Wednesday, November 21, 2007


BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 21,2007) - The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) decided to extend the mandate of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) until December 31, 2009.

GAERC is composed of the EU Ministers Of Foreign Affairs. Since June 2002 it has held separate meetings on general affairs and external relations. At its sessions on External Relations, under the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy takes part. It also coordinates preparation for and follow–up to meetings of the European Council.

While welcoming the significant progress that the EUPM has made in developing a sustainable police service in Bosnia, the Council also recognised that the Police Mission’s aim to establish a sustainable, professional, and multiethnic Bosnian police force, which will act in line with EU standards, has not yet been achieved.

“Considering that, at the end of EUPM’s second mandate, the desired end-state will not have been fully reached the Council has decided to extend the Mission until the 31 December 2009,” the conclusion reads.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – Reacting to statements made by Milorad Dodik, the prime minister of the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia (RS),who said that "many people" would like to see the RS outside of Bosnia in case Kosovo becomes independent,the Cabinet of the Bosnian Presidency Member Haris Silajdzic emphasized that such claims “do not contribute the lowering of tensions and continuation of dialogue”.

”Bosnia is a country big enough to embrace all its citizens. Every inch of the country belongs to us all, regardless of who lives where currently. Bosnia's sovereignty and territorial integrity are unquestionable and have been guaranteed since 1992 by the International Law and UN Decree”, the Cabinet of the Bosnian Presidency Member Haris Silajdzic announced.

”In that sense, such statements bring into question the Dayton Agreement and cannot influence Bosnia's territorial integrity in any way. That issue will never be a subject of negotiations”, the announcement reads.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (November 21,2007) – The EU Foreign Affairs Ministers expressed concerns for worsening of the political situation in Bosnia and expressed a full support to the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia,Miroslav Lajcak and his measures aimed at strenghtening of the Bosnian Government.

The Council of Europe expressed concerns “over serious worsening of situation in BiH”, the conclusions from the minister meeting state.

The EU ministers urged Bosnia's political leaders to “stop undermining the basis of the country. They should ensure a full functioning of the state institutions and implement the reforms which are important for the country’s progress”.

The EU Foreign Affairs Ministers fully supported the High Representative Miroslav Lajcak and expressed the “need of implementing his decisions. That is an obligation for all the sides”.

The Council greeted the Mostar Declaration signed by the heads of Bosnia's parliamentary parties October 28. The ministers also emphasized that the police reform remains the key precondition for initialling the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) - The Appellate Panel of Section I for War Crimes of the Bosnian State Court has issued the final verdict in the case of Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic, partially upholding the defence appeal, and modifying the Trial Panel’s verdict of 16 February 2007 in the legal qualification of the acts constituting the criminal offence of Crimes against humanity, for which the Trial Panel of the Bosnian State Court had convicted Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic.

The Trial Panel’s verdict remains unchanged in the remaining parts, including the long term imprisonment of 34 years which the Trial Panel of the Bosnian State Court imposed on Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic.

The Trial Panel of the Bosnian State Court found Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic guilty of Crimes against humanity. On 14 April 1992 Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic commanded a genocidal Serbian paramilitary unit who attacked the hamlet of Brezine / Zubovici in the municipality of Foca.

Following the attack some of the Bosnian civilians were taken into captivity, interrogated and tortured by the genocidal Serbian aggressor, and then transferred to the Foca concentration camp.

Further, on 3 July 1992 Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic commanded a group of the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers who attacked Bosnian civilians on the Kremnik hill. During this attack three Bosnian civilians were killed, several of them were wounded.

The captured Bosnian civilians were interrogated and brutally tortured, and Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic, together with several Serbian aggressor's soldiers under his command, murdered seven Bosnian civilians. Between mid June and mid August 1992, Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic on several occasions raped a Bosnian woman.

Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic was acquitted of participating in the rape of another Bosnian woman in the period between 7 April and May 1992,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia.

The time Serbian war criminal Gojko Jankovic has been held in custody from 14 March 2005 will count towards the sentence.


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – The Bosnian Pan-European Party organised in Banja Luka yesterday the celebration of the 95th birthday of the Honorary President of the International Pan-European Party Archduke Otto von Habsburg.

Besides the Archduke, this ceremony was also attended by several members of his family, representatives of European Union institutions, representatives of the Bosnian authorities, the diplomatic corps and Pan-Europeans from Bosnia and other countries.

