Tuesday, June 7, 2011

U.S. and Britain defend Bosnia's sovereignty

BANJA LUKA -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said their countries are committed to a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Anyone challenging the unity and sovereignty of such a unified Bosnia with two entities and three constitutive peoples will not be tolerated, media in Banja Luka, the Serb Republic (RS) reported on Tuesday.

The post-war Bosnia is divided into two entities: the RS, and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

The Dayton Agreement is the foundation on which we should build the future of Bosnia and not a chain which should be broken, Clinton and Hague said.

They said that Bosnia needs an efficient government on all levels in order to meet the criteria for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and concluded that the country has been going backward for five years.

In the past months, the trend has gotten worse and it is time for a decisive response from the international community, particularly the EU, Clinton and Hague warned.

According to the statement, the arrest of Ratko Mladić finally gives genocide victims hope that justice will be done.

This helps the victims families to find peace. It is also a key opportunity to draw a line under the past and for the whole Western Balkan region to resolutely turn toward a better future, the U.S. and British foreign ministers said in the statement.

Clinton and Hague also stressed that the situation in Serbia and Croatia has changed dramatically from two decades ago.

These countries are already making firm steps toward EU membership. Croatia has already joined NATO and is expecting the conclusion of EU accession talks. Serbia is working on getting EU candidate status. But while its neighbors look to the future, the situation in Bosnia gives us cause for growing concern, Clinton and Hague said.

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