Angelina Eichhorst, the European External Action Service Managing Director, said it was time to end the rhetoric of divisions and that the European Union supports sovereignity and integrity Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday after a series of meetings she and US special envoy Matthew Palmer held this week with Bosnian political leaders and officials, Eichhorst said these were the days of intensive discussions and that they were trying to find a way out of political crisis.
The two officials arrived amidst political tensions that emerged after Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite Presidency, announced that the Serb-majority region Republika Srpska would withdraw from the state-level institutions, primarily the Armed Forces, the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and the Indirect Tax Authority, which the many see as first steps towards the entity's secession.
The vote on the withdrawal is set to take place next week at the entity parliament of Republika Srpska, where the coalition led by Dodik's SNSD has majority.
Republika Srpska entity representatives have also been boycotting the work of the state-level institutions since the international envoy imposed law changes banning genocide denial and glorification of war criminals.
Palmer also addressed the press conference, stressing that the US strongly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is closely following the developments that have led to the increased tensions in the country.
He expressed support to Bosnia's EU path, adding that he and Eichhorst were in the country to show their clear support to that.
The two officials initially arrived to hold talks on electoral reform which has been stumbling block in political relations in BiH for years.
Palmer said this was not a simple process but that it is possible to move forward and implement the related rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in line with Bosnia's constitutional setup.
He stressed they were not there to advocate a specific model for this issue, adding that any model proposed by political parties has to be implementable and help Bosnia and Herzegovina advance towards the EU.
Eichhorst also emphasised the necessity of starting the negotiations and having everyone involved in the process. She said that what matters in the end is Bosnia and Herzegovina and strengthening the institutions at the state level.
The citizens have to get an impression that institutions work for their benefit, she concluded.
Both Palmer and Eichhorst called for de-escalation of tensions in the country.