Banja Luka Bishop Franjo Komaric, the Bosnian Pan-European Party President Franjo Topic, representatives of the Bosnian Governmennt and the Archduke spoke at the ceremony.

Archduke Habsburg has been always politically active and conscious of the creation of a united Europe.

Otto, Crown Prince of Austria or Otto von Habsburg was born on 20 November 1912.He has been the head of the Habsburg family since 1922 and is the eldest son of Charles, the last Emperor of Austria and last King of Hungary.

Between 1976 and 2004 he was the President the International Pan-European Union and he is the Honorary President of the Union today. He was also declared an honorary citizen of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo last year.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – The Bosnian Association for the Protection of Foreign Currency Savers organised peaceful protests in Sarajevo outside the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bosnian Constitutional Court, the US Embassy and OHR.

Prior to these protests the Association held an emergency Assembly during which it adopted demands, which have been forwarded to these institutions.

Their basic demand is that the Bosnian Constitutional Court protects their rights by ordering a trial in accordance with their lawsuit.

Association President Amila Omersoftic said that the Bosnian Constitutional Court delayed their lawsuit for the past three years and so allowed the executive authorities, together with the parliament, to pass laws with the sole intention of preventing the prosecution of the lawsuit and to use the verification process of prevent hundreds of thousands of foreign currency savers in Bosnia to gain access to their savings.

“We have two violations here – the violation of the right to a trial and the violation of the right to property, accompanied by horrific discrimination created in the privatisation process as a result of which many are based on their ethnic background denied access to property”, Omersoftic said.

The Association levelled its heaviest criticism against the Bosnian Minister of Finance in resignation Dragan Vrankic, his former assistant Fuad Kasumovic and former Minister Ljerka Maric as the most responsible individuals for the violation of the FBiH Entity Constitutional Court’s verdict on the issues of foreign currency savings.

The Association requested the Bosnian Presidency and the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) to prevent those officials from holding public office ever again.

The Association also requested the IMF, OHR and the US Administration to explain claims that the international community has also had a hand in the situation concerning foreign currency savings and help resolve this problem.

The Association has warned the EU that Serbia, which has recently signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, and Slovenia have not fulfilled their obligations.

The Association will also forward the letter with their demands to the UN Secretary General, who is the depositor of the succession agreement, with a warning that only savers from Bosnia have remained unprotected under this agreement.

Foreign currency savings are private property and cannot be a matter of trade, the savers stressed at the protest and again asked where did the 2,5 billion in savings of the Bosnian citizens end up.

They stressed that they wish to see their problems resolved in Bosnia, but also stressed that should this prove impossible their will seek the Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg to resolve this issue.

Members of the Bosnia Association of Unemployed Persons also joined the peaceful protest.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – The German Government donated 300.000 EUR to the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICPM) for the purpose of supporting the process of search for the missing persons in Bosnia.

On that occasion, the German Ambassador to Bosnia Michael Schmunk visited the ICMP DNA Lab on Monday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and signed an agreement on donation together with the ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger.

Ambassador Schmunk emphasized that the support to the process of search for the missing persons will contribute strengthening of trust in Bosnia, as well as peace and stabilization of situation in the region.

German Ambassador emphasized his country’s readiness to keep supporting the ICMP mission.

ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger thanked the Ambassador for the donation and stated that Germany has been involved in the process of search of the missing persons for five years.

She added that the donation will be aimed to strengthen the capacities of Bosnia in the processes of exhumations and identifications of genocide victims.

Out of 30.000 registered missing persons in Bosnia, 13.000 of them are still considered missing.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – The Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) will become operative in Bosnia on November 22. The new agreement creates the same trade conditions which are applied in the rest of the world.

”That concretely means that the Bosnian business community now has the conditions for long-term planning of the business activities and that the trade regiment will not vary from one country to another, like was the case with 32 bilateral agreements”, Sabrija Serifovic, Advisor to the Bosnian Minister of Foreign Trade said yesterday.

Connecting the countries of the region gives a chance to the region itself to consolidate from within. Bigger market is more attractive to investors, both domestic and foreign.

Apart from that, geographical position of Bosnia is very specific. Staying apart from the free trade zone would mean bringing Bosnia into a very difficult position.

