Thursday, November 8, 2007


WASHINGTON, USA (November 8,2007) – A member of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic met with several U.S. congressmen and senators in the first 2 days of his visit to the United States. He talked with them about the current political situation in Bosnia and the region. Silajdzic met with congressmen Jim McDermott and Russ Carnahan, and emphasized the importance of the role of the United States in the process of Dayton Agreement implementation and Bosnia's reform processes.

Commenting the European Commission’s decision to initial the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia, Bosnian Presidency member Haris Silajdzic said he hoped that the official Serbia will not see this as a reward for the role in aggression against Bosnia, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, confirmed by the International Court of Justice, as well as a reward for ignoring the Court.

Silajdzic’s Cabinet announced that the Agreement is to serve Serbia to behave in accordance with the European standards, especially in accordance with its international and legal obligations towards Bosnia.

He added that Serbia's constant interference into the Bosnia’s internal policy matters needs to stop. The International Community warned against that several days ago by several ambassadors’ demarche.

The announcement further states that the European Commission’s decision to initial the SAA with Serbia needs to be seen as a part of the events that are Kosovo-related.

Keeping in mind these events, we expect that the European Commission will show good will towards Bosnia.The kind of a good will the EC has shown towards Serbia in relation to fulfillment of their obligations, Silajdzic’s Cabinet announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) - The European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) sees neither threat nor change in the current security situation in Bosnia. This was stated by EUFOR Spokesperson Major David Fielder, commenting the speculations stating that the political situation in Bosnia caused the worsening of Bosnia's security situation.

”EUFOR has been here since 2004 and our predecessors since 1995. In that time span, we have witnessed peace and stability. EUFOR has strong capacities to maintain peace and we want to convince the Bosnian citizens that we will make sure stability is maintained”, Fielder stated at the international organizations’ press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj met in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern. They talked about the possibilities of promotion of bilatreral relations between the two countries.

Alkalaj and Ahern also talked about the economic cooperation and initiation of the interstate agreements. They exchanged opinions about cooperation with the international institutions.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs MinisteR Sven Alkalaj stated after the meeting that Bosnia is grateful to Ireland for all the help the country has provided, especially at the donor conferences.

The two ministers talked about the current political situation in Bosnia and reform processes.

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern emphasized the necessity of solving the police reform issues in Bosnia, which is the main precondition for signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union.Ahern also offered help in this sector.

Following the meeting the Irish Foreign Affairs Minister said lessons could be learned from the experience of Northern Ireland.

"I indicated that my department and officials from the Department of Justice were more than willing to give their view on police reform based on the work in the north," Ahern said.

Four Irish officers are currently seconded to police in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Their roles include monitoring investigations and mentoring detectives, tackling organised crime and teaching modern investigative techniques.

Bosnia has 13 police forces controlling local areas and enforcing different aspects of the law.

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern also attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to thousands of innocent Bosnian civilians mass murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in July 1995 in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

It was the worst atrocity carried out on European soil since the Second World War.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – The board of donors for mine demining activities in Bosnia, in the presence of the majority of accredited ambassador in Bosnia, relevant state agencies and international organisations participating in this process, presented in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo the Draft Strategy of Demining Activities for 2009-2019.

The Bosnian Civil Affairs Minister Sredoje Novic chaired the session. The objective is to again turn public attention to the fact that mines still pose a serious risk to the safety of people and to stress to donors and interested partners the need for additional efforts n ensuring necessary funds for the final removal of mines.

Novic said that the threat of mines in BiH has been reduced, but that a lot remains to be done on finally completing this process.

“Bosnia possesses good capacities in personnel and staff for implementing mine action, but what we lack are funds for actual demining. We only need funds and this is why we are still dependant on donors”, he said.

Novic reminded that the international community insists that a transition be made as soon as possible to domestic sources of funding for the demining process. He said that a priority in the upcoming period would be passing the law on demining, which should enter parliamentary procedure early next year.

The Strategy of Demining Activities for 2009-2019 should be adopted by spring next year at the latest when a new donors’ conference should also be held. The Strategy is important because it will ensure that Bosnia plans significant funds in its budgets for these purposes.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – Implementation of police reform in accordance with the three EU principles, full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, reform of the public broadcast system and the public administration are the four conditions Bosnia has to fulfill in order to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union, the European Commission’s report on progress Bosnia has made during the last 12 months states.

Presenting this report at a press conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo,the Deputy Director of the European Commission’s General Directorate for Enlargement Jan Truszczynski said that Bosnia has done very little during the last year on fulfilling priorities from the European partnership document.

He said that reform process have stalled seriously and added that this is due to the rise in nationalistic rhetoric and the tense political atmosphere.

“Bosnia has still not been able to take full responsibility for managing processes in the country”, Truszczynski said and stressed that in the upcoming period Bosnia's political leaders need to achieve consensus on key issues.

