Thursday, February 7, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (February 7,2008) – The International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajčák met General John McColl, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Commander Europe and Operation Commander of Operation Althea/EUFOR in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo yesterday.

Briefing General McColl on the current political situation in the country the High Representative-EU Special Representative said that Bosnia today faces two challenges, the first to the functionality of the state, the second to its immediate EU perspective.

“We continue to insist on the functionality of the Bosnian state and respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Lajčák.

Underlining that there is no more important step for the future of Bosnia Lajčák said; “It is in no one’s interest to stand in the way of Bosnia’s future in the European Union”.

The High Representative and EU Special Representative welcomed the close co-operation between the European Union Force in Bosnia (EUFOR) and the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR), noting that EUFOR’s presence is welcomed by Bosnia and underlines the EU’s commitment to the country.

General McColl agreed that the close co-operation was beneficial for all parties and stated that “EUFOR will remain until its job is done while contributing to a safe and secure environment”.

“Regarding defence reform implementation the biggest hurdle remains the transfer of defence property from the entities to the state as required by law,” said Lajčák.

“We expect state and entity prime ministers to respect the Bosnian Law on Defence and to honour the agreement they made on the transfer process back in July 2007,” Lajčák added.

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