for the positions,the OSCE stated.