I'm not here to watch what’s going on and wait. I’m here to be active and believe me, I’ll be just that, the newly appointed High Representative to BiH Christian Schmidt said Tuesday after meeting with the BiH Presidency on Tuesday. He added one cannot expect someone from abroad to come and do wonders, because everyone must contribute to Bosnia’s progress and EU path.
“I’m counting on the close cooperation with the EU and the US. And as far as my duties are concerned, I’ll see the BiH Presidency and state institutions as my primary partners, which is in line with the Dayton Peace Agreement and the constitution,” Schmidt said.
He stressed that Bosnia’s integrity as a sovereign state with two entities must be protected.
“With the help of the international community, BiH will return to the international agenda. We will all work together to meet the 14 priorities for BiH's accession to the EU. Work will also be done on the 5 + 2 program [for the closure of the Office of the High Representative], more specifically, I will work on it, and especially on the protection of the territorial integrity of BiH,” he added.
He also commented on Milorad Dodik’s absence, stating that he was sorry that the third member of the BiH Presidency did not attend this meeting.
“I was informed last week that on August 3, all three members of the Presidency will be here, after which there will be no dialogue, so now I hope it will be the other way around. I am convinced that we will find opportunities to work together, to meet and cooperate because it is an obligation for all of us to work together in the best interest of the state and the people of BiH. So I will continue to talk to everyone and I am convinced that we will reach a constructive dialogue so that we can work in the interest of the people of this country,” he stressed.
Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency Sefik Dzaferovic said that the Dayton Peace Agreement is not a buffet to take from it what suits someone and leave what does not. It must be fully respected.
“The realization of all 14 priorities from the Opinion of the European Commission should be worked on urgently and we should work on the realization of NATO reforms in BiH. We should all work on that agenda,” said Dzaferovic.
He pointed out that he expects Schmidt to “fulfil his obligation under Annex 0 of the Dayton Peace Agreement”.
“We expect determination on that path in the interest of all peoples and all citizens in this country. The Dayton balance is something that, along with the European and NATO path, enables this country to function normally. We need to build Bosnia as a complete and democratic state in accordance with the Dayton Peace Agreement, while respecting the rights of every human being, regardless of where anyone lived in this country,” said Dzaferovic.
He stressed that “it was not good that all three members of the Presidency were not present at the meeting.”
“I think Mr Dodik made a big mistake. I call on him to urgently stop this in the interest of those whom he says he represents and in his own interest. I also call on all those who are blocking the work of BiH, because no one will achieve anything with that. We have no alternative but to go forward in building BiH as I stated earlier,” Dzaferovic concluded.