Foreign Affairs Min.: Misunderstanding regarding Hungary's donation was resolved

NEWS 17.04.2020 12:10
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Source: N1

Any donation coming to Bosnia is welcome but the recipient should be the state and it should then be distributed according to agreed-upon principles, Bosnia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Bisera Turkovic, told N1 on Friday, adding that a “misunderstanding” regarding Hungary’s donation to the country for its fight against the coronavirus has been resolved.

A donation of 10,000 protective suits and 200,000 masks which Hungary sent to Bosnia to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic has arrived at Bosnia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday.

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However, Turkovic explained that there was a “misunderstanding” regarding the donation which was “resolved and removed through diplomatic pressure.”

“They (Hungary) believed that all who needed help should request it,” she said, explaining that Bosnia’s Serb-majority region of Republika Srpska (RS) sent a request for help and that Hungary then expected the other semi-autonomous entity, the Federation (FBiH), to do the same.

“We don’t want to follow such a principle, every help is welcome but it should be sent to Bosnia's state level, and then it should be distributed according to the principles that were already agreed,” she said.

“We did not ask for help as one entity, or two entities. If any help is requested, then it is Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state requesting it and then it would be expected that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina also receives it,” she said.

“We don’t want to be any different from other countries in the region,” she stressed, arguing that nobody has sent help to Serbia’s Vojvodina region either but only to Serbia as a state.

Turkovic said that the aid was distributed equally between the RS and FBiH.

Donors are free to send aid to a particular region but “the door should also be open to Bosnia” and the state government should be included in the process, she stressed.

She gave the example of Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency, who asked Malaysia for aid but “never thought of asking for that help for FBiH only, but for Bosnia and Herzegovina.”