Bosnia's institutions acted properly within the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) regarding Kosovo and its participation in the SEECP summit this week in Sarajevo, Bosnia's Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic told N1 following the meeting which gathered regional leaders in the Bosnian capital, adding that Bosnian authorities bear no responsibility for Kosovo's absence.
Angered by the way Bosnian authorities invited them to the meeting, Kosovo representatives called off their participation and decided to boycott the SEECP summit. Also, there was no formal ceremony of the transfer of rotating presidency since the next chair, Kosovo, did not attend the gathering.
“The institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina really worked hard to have the summit, especially this final summit, pass in the best way and I would like to thank all institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina for demonstrating the capability to successfully organise such important regional platform for cooperation that the SEECP is,” said the Presidency member, expressing regret over the absence of Kosovo representatives in the meeting.
He claims that Bosnian authorities bear no responsibility for that.
“When it comes to the relations with all countries, the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina acted in a way they were supposed to act within the SEECP. Nothing more or less. That's the practice agreed at the EU level and at the level of this platform, and Bosnia and Herzegovina acted properly,” explained Dzaferovic.
According to him, Kosovo asked Bosnia to go “one step further than that” and that they “couldn't or didn't want to entirely understand the situation and relations within Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning Kosovo.”
“Despite everything, I wish Kosovo a successful presidency in the next year and, I repeat, I am sorry they were not here,” he added.
The summit invitations were sent out by Bosnia Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik, who clarified that he invited Kosovo as an “undefined subject” because that was in line with the SEECP regulations.
Pristina's participation was solved back in 2014 with the consent of all countries that do not recognise Kosovo, which includes Serbia, Greece, Moldavia and Bosnia, said Dodik’s office, adding that, accordingly, Kosovo accepted to enter the cooperation process as an undefined subject with a footnote.
Dodik, who represents ethnic Serbs and Bosnia's Republika Srpska (RS) entity in the state institutions, follows Serbia’s stance on Kosovo, the region which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but which Serbia still disputes.
In order to recognise Kosovo's independence, Bosnia needs the consent of its three major ethnic groups, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, as well as its two semi-autonomous regions, Republika Srpska and Federation.