Sunday, January 13, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (January 13,2008) - The International Community's High Representative and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, met in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo with the NATO Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Admiral Mark Fitzgerald.

As Commander of AFC South, Admiral Fitzgerald’s operational responsibility includes NATO missions in the Southeastern Europe.Lajcak and Fitzgerald concluded that the defence property transfer process, agreed to in July 2007 by the Bosnian state and entity prime ministers, must move forward as a matter of urgency. This is a matter of security, and a requirement of the Bosnian Defence Law. It is also essential for Bosnia to progress further towards full NATO membership.

In this regard,Lajcak and Fitzgerald welcomed the North Atlantic Council’s approval this week to allow Bosnia to develop an ‘Individual Partnership Action Plan’ (IPAP).

Bosnia is now expected to develop an IPAP Presentation Document as the basis upon which the IPAP itself will be developed in cooperation with NATO. The approval by the North Atlantic Council is in recognition of the progress Bosnia is making in defence reform and is a useful instrument for the successful completion of defence sector reform. It puts Bosnia on a firmer footing for the next phase of defence reforms - the Membership Action Plan - which could take Bosnia from the Partnership for Peace to full membership of NATO.

Lajcak also gave Admiral Fitzgerald an assessment of the current political situation in Bosnia, including progress on police reform and the prospects for meeting the conditions for the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union in the first half of 2008.

The International Community's High Representative and the EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak underlined that there is no alternative to eventual accession of Bosnia to the Union and set out how the EU will continue to support Bosnia in order to make progress in this regard.

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