The European Union is willing to continue keeping its armed forces in Bosnia under a renewed UN mandate, the head of the EU Delegation to the United Nations told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
Joao Vale de Almeida said that the EU continues to support the presence of its troops in Bosnia, Operation Althea, which has “refocused on its core mandate while retaining the elements of capacity building and training deemed to be still necessary.”
The EU forces, EUFOR, are ready to continue to “support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities to maintain the safe and secure environment, under a renewed UN mandate,” Vale de Almeida said.
EUFOR’s mandate is being renewed every year by the Security Council. The mission succeeded NATO’s IFOR and SFOR troops that were deployed in Bosnia end of 1995 to stop the war.
The number of foreign soldiers on the ground shrunk over the years from 60,000 to several hundred.
The European Union is committed to Bosnia and Herzegovina becoming a member of it as a single, united and sovereign country, Vale de Almeida said at the UN Security Council Debate on the situation in Bosnia.
The EU expects “all leaders to engage constructively in government formation at all levels” following the October 7 election, he said.
The European Union recalls that it “expects the BiH authorities to prioritise taking forward the reforms needed to advance on in its EU path,” he said.