Friday, October 12, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – In a meeting with the Bosnian Presidency members,Iran's parliament speaker, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel announced Iran's readiness for the expansion of mutual ties with Bosnia in all fields especially economic sector.

The Iranian parliament speaker enumerated the cultural victories and the existing interests of both nations as an appropriate ground for expansion of economic relations.

Referring to unjust wars imposed on Iran and Bosnia, he stressed the necessity of cooperation for the reconstruction of the two countries.

"Iran supports Bosnia to join the European Union and believes that a strong EU can improve the trend of multilateralism in the world," he remarked.

The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic expressed delight over the presence of the Iranian parliamentary delegation in Bosnia and emphasized the expansion of economic relations with Iran.

President Komsic named Iran a good and important friend of Bosnia, saying Iran's parliament speaker visit is a sign of friendly relations of the two nations.

The Iranian delegation also held constructive talks with Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola spiric, members of the Bosnian Inter-Religious Council and the Bosnian House of Peoples’ Collegium. The conclusion form all these meetings is that relations between Bosnia and Iran are satisfactory and that there are no obstacles for the development of bilateral relations.

“The road is open for improving all these relations and we only need to work on that”, the Iranian Parliament Speaker said. He also announced that the Bosnian Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Minister will visit Iran, while the Iranian Chamber of Commerce President will visit Bosnia.

The Iranian Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said that Iran has a population of over 70 million and that his country is seeing rapid development. He stressed that Iran offers great opportunities for engineers and companies from Bosnia.

“Products from Bosnia can be important to the Iranian market and Iran will offer a list of its products for the Bosnian market”, the Iranian Parliament Speaker stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency and the SBiH Party President Haris Silajdzic said that statements on police reform and other random issues by Party of Democratic Action (SDA) President Sulejman Tihic show that he has lost his bearings concerning key issues in Bosnia.

A statement issued by Silajdzic’s Cabinet claims that Tihic has with constant change of position and parallel actions accepted to the cementing of entity police forces.

“This is exactly why I signed the Protocol, which can allow the SAA without closing any options concerning the constitutional structure of Bosnia. Tihic’s attempts to justify his position by questioning the qualifications of my advisors are unfounded, absurd and impolite. It is unclear what gives him the right to describe my advisor as ‘inexperienced’ lawyer”, Silajdzic said.

"This attack is even more absurd considering the fact that my advisor Damir Arnaut has the title of a Doctor of Law from the Berkley University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world," Silajdzic added.

“Furthermore, Tihic has been giving lectures in patriotism lately, yet he forgets that during the aggression against Bosnia he did not use his abilities as a lawyer in Bosnia, but decided to work abroad”, Silajdzic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – The first meeting of the Bosnian Government’ NATO Coordination Team, which was chaired by the Bosnian Deputy Defence Minister Igor Crnadak, was held in the Bosnian Ministry of Defence in Sarajevo.

Crnadak underlined the importance of the establishment of the Coordination Team for the participation of Bosnia in the NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme (PFP), as well as the coordination between all ministries in the Bosnian Council of Ministers concerning activities of Bosnia for accession to NATO.

Political Issues Advisor to NATO HQ Sarajevo Bruce McLane addressed the participants in the meeting. He underlined the importance of full Bosnian membership in NATO and the responsibility of the Coordinating Team for working towards that objective.

He also offered the full support of the NATO HQ Sarajevo.

The Coordination Team considered the work of the former interagency commission for NATO and PFP, as well as tasks concerning the implementation of the Seminar on the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which will be held in Sarajevo on October 15-17.

The NATO Coordination Team was established in a Council of Ministers decision on September 13. Its responsibility is to coordinate all interagency activities concerning the fulfilment of obligations our country accepted by joining the Partnership for Peace, as well as conditions necessary for joining NATO.

The Bosnian Deputy Defence Minister Igor Crnadak is the Chairman of the NATO Coordination Team. the Bosnian Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Zoran Perkovic and the Bosnian Assistant Security Minister Samir Rizvo are his deputies.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) - Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Bosnia during 2006 amounted to 1, 1 billion Bosnian Marks (798 million US Dollars), which is by 18% higher compared to 2005, that is, at the same level like they were in record 2004.

This data do not include large privatization contracts which were made in 2006, but only completed transactions, which means that the volume of FDI in 2007 will be even higher.

Like in the previous years, the largest share of investments in 2006 came from Austria (45%), followed by Croatia (15%) and Slovenia (14%).

The largest inflow of FDI was recorded in the financial mediation sector, followed by the companies in the domain of processing industry and trade. Significant part of investments (17, 7%) is related to reinvested profit, since investments from the previous years are becoming profitable and owners decide to keep the part of that profit and strengthen with capital local banks and companies. Total stock of FDI at the end of 2006 was 5, 89 billion Bosnian Marks (4,3 billion US Dollars), which means that the level of the foreign investments has more than doubled compared to three years ago.