He mentioned constitutional changes as one of those key issues. The European Commission has not set deadlines for these changes, but thinks that they should be made as soon as possible, Truszczynski added.

Truszczynski said that the European Commission welcomes the Mostar Declaration signed by the leaders of six political parties, but stressed that concrete steps need to be taken on the issue of police reform so that Bosnia is returned to the path of European integrations.

The European Commission’s report also mentions other priorities on which BiH needs to make progress, including the creation of a single economic space, freedom of movement of goods and persons, and social and economic reforms.

Truszczynski also mentioned several “bright spots” in the report. Besides progress on cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, the report also states that talks on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union have been completed in a professional and efficient way and that Bosnia has had constructive cooperation with countries in the region, as well as that the strengthening of the economy and macroeconomic stability has continued.

Progress has been also made on introducing European standards in the field of transport, education, relaxing the visa regime and the asylum policy.

The European Commission stated that it will continue to strengthen the European perspective of the countries in the region, to support regional cooperation and strengthen support for reform processes through efficient use of pre-accession funds.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – A statement issued by the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic’s Cabinet reads that ruling parties in Bosnia have been unable to meet conditions set by the EU for the signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. What is even more tragic, the statement adds, is that we are seeing no willingness on the part of the ruling coalition to even reach an agreement.

“Quite the opposite, they continue to deepen the crisis in Bosnia and, unfortunately, we are now no longer talking about signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union, but about calming down the political situation in Bosnia”, President Komsic said.

“Attempts at fooling the EU with various protocols and declarations in which our politicians express willingness to work towards an agreement have been clearly seen in Brussels as our attempt to deceive the EU with our typical Balkan tricks”, President Komsic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – About 90 companies will present themselves at the Third Fair of Turkish Economy, which is taking place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, from November 7 to November 11.

The Fair is organized by Istanbul Chamber of Commerce with support of the Bosnian Foreign Trade Chamber.

Trade between the two countries is not at the satisfactory level. Some positive improvements have been registered, however. In last year, the trade exchange mounted to 226 million dollars and in the nine months of this year, the exchange reached 220 million dollars.

Export-import coverage reached 9 per cent in 2007 and is higher compared to the previous years.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) – ”One of the biggest vows we can give to the genocide victims is the recovery of Srebrenica’s economy. We should also create conditions for sustainable return and also make sure the number of returnees increases. Srebrenica should once again be made multiethnic”, the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Special Envoy for Srebrenica Clifford Bond told the press.

He stated that some Bosnian companies have already shown interest for investing into Srebrenica and some companies have already decided to do so.

Haris Basic, FIPA Agency Director stated that intensive talks on participation of foreign investors will take place in the spring. He added that five companies have expressed interest into investing into Srebrenica, like the “Primorje” (Slovenia) and “Inspire” (USA) companies. They actually passed definitive decisions on investing into the region.

20 projects were represented at the conference, worth 200 million Bosnian Marks (150 million USD).

Mayor of Srebrenica Municipality Abdurahman Malkic expressed gratitude to all the participants of the conference and potential investors. He stated that one need to have realistic hopes of the conference.


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (November 8,2007) – Trial in the case of Serbian war criminal Vojislav Seselj for crimes against humanity and war crimes began yesterday before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The trial began by reading the indictment.Serbian war criminal Seselj stated that he will hold his introductory speech today.Serbian war criminal Vojislav Seselj (53) is seen as the chief advocate of the so-called "Greater Serbia".

Seselj has been indicted of organizing a “joint criminal enterprise” together with the late Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.

Genocide in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia against all non-Serbians was Serbian fascists' primary goal. Serbian war criminal Vojislav Seselj is accused of a joint criminal enterprise with Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic to create a "Greater Serbia" by inciting the forced removal of Bosnian,Croatian and other non-Serbian peoples from large swathes of former Yugoslavia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 8,2007) - A former member of the genocidal paramilitary formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS),Novak Djukic has been detained in connection with the killing of 71 Bosnian civilians in the town of Tuzla during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia in 1995.

A total of 71 Bosnian civilians were killed and 150 wounded by the genocidal Serbian aggressor in the Tuzlanska kapija massacre.The youngest of the victims was three years old.

Acting on orders of the Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office, police officials of the Centre for Researching War Crimes, assisted by members of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency’s (SIPA) Special Support Unit, have arrested Serbian war criminal Novak Djukic in Banja Luka in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Serbian war criminal Novak Djukic is to be handed over to the Bosnian State Prosecutor who will examine him, and decide whether a request for a custody order should be filed with the Bosnian State Court.

In June this year the cantonal prosecution in Tuzla, which had conducted the investigation, referred the case to the Bosnian State Prosecutor.

In addition to Djukic, the cantonal prosecution investigated eight other Serbian war criminals.