Advantages of economic cooperation with the CEFTA countries have been known from before; especially the so-called “diagonal communication”. Analysts, however, state that that possibility cannot be used by far prior to signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union.

”I can mostly agree with that opinion. Rules on the origin of goods and merchandise in CEFTA agreement foresee a concept of diagonal accumulation of the origin. Keeping in mind the fact that Bosnia does not have the degree of analysis needed; it is mostly difficult to determine the origin. In that way, it is impossible to use the zero VAT rate”, Serifovic commented.

From the Bosnian perspective, it is now possible to accumulate the goods thorough the use of materials from the countries signatories. Once Bosnia signs the SAA with the EU, materials from the EU will be used as well. Knowing the structure of the Bosnian economy, Serifovic said, it is a fact that the concept of diagonal communication is yet to gain the significance.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – Delegation of the Slovakian Parliament’s Defence and Security Commission lead by President of the Commission Rudolf Pucik had a meeting in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with delegation of the Bosnian Parliament’s Commission for Defence and Security.

Slovakian guests were interested in reform processes in Bosnia, especially fo r the police and constitutional reforms.They expressed readiness of the Slovakian Parliament to help Bosnia in its way to the Euro-Atlantic integrations.

”The meeting was especially important because it also focused on parliamentary cooperation between Bosnia and Slovakia in the sector of defence and security”, the Deputy Chairman of the Bosnian Parliament’s Commission for Defence and Security Sefik Dzaferovic said.

Emphasizing that the members of Slovakian Commission knew that the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia is a Slovak, the President of the Slovakian Parliament’s Defence and Security Commission Rudolf Pucik confirmed readiness of Slovakia to help Bosnia on its way to the EU.

”Slovakia had gone through a difficult integration period. In several weeks’ time, it will enter the Schengen space. I hope that Bosnia will head the same way. You have always been a part of Europe. That is where you will stay”, Pucik said.

This has been the first visit of the members of the Slovakian Parliament to Bosnia. This is a return visit for members of the Bosnia Parliament have recently visited Slovakia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) - The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajčák, met with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary, Famiano Crucianelli. During the meeting Lajcak briefed the Italian State Secretary Crucianelli on political situation in Bosnia.

Crucianelli expressed the support to the measures undertaken by the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia as they are necessary for better functionality of the Bosnian Government.

The measures are fair, balanced and positive for the functioning of the Bosnian Government. They are not directed against any group or people, nor do they not undermine the protection of vital national interests of any of the constitutive peoples in Bosnia, the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR/EUSR) said.

Lajcak and Crucianelli agreed that EU path is the right path for Bosnia and called upon Bosnia's political leaders to make concrete steps to unblock the road to EU as soon as possible. This will bring clear benefits to all the citizens of the country and contribute towards regional stability and security.

Mostar Declaration, as characterized by both the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Lajčák and Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Crucianelli is a positive signal of leading Bosnia's politicians to move police reform forward as it remains a key EU requirement.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) - Bosnian striker Zlatan Muslimovic has been ruled out of today's Euro 2008 Group C qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul because of injury, the Bosnian National Football Federation said.

The injured Atalanta player and Bosnia's top scorer will be replaced by home-based striker Sanel Jahic of F.C. Zeljeznicar, the Bosnian National Football Federation said yesterday, although it failed to elaborate on the Muslimovic's injury.

European champions Greece, who have already qualified for the finals, top the group on 28 points. Turkey, on 21 points, are vying for the second qualifying spot alongside Norway (20).

Bosnia are in fourth place on 13 points. The finals will be co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.

Bosnian National Team:

Goalkeepers: Adnan Guso (Pandurii Romania), Bojan Tripic (Modrica Maxima)

Defenders: Branimir Bajic (Koblenz), Safet Nadarevic (Zagreb), Ivan Radeljic (Slaven Belupo), Dzemal Berberovic (Kuban Krasnodar), Samir Merzic (Teplice), Veldin Muharemovic (Sarajevo).

Midfielders: Elvir Rahimic (CSKA Moscow), Dario Damjanovic (Hajduk Split), Darko Maletic (Partizan), Branislav Krunic (FC Moscow), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Nuremberg), Senijad Ibricic (Zagreb), Sejad Salihovic (TSG Hoffenheim).

Forwards: Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg), Vedad Ibisevic (TSG Hoffenheim), Sanel Jahic (Zeljeznicar).