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European Western Balkans
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Escobar in Sarajevo: Open possibility to withdraw the decisions made by Dodik

Željko Komšić, Milorad Dodik and Šefik Džaferović; Photo: Presidency of BiH

SARAJEVO – We want to make sure that Bosnia and Herzegovina will remain independent, sovereign, and territoriality whole, said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar after the meeting with three BiH Presidency members on Monday, N1 reported.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State arrived to the Bosnian capital on Sunday, after the top international official in the country warned of the “existential threat” from actions by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik.

Escobar assessed that his meeting with Milorad Dodik was productive.

“I was glad that I had a productive meeting with Dodik where he was open to discussing withdrawing all of the legislation that would weaken the central institutions of the state so that we could continue working on the questions of economic integration”, told Escobar during the press conference.

He noted that such political crises only weaken investors’ confidence in the country.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina shares in the economic opportunities with the Balkans, and that Europe recognizes the Balkans as an area of opportunity”, assessed Escobar.

Bosniak Presidency member Šefik Džaferović stressed after the meeting with Escobar that no one in BiH has the right to unilaterally destroy the achieved level of reforms and the structure of BiH institutions.

According to N1, Džaferović said that Escobar sent a very important message that Bosnia must continue on its European path, fulfilling the obligations from the Opinion of the European Commission and from the adopted reform program.

“The next thing highlighted by Escobar is economic cooperation in the Western Balkans region. It is necessary for the countries of the Western Balkan to cooperate economically within the regional market, within the Berlin process under the auspices of the EU”, said Džaferović.

He assessed that the current blockade of BiH institutions is absolutely unacceptable, adding that BiH’s path is to implement reforms, to cooperate in the region on these principles, and to follow the European path.

“The US believes that EU’s enlargement to the Western Balkans is a priority not just for us but for the European Union as well”, said BiH Presidency Chairman Željko Komšić after the meeting with Escobar.

“He noted that the neither spoke about the Election Law nor any kind of sanctions.

“It is my impression that the US envoy, who obviously has the support of higher levels for everything he touches upon, has a very clear image of the situation on the ground”, Komšič told.

“Discussions about war are unfounded and all those talking about war should be the subject of international forces”, said Bosnian Serb Presidency member Milorad Dodik after the meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, adding that he familiarized him with Republika Srpska entity’s plans to withdraw consent for the state army, state judiciary, as well as the indirect taxation system.

“We presented our views on open issues in BiH. Both he and I believe that the topic of war has no real basis. Only those who wanted to deepen the additional atmosphere of mistrust talked of war. I offered Escobar one thing, that all those rattling their weapons should be the subject of rapid interventions that would lead to the intervention of international forces against them and that no one should use them against others. All processes should be political and no one should take war as an option for resolving these issues”, Dodik concluded.

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