Tuesday, April 22, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj has started consultations with the European Commission’s high officials to pressure Slovenian Presidency over the EU to fulfil the promise that Bosnia will sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) after adoption of the police reform laws.During his two-day visit to Brussels, Minister Alkalaj met with the majority of the high European Commission’s officials – Michael Leigh (Head of the Expansion Direction), Michael Giffoni (Political Director for the West Balkans), Javier Solana (EU’s High Commissioner for Foreign Policy), Manuel Barosso (President of the European Commission) and others.

Alkalaj told Bosnian media that he talked to the EU high officials about signing of SAA April 29 or on some other date.

He made clear that because of the quantity of tasks that are to be performed (translation of 1.300 pages into 22 languages is one of them), signing of the Agreement may not take place on April 29 as planned. He emphasized, however, that the European commission is strongly engaged and determined to bring the job to the end.

Alkalaj expects that Bosnia will sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union in May.


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (April 22,2008) – A 30-member delegation of Saudi businessmen will visit Bosnia in early May to explore the prospects of establishing business and trade relations between the two countries.

The delegation, organized by Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, will also travel to Turkey, according to Dr. Ghassan Ahmed Al-Sulaiman, president of Ghassan Ahmed Al-Sulaiman Development Co. Ltd. and former chairman of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the chairman of the Saudi-Turkish Business Council, who is traveling with the group.

"This is the first trip organized by a Saudi chamber to Bosnia and will be an exploratory one because most of the delegates have not visited Bosnia before," Al-Sulaiman, said.

"I hope the businessmen will succeed in promoting trade and investment with that country," he said.

The delegation is expected to meet the Bosnian President Dr. Haris Silajdzic, who visited Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Economic Forum in February this year. "We were impressed by his speech, which he gave in Arabic, and we will make it a point to meet him during our visit as it is part of our program," Al-Sulaiman said.

"Bosnia is a beautiful country. It is not far away. A direct flight from here may take four hours. Though it is a European country, it is not far from Saudi Arabia," he added.

He said Bosnia has tremendous potential as a tourist destination and in addition has very strong attractive tourist destinations nearby.

Close by is Croatia which has some beautiful beaches and also Montenegro.

"There is a possibility that Bosnia will attract Saudi tourists once they come to know that country," he said.

"This trip, from May 4 to May 8, is meant to explore only Bosnia. No Saudi businessman will actually invest in Bosnia if he does not know the country. The first step is to see the country and explore it, and hopefully they (businessmen) will like the country. And once they like the country they will look at business, investment and trade opportunities," Al-Sulaiman said.

"The purpose of this visit is to see and study the potential of that country and I hope this will be first of many visits to follow in future," he said.

He added "Bosnia is a Muslim country and it needs the support of all Arab countries. Still, lots of people have a misconception that Bosnia is in the midst of a war, although the war ended more than 10 years ago."

According to him, the bilateral trade is negligible. Even if Saudis invest in Bosnia, it is still early to talk of building strong economic relations between the two countries.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) – Following the testimony of the indictees, the Bosnian State Prosecutor in his final statement has asked yesterday for long-term imprisonment of Serbian war criminals Milos Radic and Mirko Todorovic.

Serbian war criminal Milos Radic, accused of shooting 14 Bosnian civilians in Borkovac, Bratunac municipality, claims that he was forced to watch the mass-murder of these Bosnian civilians in May 1992.

The presenting of evidence against Serbian war criminals Milos Radic and Mirko Todorovi was concluded by Radic's account and the Prosecution has called for the Bosnian State Court to convict them.

Serbian war criminals Milos Radic and Mirko Todorovic are charged with participating in the detention and shooting of 14 Bosnian civilians in Borkovac on May 20, 1992,in the early stages of the 1992-1995 Serbian aggression against Bosnia. Eight Bosnian civilians were murdered by the genocidal Serbian aggressor and the rest of them survived and some gave their testimony at the Bosnian State Court during this trial.

Witnesses who survived claimed that they were taken to the shooting by Serbian war criminal Milos Radic,who stated that he was forced and taken by unknown soldiers to participate in the shooting.

Adnan Gulamovic, the Bosnian State Prosecutor presenting his final statement, pointed out that they had presented enough evidence for the Court Chamber to convict Serbian war criminals Mirko Todorovic and Milos Radic.

“On May 20 1992 the indictees acted in the group with other four Serbian soldiers and each of them has played by its own rule. They know that detention and taking away have only one aim – the liquidation of detained Bosnians," Gulamovic stated, adding that the indictees “provided no help to civilians, they even participated in those acts.”

The Bosnian State Prosecutor also said that the claim given by the Defence team that the genocidal Serbian aggressor's soldiers had forced the indictees to be there is irrelevant considering the testimony given by Serbian war criminal Milos Todorovic.

“They didn’t make an effective move to try to save those people, they did not state they were specifically against doing that, nor did they move from the shooting place. For all that time they cooperated with Serbian soldiers, and that was what they wanted because they were sharing the common aims," the Bosnian State Prosecutor said.

At the end, he proposed that the Bosnian State Court proclaim them guilty, considering that there is no mitigating circumstances, while there is “whole chain” of aggravating ones, like the number of victims, the circumstances under which they were killed, as well as the consequences this event left on their families.

