Friday, March 7, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) - Dr Haris Silajdzic replaced yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo his colleague Zeljko Komsic as the President of the Bosnian State Presidency.Silajdzic, elected as a member of the Party for Bosnia (SBiH), became the new chairman of the country's top body in a regular rotation procedure.He is to chair the presidency for the next eight months, after which a member of the Bosnian Presidency Nebojsa Radmanovic, takes over.

The Bosnian State Presidency at the urgent session discussed yesterday the preparations for the NATO summit in Bucharest,Romania.

The Bosnian Presidency according to the strategy of Bosnia for a full NATO membership gave a full support to continuance and intensifying of the process of cooperation and partnership relations between Bosnia and NATO and improvement of cooperation on higher functional level.

The Bosnian Presidency sent a letter to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in which it was asked that the decision of improvement of relations between Bosnia and NATO be made at the summit on the level of “intensive dialogue”.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – Agency for Gender Equality in Bosnia, the Bosnian Ministry of Human Righst and Refugees and the Bosnian Ministry of Justice promoted yesterday in Sarajevo a publication “Are You Informed about Your Rights”, within Gender Equality week.

Publication has a purpose of promoting rights and principles of gender equality, strengthening of democratic standards in Bosnia, efficiency of implementing justice according to the needs of citizens and strengthening the society as a whole.

It is created on the principle of questions and answers and in the most simple way, it gives concrete explanations to the wider public presenting the guide through legal mechanisms of human rights protection and gender equality. Institutions responsible for different segments of human rights abuse and protection are listed in it.

Answers which it gives are based on according laws of Bosnia.

Publication was developed within the project of judicial reform and it was financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The Canadian Ambassador to Bosnia David Hutchins stated at yesterday’s conference that his country is dedicated to gender equality and takes good care that this principle stands in all spheres of life.

He stated that women in the world have less and less rights, reflecting in poorer education smaller salaries than men, etc. That is why women’s position needs to improve and their rights respected.

The Bosnian Deputy Minister of Justice Niko Grubesic announced that this publication shall be printed in 137.000 copies and be published in all daily newspapers in Bosnia.

Head of the Canadian – Bosnian judicial reform project Ted Hill stated that this project should contribute in creating sustainable, efficient and impartial judicial system which will enable the protection of human rights and liberties.

Publication shall be published today, March 7 in all daily newspapers in Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic, said Bosnia is still waiting for an apology for crimes committed by Montenegro during the 1992-1995 Montnegrin aggression against Bosnia.

Referring to the 1992-1995 Serbian,Montenegrin and Croatian aggressions against Bosnia, President Silajdzic said that “Bosnian citizens expect it and that it would be good for relations between the two countries.”

He called on Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic to apologise on behalf of his country.

“Human dignity of Bosnian citizens was desecrated and such a gesture would help heal the wounds, most of all the emotional ones,” Montenegrin daily Vijesti quoted the Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic as saying.

President Silajdzic added that Bosnia “first of all expects an apology from Belgrade. That has not come yet.”

President Silajdzic said that the Montenegrin apology to Bosnia would be a logical step after the country had apologised to Croatia for the participation of Montenegrin soldiers in the Belgrade-controlled Yugoslav army, which helped rebel Serbs in Croatia take control of almost 25 percent of the Croatian territory in 1991. Croatia reclaimed the land in 1995.

But the President of Montenegro stated in an interview to the “Teuta” TV station from Ulcinj,Montenegro, that he will not apologise to Bosnia again,because he “presented the attitude on the issue in 2004, during my visit to Bosnia”.

”I then expressed regrets over the tragedy that occurred in Bosnia and which took many a life, caused devastation and many other consequences”, Vijanovic said.

He added that he expressed his tribute to the victims “condemned the war crimes and war criminals and emphasized that it is necessary that they are punished”.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – New Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serge Brammertz is in official two-day visit to Bosnia.

The arrest of war crimes suspects still at large in the southeastern Europe remains the top priority of the ICTY's new Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz told the Bosnian State Presidency in Sarajevo yesterday.

The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has an important role in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the entire region, Brammertz said after meeting with members of the Bosnian State Presidency.

The President of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic focused at the meeting he had with ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz and other Presidency members on the issues of arrests of the remaining war criminals, ICTY mandate extension, strengthening of the Bosnian judiciary institutions and ICTY Archives.
President Silajdzic emphasized the necessity of changing the UN Security Council’s Resolution foreseeing closing of the Tribunal by 2010.

Emphasizing that a kind of a reduced Tribunal will have to continue with the activities long after the year 2010, President Silajdzic emphasized that it is important for peace, safety and justice in the region that ICTY’s mandate is extended until the persons indicted are brought to justice.

President Silajdzic also reminded the ICTY Chief Prosecutor that apart from the breech of several resolutions of the UN SC for 12 years already, Serbia has openly breeched the ICJ verdict for a year now, for the Court ordered Serbia to “immediately” arrest all Serbian war criminals accused of committing genocide during the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia, especially Serbian war criminals Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

The Bosnian President Haris Silajdzic emphasized that the constant visits to Belgrade and general statements of the international officials on the need of such arrests would bring results. He asked Brammertz on concrete actions that can be taken to ensure that Serbia finally starts acting in accordance with the International Law.

