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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Deputy Defense Minister: NATO 'very important' for Bosnia's present and future

November 28, 2019

NATO is a “very important” matter for both the present and future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Deputy Defense Minister Sead Jusic, speaking at a ceremony marking the anniversary of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Armed Forces in Sarajevo on Thursday.

He said that the State Presidency after a long period reached a consensus on a document called the Reform Program which, according to him, is related to the country's Membership Action Plan (MAP) with the alliance.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina asked in 2009 from the allies to be accepted in the Membership Action Plan (MAP). The allies approved in at the 2010 Tallinn summit, with a condition of registering the military property, so the dilemma whether we're in the MAP or not was solved long ago. It was up to Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet the conditions and it took time,” said Jusic, recalling that the NATO gave a green light to Bosnia at the end of the last year to send its first Annual National Program (ANP), which marked the beginning of activities within the MAP.

After a long time, he said, the Presidency drafted a document that is called different, but which resumed the processes.

“What matters is that a consensus has been reached. Whatever those reforms say, it means that Bosnia and Herzegovina, which includes the Armed Forces and the Defence Ministry, has met its obligation,” underlined Jusic.

The ANP has been a subject of political disagreements in Bosnia for months, with the Bosniaks and Croats advocating for the country's progress on the NATO membership road and the Serb leadership strongly objecting it.

Over a year after the country held its presidential elections, the Presidency which is composed of the representatives of the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat shared Federation entities, agreed they would send to NATO a document called the Reform Program. 

While the Serb leadership claims that the Reform Program does not predict the membership, the Bosniaks claim that this implies the continuation of the country's NATO membership road.

“It is the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina got the MAP on December 5, 2018, and that since then it's been in the MAP,” said Chief of the Joint Staff, Senad Masovic, speaking at the Thursday's ceremony.

“MAP means and NATO expects from Bosnia and Herzegovina to define the areas and pace of the integration processes towards the NATO membership,” he added.

Source:  http://ba.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a394376/Deputy-Defence-Minister-NATO-very-important-for-Bosnia-s-present-and-future.html

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