German Foreign Minister criticises ‘secessionist fantasies’ and says Bosnia can only join the EU as a whole

NEWS 06.03.202417:19 0 komentara

Bosnia and Herzegovina is at an important crossroads, said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Sarajevo on Tuesday, reiterating the strong message on Bosnia's European integration that she had conveyed in the run-up to the visit.

After her arrival on Monday afternoon, Baerbock met with the members of the tripartite Presidency and continued her visit a day later with a meeting with her Bosnian counterpart Elmedin Konakovic.

In her speech on the country’s path to the European Union, the German diplomat emphasised that a country can only join the Union as a whole. She also firmly opposed threats of secession.

“You have felt it here, the greatest poison for humanity is to change borders by force. Secessionist fantasies are an obstacle on the road to the EU. I call on those responsible in Banja Luka to walk this path together and as one,” she emphasised, adding that she had discussed the matter with the presidency.

She also mentioned the good relations between Germany and BiH.

“The human connections between our countries are important. We want to develop them in both directions. Economic cooperation is strong and its potential remains high. Investors also pay particular attention to security and the rule of law,” she added.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Konakovic emphasised the importance of this visit and the exceptional cooperation between BiH and Germany.

“Germany has been at the top of the list of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most important economic partners for years,” he said, adding that Germany’s support for Bosnia’s European path at this moment in history meant a great deal.

He expressed the hope that his colleagues in the government will resume work on the “not very easy negotiations and fulfil their obligations”,” especially now that the country has concrete offers for integration into the European market.

Konakovic also pointed out that Bosnia and Herzegovina is working intensively on the details of the legislation necessary for progress towards the EU, including the law on conflicts of interest.

“The talks we are insisting on are paying off and they are bringing long benefits, especially to the citizens, maybe not to the politicians, which is why the arguments are starting and people are leaving BiH. Today we talked about all the details and what is very important is our message of commitment against corruption, which our partners insist on,” he emphasised, citing the cases against the former intelligence chief and the President of the Court of BiH, as well as the case of the convicted former prime minister of the Federation Unit as examples of these efforts.

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