Brammertz agreed with the remark that the past efforts have not brought concrete results and emphasized that the European and world leaders need to be constantly reminded of the fact that in this case the international obligations have clearly been defined and that family members of genocide victims expect to see justice, not a technical criteria that Serbia needs to fulfill on the way to the EU.

President Silajdzic also emphasized the need of strengthening judiciary institutions in Bosnia in order to ensure processing of thousands of cases related to genocide.

President Silajdzic also emphasized the need of treating the Tribunal documents the way the ICTY rules proscribe, and that, in that sense, Serbia must not get the documents back, for the Rules do not allow such an action.

Moreover, President Silajdzic emphasized that it is in the best interest of justice and historical heritage that all the documents of the Tribunal are open to public. He also emphasized the need of putting the ICTY Archives to the disposal of Bosnia.

Praising the work of the ICTY, a member of the Bosnian Presidency Zeljko Komsic promised the full support of Bosnia's institutions for the ICTY's activities.

Bosnia's top officials and Brammertz also discussed plans for the completion of the tribunal's work in 2010.

It would be unimaginable, Brammertz said, that the ICTY would close before all war crimes suspects face justice.

"We will do our best to bring the fugitives before justice, because that is the responsibility and obligation of the international community," the chief prosecutor said.

Brammertz, who arrived on his first official visit to Bosnia since taking over the post from Carla Del Ponte on January 1, was also scheduled to meet today with the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia, Miroslav Lajcak, and Bosnia's judicial authorities.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – Bosnian Presidency member Zeljko Komsic received yesterday accreditation letter from the newly appointed Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Bosnia, Jauhar Saleem.

It was pointed out that bilateral relations of the two countries are good but that cooperation can be improved in the segment of economy, education and culture.

The Ambassador of Pakistan stated that the government of his country supports sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and wishes that Bosnia advances in economic development and reforms as well as in the segment of the European integrations.

"We are looking forward to cooperate with Bosnia on promoting inter-civilization harmony and peace in our regions and the world”,Ambassador Saleem stated.

Bosnian Presidency member Zeljko Komsic expressed his expectations that bilateral relations will improve with meeting on the highest level and reminded on the successful viist of the President of Pakistan Pakistan Musharaf to Bosnia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia (EC} Dimitris Korkoulas presented in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo the West Balkans Communication, adopted by the European Commission for the purpose of creating the new and improving the existing initiatives which accelerate association processes in the region.

He said that these proposals will be presented to the EU members at an informal meeting of the Union’s foreign affairs ministers in Ljubljana, March 28 and 29.

European Commission wants to start a dialogue with all the countries of the region in order to develop a map of a road with concrete conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for the visa regime to be annulled.

Kourkoulas stated that the map will precisely define the conditions in the sector of document protection, illegal migration prevention, public order, security and foreign relations.

The speed of visa regime termination will depend on the pace each of the region’s countries will fulfill those conditions.

The European Commission foresees the increased number of scholarships for the students of the region interested in studying in the EU. Each year, 10 million Euros is provided for the purpose. The intention is to double the amount in 2009/2010.

Several new programs will open and will be made available to the West Balkans countries in the sector of scientific and research activities and education.

Commenting regional cooperation, the European Commission fully supports the work of RCC, headquartered in Sarajevo, which was formed as a transformation of the Stability Pact. The Commission is convinced that the CEFTA agreement will improve trade relations in the region, that is, that the CEFTA agreement is a useful addition to the SAA, and an important segment in Bosnia’s WTO association processes.

Kourkoulas emphasized that financial assistance of the EU for the southeastern European countries in the period from 2007 to 2011 is about 800 million Euros worth per a year, which is by far the greatest financial assistance of the EU to a region per capita.

EU’s financial package for Bosnia in 2007 was 62 million Euros. In this year, it amount is 74,8 million Euros. In the year 2009 it will mount to 79 million Euros.

The European Investment Bank also increased the loans available for the region’s countries to 2,8 billion Euros in the period from 2008 to 2010. The focus will be placed to transport, energy, environment protection, health insurance, education… Kourkoulas emphasized that BiH can benefit from the loans in realization of several projects.

The main political message of the European commission is support to the countries of the region; strategy has been made available. It is up to each of the countries’ efforts “to help us help you”, Kourkoulas stated.

All the new measures are a part of the SAA. Kourkoulas is of the opinion that it is unnecessary to change the Agreement. He sees no reasons why Bosnia should not sign SAA if the Mostar Declaration on Police Reform is implemented. However, he warned that that is not the end of the Bosnian Police Reform, quite the contrary.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (March 7,2008) – "We have learned from the media that SNSD and HDZ BiH presidents talked about the federalization of Bosnia," said the President of the Bosnian Presidency Haris Silajdzic.

”Representatives of HDZ party and SNSD party know well that federalization of Bosnia will not be supported by the majority of citizens and that there is not a single historical, geo-political, territorial and economic evidence that the concept will solve the issue of equality of Bosnian citizens, regardless of their ethnic determination”, Silajdzic’s Cabinet announced, in a reacton to the meeting held between Milorad Dodik and Dragan Covic, SNSD and HDZ BiH parites’ presidents.

”Such discussions serve the daily-political statements which are aimed to create tensions. The Declaration of the Peace Implementation Council from Brussels once again confirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as international subjectivity of Bosnia”, the announcement states.

President Silajdzic stated that the federalization concept is unacceptable and that it does not reflect historical continuity of Bosnia’s multiethnic character.