The Bosnian State Prosecutor believes that a long-term prison punishment will provide “spiritual peace for the victims.”


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) – One year training project on the European integrations financed by the European Union enabled 1.200 Bosnian state employees to implement the activities related to the EU integrations processes.

As a part of this project, worth 500.000 Euros, 38 three-day courses were held.At the project’s closing conference, which was held yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, methodology and achievements of the project were presented as well as the key conclusions for future trainings and courses.

The main goal of the project, was to offer the attendees the basic knowledge on the EU, its institutions, policies and on the current political situation in Bosnia, as well as about the EU integrations processes and the role of state institutions and administration in the processes, as well as on legal alignment and EU support.

”Almost every state official in Bosnia has undergone at least one course of the European integrations”, jakob Finci, Head of the Bosnian State Administration Agency said.

He emphasized that this is only the beginning, keeping in mind that the European integrations are a very comprehensive material. There are over 80.000 pages of regulations.

That is why the intention is that the Bosnian state employees are made completely ready for the association with the EU, once Bosnia fulfils all the conditions, Finci said.

Head of the European Commission’s Operative Sector in Bosnia Ferdinand Kopp stated that this project, which had started in April 2007, has proven to be very successful. He emphasized the importance of enabling state servants for activities in the European integrations processes.

Although this project focused solely on the European integrations, Kopp stated that in future, foreign language courses will be organized together with other necessary issues for the Bosnian state employees.

As stated, a high degree of participation in the training was made in the process. The Bosnian State Administration Agency has proven that it is capable of organizing some more demanding training programs.

Apart from this agency, entity and Brcko District agencies for administration were users of this project. The East West Consulting Company realized this project.


VIENNA, Austria (April 22,2008) – Exhibitions “Sarajevo 1878 – 1918” and “Contemporary Bosnian Art – Remake” were presented yesterday in the Austrian capital Vienna at the “Palffy” palace. ”

”Today, Sarajevo begins its guest visit to Vienna by the return cultural event “Sarajevo in Vienna”. A year ago, Vienna prepared for Sarajevo a unique cultural and artistic event. Vienna in Sarajevo Manifestation was seen as a recognition and an expression of will that such a big and prominent city such is Vienna wants Sarajevo as its institutional partner. We are happy about that and it makes us proud. It also obliges us to strengthen our partner relationship”, Predrag Mitrovic, Deputy Mayor of Sarajevo said at opening of the exhibition at the Palffy Palace.

He emphasized that citizens of Vienna will be able to, starting today until May 4, attend a series of cultural events City of Sarajevo has prepared.

He called the citizens of Vienna to visit the events as much as they can, prepared as a part of the Sarajevo in Vienna cultural event.

Mayor of Sarajevo Semiha Borovac attended the opening and she welcomed the guests present. She also called all the guests present to visit all the cultural events.

The “Sarajevo 1878 – 1918” exhibition is a replica of an old museum exhibit in Sarajevo. It presents the period of Austro-Hungary with all the changes this monarchy had brought about into the City of Sarajevo.

The contemporary art exhibition is a collection of works by Sarajevo artists which treats the phenomenon of the use of different materials which are not commonly use din art. That is one of the most legitimate precedents in the modern art.

Exhibitions will be open until May 4.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) – The 4th International Fair of Slavic Librarians opened yesterday in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo under the title “Librarian paths: The Next Generation”. It closes on April 24.

This four day gathering held every year within International Book Fair has a purpose of experience exchange between Bosnian and foreign librarians. About 70 librarians shall participate, mainly from Bosnia, Slovenia, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.

Organization board member and American historian Robert Donia opened the event stating that efforts of librarians surpass all limits with the belief that answers to all challenges must dealt with internationally.

He expects from this year’s event to result with better knowledge and development in human informal relations based on mutual interests. The goal is better understanding of mutual problems and finding adequate solutions.

The event shall be held in sessions in which participants will present their works, pointing out on the existing problems and obstacles.

It was planned for participants to visit the Bosnian Jewish Museum, the Zenica City Museum and the town of Vranduk and to participate at the opening of 20th International Book Fair on April 23 in Sarajevo.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) - According to an estimate by the Bosnian State Regulatory Agency for Communication (RAK), there were 1,055,000 internet users in Bosnia last year, or 11 per cent more than the year before.

There were 273,752 registered internet subscribers in the country in 2007. Dial-up internet access still prevails with 69 per cent share, followed by broadband access (31 per cent).


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 22,2008) - Nedžad Branković, the Prime Minister of the FBIH entity, the FBIH entity Minister of Displaced Persons and Refugees Edin Mušić, the FBIH entity Minister of Trade Desnica Radivojević and the Director of the Privatization Agency Enes Ganić, met yesterday in Sarajevo with the Delegation of Turkish businessmen of PER-DER Group.

The Group gathers 205 companies in different line of business, has 25,000 employees and annual revenue of 4.5 billion USD. The Turkish businessmen are interested in long-term investment in production capacities for items intended for the European market, building of department stores and shopping malls in Bosnia.