FM Turkovic with UK counterpart: BiH and entire region at crucial turning point

NEWS 26.05.2022 12:19
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Source: N1

Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire region are at a crucial turning point - we will either head towards permanent peace or allow to be pulled into dangerous games whose aim is the destabilisation of the whole Europe and NATO, Bosnian foreign minister Bisera Turkovic said following a meeting with the UK counterpart Liz Truss, in a first post-Brexit bilateral visit of a UK foreign minister to BiH.

Turkovic said the meeting was very informative and that the guest expressed a strong interest of the UK in the relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“There is a common understanding that the crisis in Ukraine may and is intended to be spilled over to this part of Europe. It is important that our key allies, of which the United Kingdom is one of the most improtant, support the wishes of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the EU and NATO,” Turkovic told a press conference.

Speaking about the blockade of the state-level institutions, the FM noted this has been brought onto much more dangerous level by the blockade of elections.

“According to some politicians’ announcements, the citizens are attempted to be deprived of the fundamental right to vote and be elected. On the other hand, the acts of secession and undermining of the legal order by the ruling party from Republika Srpska (Bosnia's Serb-majority entity) have not been stopped or annulled yetm,” she warned.

Turkovic also said that the country is faced with further deterioration of political situation, and there is only hope that friends of Bosnia and Herzegovina will understand that their support at this moment is of vital importance both for BiH and many of those countries as well.

“We believe that granting BiH the EU candidate status would be one of good messages to all those who play on Russia's notes. IT is encouraging that we were once again convinced to day that we are not alone in preserving the peace and security in the region,” she underlined.

As for the continuation of the international military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkovic said that in case if Russia vetoes the mission's mandate extension, there are grounds and need to secure this part of the Western Balkans.

Turkovic also asked for facilitation of visa regime for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina travelling to the UK which, as she said, would open the door to better understanding and coopration between the two countries.

Addressing the media, the UK foreign secretary Liz Truss stressed the importance of preserving the peace and preventing the repeating of the history of conflicts.

She said the genocide in Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo were only two terrifying crimes “when we said – we will not allow it to happen in Europe” but what we are witnessing today are the signs of Russia's threats to go back to those days of darkness.

Truss announced a new USD 100 million worth set of investments into the Western Balkans by 2025, as a part of reliable investments in energy and infrastructure.

She noted that in addition to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is also necessary to closely follow the issue of European security as a whole.

Speaking about her meeting with Bosnian tripartite Presidency later on Thursday and asked if she will have a message for the UK-sanctioned Presidency member Milorad Dodik, Truss said that it is important to see economic progress and progress in democracy, adding that the UK will continue to sanction those who are trying to undermine that progress.

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