International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Bosnia's ex FM says Erdogan's advices to Bosnia regarding West are ‘terrifying’

September 7, 2022
Zlatko Lagumdzija, Bosnia's former foreign minister and ex leader of the Social Democratic Party, said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a “terrifying” statement during his visit to Sarajevo when he adviced the Bosniaks not to trust the West.
Lagumdzija, who is currently the leader of the Social Democrats of BiH – The Green Movement Coalition, said that this statement is “deeply devastating” for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“What is the alternative to the West?,” Lagumdzija asked speaking in N1's Pressing. He reminded of the words of Bosnia's first President after its independence, Alija Izetbegovic, who said in 1996 that the country has support of both the East and the West.
“Twenty-six years later we are in the situation where we have support of neither East nor the West. We are inviting Erdogan to convey messages that we should be scared of the West,” he said.
Commenting on the electoral reform and High Representative Christian Schmidt imposing changes to the Election Law, Lagumdzija said that he cannot speak about the details since “the game is still underway.”
“What matters is that Schmidt gave up on his initial intention,” he stressed, reminding that it was N1 that published the information about the High Representative's plans to impose the changes to Bosnia's Election Law, which sparked reactions in the country.
According to Lagumdzija, the initially planned changes could have taken everything to a wrong direction and “open the door to end the ethnic cleansing in a peaceful way.”
“I held talks in the world at many locations and let them know that the things cannot be done hastily,” Lagumdzija noted.
Asked if anyone from the Foreign Affairs Ministry called him to ask for an advice, he replied that it never happened.
“I love this country and I have opportunities, I have enough of friendships and I travel the world within projects to promote Bosnia and Herzegovina that I believe in,” he said.
Former FM also commented on the recent developments regarding the shutdown of N1 TV's signal on the state-owned BH Telecom company's platform Moja TV.
According to him, this is a political game that was planned, and the SDA party is behind it.
“In this specific case it is the SDA who cancelled you, which does not mean some new ones wouldn't do the same,” said Lagumdzija.
As for the October elections outcome, Lagumdzija announced a tight race for the Presidency, noting that the difference in votes will not be higher than 20,000 for all three positions.
He stressed it is very important who will take seats in the Parliament of BiH and who will compose majority in the entity parliaments to talk to the international community about “what kind of Bosnia and Herzegovina we would like to build.”
“European Union and NATO is our future. We need negotiations under the auspices of the EU and US,” Lagumdzija concluded.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnias-ex-fm-says-erdogans-advices-to-bosnia-regarding-west-are-terrifying/

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