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Turković: Unequivocal messages that US is ready to increase assistance to BiH
Text: Bisera Džidić, FENA Photo/Archive
SARAJEVO, August 1 (FENA) - Current political situation and events in BiH these days - Decision of the UN Security Council to extend the OHR mandate in BiH, arrival of the new High Representative Christian Schmidt who announced Angela Merkel's policy in his work in BiH, and the Decision of the outgoing High Representative Valentin Inzko on the ban on genocide denial in BiH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH and Deputy Chair of the Council of Ministers of BiH Bisera Turković commented in an interview with FENA.
“All the events you mentioned individually are of great importance. This especially refers to the amendments to the Criminal Code of BiH, which bans the denial of genocide, international verdicts and glorification of war crimes. I believe this will be an important step towards a better future for generations to come,” said Minister Turković.
She believes that the new High Representative will provide an additional impetus for the revival and unblocking of reform processes.
“Mr. Schmidt is a strong political figure who obviously has the support of the international community. His arrival, one might say, is happening at the right time. It seems to me that all we could have seen recently is an attempt to discourage and slow down the progress,” she said.
Minister Turković stressed that the OHR is still the main mechanism of unblocking the system where some political parties too often want to achieve all their goals only through blockades and blackmail.
Contrary to the clear messages of Washington, Berlin, Brussels on the sovereignty of BiH and its European path, political concepts and officials from RS and Belgrade advocate dissolution, division. The latest decision of RS representatives is to be in BiH institutions, but that they will not participate in the work and make decisions.
“I do not understand such reactions and moves that are trying to destabilize BiH. It is civilizational and human to accept judgments, to respect victims, not crimes and criminals,” said Turković.
She said that we all have reasons to be dissatisfied with certain things and reminded that we recently had a funeral for war crimes victims in Prijedor. How do the families of these victims feel when they know that genocide has not been convicted in Prijedor, even though there is hundreds of clear evidence, even though we have Tomašica as one of the largest mass graves?
"Thus, both Bosniaks and Croats had to accept some judgments of international courts which they may not have been satisfied with, but they did not turn to denial. All of these are attempts to prove that BiH is neither functional nor sustainable. Some will remember that the first sessions of the BiH Presidency were held at the National Museum, because RS representatives did not even want to enter the BiH Presidency building. A lot has changed since then,” Minister Turković reminds.
She emphasizes that BiH is and will be a state in which all citizens and peoples will be able to exercise their rights and live like Europeans.
In her interview with FENA, she commented on the arrival of the new US Ambassador to BiH Michael Murphy and the question of whether (un) expected changes are taking place in the attitude of the international community towards BiH, primarily the US administration towards BiH, in terms of more decisive action?
“The United States of America has a continuity of constructive and strong support to the citizens of BiH, the state and especially to the reform processes all these decades. Ambassador Eric Nelson’s contribution is also significant, especially in the difficult times that are, I hope, behind us and we are grateful for that. We had and still have excellent cooperation, and I am sure that it will continue with the arrival of the new ambassador. From the very beginning, the administration of President Biden has shown its intention to initiate this political momentum in the direction of resolving the reform ties. We have unequivocal messages that the United States is ready to increase assistance, political and any other," Turković said.
Given the numerous diplomatic contacts, the question arose as how her interlocutors saw BiH and its perspective?
“I think that in recent months there has been a growing understanding within the international community that it is necessary to complete some key reforms in order to put BiH on the path leading to membership in the European Union and NATO,” BiH Foreign Minister said.
Resolving the issue of stability and functionality of BiH solves the issue, for the most part, of the entire region.
"I have the impression that it was this process that led to these negative reactions, aggravation and fear. But no one should be afraid. After all, don't we all want to live as part of the European Union?," she stated.
Assessing bilateral relations in the region, Minister Turković said that progress can be seen in recent years, but she believes that these relations can be much better, concluded Foreign Minister and Deputy Chair of the BiH Council of Ministers Bisera Turković in an interview with FENA.