Prime minister: Western Balkan leaders' meeting comes at challenging times

NEWS 28.04.2019 16:49
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Source: N1

Monday’s meeting of Balkan leaders in Berlin that was initiated by the German Chancellor and the French President is important as it is coming at the right time, Bosnia’s prime minister said on Sunday.

It is important because it is organised on a request of Europe key leaders, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron and it “comes at a moment when the Western Balkans is facing key challenges,” said Denis Zvizdic.

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“On one hand, we are witnessing positive processes, but we are also witnessing negative tendencies in the reconciliation process and security in the region,” Zvizdic said at the Sarajevo International Airport before heading to Berlin.

The prime minister, in Bosnia officially called the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, said he will present “the truth” about the state of affairs in Bosnia at the meeting and that everything he says “will be backed by precise facts, laws and decisions.”

“I will ask for the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be respected and for our neighbours to finally finish (pursuing their interests) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and for us to finalise our border agreements with Serbia and Croatia,” he said.

“We need to respect the key principle of the European Union on non-breaching of borders,” he added.

Zvizdic said he “doesn’t know whether it is even necessary” to comment on a letter which the Chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, sent to Merkel and Macron a day earlier, protesting over the prime minister's attendance at the Berlin meeting.

Dodik argued that Zvizdic lacks legitimacy because he is in a technical mandate since the October 2018 election, as Bosnia’s government has not been formed yet due to certain disagreements between the winners of the election. He called Zvizdic’s participation “destabilising.”

“I think that this letter doesn’t have the form of diplomatic correspondence and that it is at a level of a Balkan gossip. We see that it did not produce any results, and you are talking to me ahead of the trip to Berlin,” he told reporters, pointing out that Dodik is “nowhere to be seen” at the airport.