We did not ask, we expected that the Law on the Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina be respected, because the Law was imposed by the High Representative in 1998, said Bosnia’s High Representative Valentin Inzko, commenting on media reports that the Office of the High Representative called Bosnia’s Presidency to see if the Republika Srpska (RS) entity flag would be displayed.
Bosnian Serb Chairman of the country’s tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, left the Wednesday meeting with the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), an international body tasked with implementing the agreement that ended the Bosnian war, because of the absence of the flag of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated part in the room.
"The law is clear. There can only be one flag in State institutions. When it comes to the State Presidency and meeting with international institutions, there is only one flag," Inzko said.
He confirmed that the Office of the High Representative (OHR) called the Presidency on Tuesday and asked if the RS flag would be displayed. Since the answer from the Presidency was unclear, the OHR delegation came a bit earlier, before the PIC meeting, to see if the flag would be displayed.
"It’s a matter of principle for the international community that the law is respected," Inzko stressed.
Then he described the situation when the Presidency Chairman left the meeting.
"The flag wasn’t there. Dodik came, welcomed everyone, opened the meeting, and then left," the High Representative said for N1.
Dodik, who is also the leader of the strongest party in the RS, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), apologised to the PIC members as he left the meeting, saying that according to article three of Bosnia’s Constitution, Bosnia is composed of Republika Srpska and the other semi-autonomous entity, the Federation (FBiH) and that this is why the RS flag should be displayed.
The move surprised the other two Presidency members, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, as well as other PIC delegation members.