Compromise may be difficult but it is vital for Bosnia’s citizens to be able to live the lives they deserve, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Saturday, marking the 25 years since the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the Bosnian war was signed.
A quarter of a century ago, NATO played a central role in bringing the warring parties to the negotiating table to end the 1992-95 war.
Once the agreement was signed, “NATO forces oversaw its implementation; and we have remained on the ground ever since to help maintain peace and security in the Western Balkans,” Stoltenberg said as he highlighted NATO’s long-standing efforts in support of Bosnia’s security and regional stability.
He said that on this day, 25 years ago, the Dayton Agreement “brought an end to nearly four years of brutal war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
The NATO Secretary General also praised Bosnia for its contributions to Euro-Atlantic security and pointed out NATO’s role in supporting the process of reforming the country’s national security institutions.
“One of the most significant achievements has been the creation of the Joint Armed Forces; at the end of the war there were more than 400,000 troops, bitterly divided between three armies; today there is a single professional army of around 10,000 soldiers and 5,000 reservists under a unified chain of command,” he stressed.
Stoltenberg also highlighted NATO’s continued commitment, arguing that “25 years on, there is still much work to be done.”
“We cannot – and must not – return to the past; compromise may be difficult, but it is vital if the citizens of this country are to have the lives they deserve; NATO will continue to support Bosnia-Herzegovina; a quarter of a century after Dayton, it is time to recommit to peace, to reform, and to a prosperous future for all,” he concluded.