Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency member Zeljko Komsic has said he will run for that office again "if necessary, to stop further division and discrimination in Bosnia," and called on Croatia to re-examine its decision to boycott him, Croatia's state agency Hina reported on Friday, citing an interview reported by Bosnia's state news agency Fena.
On 20 July, Komsic will take over the eight-month rotating chairing of the Presidency.
In an interview with Fena news agency, he said he expected the arrival of the international community’s high representative to Bosnia, Christian Schmidt, to “increase the number of international contacts,” which have been reduced due to the pandemic, as well as “political reasons.”
“Komsic said the Bosnia-Serbia-Turkey trilateral slowed down but that the one with Croatia was frozen due to Zagreb’s refusal to communicate with Bosnia’s Presidency as long as Komsic was one of its three members,” Hina said.
In May, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu proposed raising the Turkey-BiH-Croatia mechanism from the ministerial to the level of heads of state to raise its profile and to implement cooperation projects more efficiently.
Visiting Bosnia this week, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said he would boycott relations with the Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency as long as Komsic was its member, because he was “not a legitimate representative of Croats in Bosnia,” Hina explained.
Milanovic said he would insist that all documents on Bosnia adopted by international organisations of which Croatia was a member rely on the need to honor the Dayton peace agreement, which guarantees equal rights for all three constituent peoples in Bosnia.
Komsic said Croatia’s current policy on Bosnia was “pointless” as it benefitted no one and that it should change because it was clear that it was necessary and important to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.
“It’s also necessary to revive trilateral meetings between officials of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia,” he said.
Regarding Bosnia’s NATO membership, Komsic assumed that Croatia will “try to stop some things” by insisting on “the mention of constituent peoples” in various reports and programmes. It is unknown how NATO will respond, he said.
“Whatever happens, Bosnia can’t afford the luxury to give up on NATO and the European Union, as the alternative is chaos not only in Bosnia but the region,” he said.
“Komsic does not believe Bosnia will be awarded EU membership candidate status this year due to lateness with essential reforms,” Hina said, summarizing his interview with Fena.
As for Bosnia’s electoral law, he said it should be changed “to guarantee the integrity of the election process.”
“He does not believe an agreement is possible on the HDZ BiH party’s demands to change the law to establish a new model for the election of Presidency members,” Hina reported.