Governor of the Bosnian Central Bank Kemal Kozarić stressed that foreign investments are very important for the Bosnian economy from the standpoint of opening of new jobs, as well as from the standpoint of increasing of the technological level in companies, as well as for the sustainable financing of the Balance of Payments deficit.

Data on inflow of foreign investments are showing that during recent years the Bosnian economy is constantly attracting significant foreign investments and that this trend will speed up as we approach closer to the EU and with the accelerated transition process, the Bosnian Central Bank said.

Data which was published by the Bosnian Central Bank was compiled and processed in accordance with the international statistics standards and represent internationally comparable and reliable statistical data on foreign investments in Bosnia.

Revised statistical data for the previous two years were also published as a part of the new data. Sector classification was also introduced, which is in accordance with the statistical classification of the economic activities in the EU (NACE).


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – The Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) has received the Bosnian police reform proposal by the two HDZs and welcomed their initiative and constructive role to find a solution, OHR Director of Communications Frane Maroevic said.

"We are sending it to the relevant EU institutions for a more detailed assessment whether it conforms to the EU principles,"he said.

"Our first impression of the paper is positive, it seems to contain sufficient detail.On the other hand, as we have already stressed in the past, it is also important for us that any proposal - apart from its substance - should have necessary majority of relevant political parties in Bosnia," Maroevic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj had a meeting in Sarajevo with the Croatian Foreign Affairs Minister Kolinda Grabar – Kitarovic. The two ministers expressed interest in intensification of cooperation between the two countries in the spirit of friendship and joint European future, placing a special emphasis on the European and economic issues.

The two officials agreed that the two countries should closely cooperate in the sector of Euro-Atlantic associations.

Grabar-Kitarovic expressed readiness of Croatia to continue supporting Bosnia in the EU association processes.

In that context, they talked about the singing of memorandum of understanding between the Bosnian and Croatian ministries. They expressed pleasure over the fact that the two ministries cooperate in the sector of defense reforms for the purpose of entering NATO.

Croatian minister greeted the election of Sarajevo for the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) headquarters.

The ministers expressed conviction that the RCC will contribute the promotion of relationships between the countries of the region.

It has been stated that there is enough of space of the intensification of bilateral trade cooperation.

The ministers also expressed interest in joint approach to the third countries’ markets.

The ministers also talked about the open issues between the two countries.

They concluded that dialogue needs to continue for the purpose of developing friendly relations between the two countries.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – The Bosnian Directorate for European Integration and the Project of EU Technical Assistance for State Institutions have organised in Sarajevo a seminar to analyse the sources of conditions set by the EU in enlargement process.

Bosnian state officials, members of the academic community and representatives of non-governmental organisations discussed at the seminar titled “EU Conditionality” the policy of EU conditionality and its results.

Director of the Bosnian Directorate for European Integration Osman Topcagic said that the EU conditionality policy primarily concerns the enlargements process and is applied to all countries in the process of European integration.

Efficient fulfilment of conditions on that road will help every country to complete the process of joining European institutions as soon as possible, Topcagic said.

Besides crossing from one phase of the accession process to the other, the conditions set by the EU are also important because of its financial assistance provided to all countries using this assistance.

Head of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia Michael Dimitris Kourkoulas said that the Southeastern European states, including Bosnia, need to complete the process of fulfilling necessary conditions for joining the EU.

He said that Bosnia needs to overcome the painful wounds of the past and move towards the EU and that on this road it needs to fulfil the necessary conditions in order to transform the society.

Kourkoulas said that an innovative way needs to be found in relations between Bosnia and the EU so that our country can feel the appeal of the EU and overcome the existing problems.

State Chancellor of the Macedonian Government’s Secretariat for European Affairs Malinka Ristevska- Jordanova was also a guest at the seminar.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 12, 2007) – A two-day operation carried out by the police in Grude, Posusje and Siroki Brijeg resulted in the discovery of 30 stolen vehicles, 160 car engines and various other car parts, mainly Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi and Fiat.

Edin Vranj, Chief of the Organised Crime Department of the FBIH entity explained how this case is a perfect illustration of the way in which criminals abuse the fragmentation of police in Bosnia: “Vehicles are stolen in one location, chassis numbers forged in another and then distributed to a third location.”

Vranj expressed concern at the number of car waste disposals and the way the function in the West-Herzegovina Canton: “It seems that these locations very often serve as disposal locations for vehicles stolen all over Bosnia, Croatia and Germany, to name just a few countries.”

One person was arrested. Two others are still at large. Police appealed on citizens to call the nearest police station if they have any information on their whereabouts.

“We have reasons to believe that there were some leaks about the operation,” Vranj concluded. “We will do our best to discover by whom.”