Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership in NATO and the European Union is a precondition for stability not just on the Croatian borders, but in the EU as well, Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlic-Radman, said before the second day of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga on Wednesday.
“Speaking of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have to point out that the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be in NATO and the EU because that will bring stability to the Croatian borders and will keep instability away from the rest of NATO and the EU,” the Croatian foreign minister said, describing the Western Balkans as NATO's “unfinished business”.
He said that a solution should be found to help Bosnia and Herzegovina move forward while fully respecting the equality of its constituent peoples, as required by its constitution, which he said would heal the wounds inflicted by “separatism and unitarism.” “Both are equally detrimental to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.
Grlic-Radman said that the reform of the country's electoral legislation would remove all forms of discrimination and that this could be achieved by ensuring legitimate political representation.
“I cannot emphasise enough that time is of the essence because Bosnia and Herzegovina is holding a general election already next year,” he said.
Fragile situation with regard to Serbia and Kosovo
The Croatian foreign minister also warned of the fragile situation with regard to Serbia and Kosovo, adding that NATO should focus more strongly on Kosovo.
“Last month Croatia increased its presence in Kosovo. The KFOR mission has particular importance to Croatia because it is in our immediate neighbourhood, which can have a considerable impact on stability in the entire region,” Grlic-Radman said.
“The EU will continue to be a special partner to NATO, and the Western Balkans is a region where our synergy can produce concrete results,” he added.
On the second day of their meeting, the NATO foreign ministers will discuss stability and security in the Western Balkans, the situation in Ukraine and Georgia, NATO's involvement in Afghanistan, and lessons for the future management of crisis situations.
NATO is developing a new strategic concept reflecting global changes in the security environment. According to Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO 2030 is an ambitious transatlantic defence and security programme aimed at strengthening political consultations among the allies, reinforcing collective defence and enhancing the resilience of infrastructure and supply chains.