Wednesday, January 23, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 23,2008) – The Bosnian and Greek Defence Ministers Selmo Cikotic and Evangelos Vassilios Meimarakis signed yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo Agreement on Cooperation in Defence Sector between Bosnia and Greece.

The Bosnian Defence Minister Selmo Cikotic stated after the signing ceremony that this is an important event which will bring about quality cooperation between the two ministries which have already made and signed plans on military cooperation.

Cikotic stated that the Greek military forces have helped Bosnia in several ways, especially in the defence reform and other safety and political issues, including help to Bosnia’s Euro – Atlantic integrations.

Many Bosnian army officers have been trained in Greece. Their number has been increasing year after year. Greece is also helping Bosnia’s at the redundant military personnel provision fund.

Military cooperation plan for 2008 foresees nine activities in Greece and five in Bosnia. Minister Cikotic stated after yesterday’s meeting that the number of activities will slightly improve.

”We have reasons to believe that the existing cooperation will intensify”, the Bosnian Defence Minister stated.

Cikotic especially emphasized the importance of Greek support in various sectors of regional cooperation, which was most evident in realization of Bosnia’s fulltime membership at the SE Europe’s Defence Ministers’ Forum, as well as in fulfilment of program of obligatory activities Bosnia needs to realize as a NATO PFP member for the purpose of fulfilling conditions for NATO membership.

”This will solve many open issues and create conditions for progress which will make Bosnia become a credible partner”, Cikotic said.

The Greek Defence Minister Meimarakis stated that agreement which was signed yesterday is a base for cooperation between the two ministries in many aspects.

He hopes that Bosnia will soon fulfil all the conditions necessary and become a fulltime NATO member.

Meimarakis also stated that he talked with Minister Cikotic about security situation in the Southeastern Europe and added that the two countries share the same vision of security and cooperation in the region.

The two ministers also talked about Kosovo; Meimarakis emphasized that Greece is directly interested in seeing a blalnced solution to the Kosovo issue, which would strengthen peace and security in the region and which would be acceptable for all.

Answering the question if that means his country is willing to support the Kosovo independence if other NATO and EU member countries do that, Meimarakis stated that his country believes that the solution to the issue should be a result of negotiations, not forceful solutions.

The Greek Defence Minister Meimarakis invited the Bosnian Defence Minister Cikotic to visit Greece.

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