Tuesday, April 1, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 1,2008) – The Commander of the Bosnian Armed Forces General Sifet Podzic said in an interview for the FBIH Radio that Bosnia should be granted the “intensive dialogue” status at the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest, from April 2 to 4.

”That is”, he stated, “the last step prior to the call for membership to this association. In order for us to become users of NATO’s collective safety, we need to contribute. We are already doing that”, General Podzic stated.According to these criminal plans, Bosnian soldiers will participate in the aggression against Afghanistan.

”Our presence in Afghanistan does not have to immediately mean that our soldiers will fight against Taliban. For now, we will be sending our officers who will work at the multinational headquarters and will, in that way, acquire the experience necessary”, General Podzic stated.

Answering the journalist’s question related to the competition announced in the past few days on admittance of 300 high school graduates to the Bosnian Armed Forces, Sifet Podzic stated that it is only the first phase aimed to strengthen the Armed Forces’ personnel.

”About 800 young experts are necessary in order to have 10.000 military professionals at the Bosnian Armed forces. Those are the profiles we are currently lacking. Those young people will be an embryo of a new Bosnian Army, which has not participated in a war and which has the best general and specialist knowledge, knows foreign languages and IT”, General Podzic stated.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 1,2008) – Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikola Spiric warned that he would resign if the Bosnian State Parliament fails to adopt police reform laws.

”If the laws are not adopted, the party leaders will have to look for someone who wants to be an actor at the head of the Bosnian Council of Ministers, because I do not want to do that” Spiric stated.

Prior to the session of the Bosnian Parliament, Spiric said that refusal of the police reform laws would send a clear message that the current mandate of the Bosnian Council of Ministers, which submitted the bills to the procedure, no longer has support.

The EU foreign affairs ministers warned last week that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between Bosnia and the European Union will not be signed until the reform laws are adopted.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 1,2008) - The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry State Secretary Olga Algayerova yesterday left for a two-day working visit to Bosnia, the ministry press department announced.

Bilateral talks will focus on mutual cooperation in the field of trade and commerce, recent political developments in Bosnia and its accession process to the EU as well as the developments in the rest of the southeastern Europe.

Algayerova will also take part in the opening ceremony of the International Trade Fair in the southern Bosnian city of Mostar where Slovakia is a partner country.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 1,2008) – Delegation of the British Group in the Inter-Parliamentary Union will visit Bosnia.Members of the delegation met with the British Ambassador to Bosnia Matthew Rycroft yesterday, March 31. The delegation will also meet with members of Inter-Parliamentary Union of the Bosnian Parliament and with members of both the Houses’ Collegiums.

A roundtable session will be held with chairpersons of commissions of the foreign policy, trade and human rights boards, as well as with representatives of parliamentary position and opposition, heads of the Bosnian Parliamentary Assembly caucuses and representatives of the British Government’s Department for International development. The meeting will focus on the role of parliaments in Great Britain and Bosnia.

In continuation of the five-day visit, the British parliamentary delegation will meet with representatives of executive and legislative authority at the entity and state level.


BRDO PRI KRANJU, Slovenia (April 1,2008) – EU needs to remain consistent in its approach towards the southeastern European countries and reward them in accordance to their progress in reform processes, the International Community's High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak stated at the EU foreign affairs ministers’ meeting held on Saturday in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia.

Lajcak informed the ministers on current political situation in Bosnia and participated in ministers’ discussion on strengthening of peace and stability in the southeastern Europe.

”We need to be pragmatic and we need to focus on what is possible in a certain moment. At the same time, we clearly need to say to the political leaders in Bosnia what is expected of them in every phase of the EU integrations processes. Conditions need to be fulfilled and they primarily need to have a motivating force”, Lajcak said.

He stated that the EU integrations processes are a strategic challenge for Bosnia. Political leaders and parliamentarians will have an opportunity to show how they can cope with the challenge on April 2, when the Bosnian Parliament decides on the police reform laws.

”Adoption of the laws would enable signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and would finally open the country’s way to the EU”, High Representative stated.

Also, he reminded the ministers that the true reconciliation will not take place as long as the persons accused of war crimes and genocide, primarily Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, are free.

”Reconciliation is impossible to achieve without justice”, he said.

He concluded that Bosnia needs to be focus of the EU’s attention in future, among other, because of the very fact that the EU will, after the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) transition, will take over the key role in supporting the Bosnian reform processes.

In a joint statement of the EU Presidency issued after the end of the foreign affairs ministers’ meeting, participants emphasized that the joint interest is continuation of political and economic reform processes in an accelerated rate, as well as protection of minority ethnic communities.

As stated, certain progress has been achieved through stabilization and association processes in the past few years. All the achievements need to be rewarded.

Commenting the visa regime liberalization processes for the countries in the region, the statement makes it clear that the European Commission is in the process which will end in initiation of negotiations on liberalization of the visa regime with all the countries of the region, with an emphasis that there are some “realistic priorities and criteria” which will enable visa-free traveling.

”Regional cooperation, good relations between the neighboring countries and an obligation to find acceptable solutions to the open issues between the states are still important elements for the entire region on its way to the EU”, the Presidency announced.

The ministers also estimated progress aspirants for the EU membership have achieved in the process of negotiations.