European Western Balkans

Stoltenberg expresses concern over secessionist and divisive rhetoric in BiH

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Borjana Krišto, Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Photo: NATO

SARAJEVO – NATO strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so we are concerned by secessionist and divisive rhetoric, as well as making foreign influence, said the NATO Secretary-General during his official visit to Sarajevo.

“This threatens to undermine stability, and hampers reforms. All political leaders must work to preserve unity. Build national institutions. And achieve reconciliation. This is crucial for the stability and the security of the country”, Stoltenberg said.

He recalled that NATO  has been committed to Bosnia-Herzegovina for many years. , adding that “your security matters for the Western Balkans region and Europe”.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO’s Headquarters in Sarajevo helps to coordinate NATO’s support to the EU-led Operation Althea. He underlined that NATO Allies and NATO remain fully committed to the success of the mission and welcomed the unanimous extension to its mandate at the UN Security Council earlier this month.

“We are supporting your reform efforts, including through the new Defence Capacity Building package. This will strengthen your capabilities in areas like crisis management, cyber defense, and countering terrorism”, said Stoltenberg during the press conference with the Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, Borjana Krišto.

During the meeting with the High Representative in BiH Christian Schmidt, Stoltenberg thanked for his important work and commitment to stability in this region. He assessed that any attempt to undermine the position of High Representative takes BiH backward, not forward.

NATO Secretary General is paying a visit to the Western Balkan region. Later on Monday, he will visit Kosovo where he will have discussions with President Osmani and PM Kurti. Stoltenberg will be in Belgrade on Tuesday, where he will have meetings with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, and PM Brnabić. On the same day, he will visit North Macedonia, where he will meet with President Stevo Pendarovski and Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, as well as President of the Assembly, Talat Xhaferi. On Wednesday the Secretary-General will participate in a meeting with Allied leaders from the region.


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