Bissell: Bosnia and Herzegovina will determine how it will cooperate with NATO


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has noticed over the years that each country has unique relations with this organization, which differ in scope and intensity, Brigadier General Marti Bissell, commander of NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, said today for ‘’Dnevni Avaz’’.

At the time of her interview for ‘’Avaz’’, she did not yet have insight into the text of the Reform Program recently adopted by the members of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and therefore she pointed out that she should wait for BiH to officially submit that document to the Alliance.

However, she adds, it is the country that chooses to join NATO.

‘’Over the years, NATO has recognized that each country has unique relations with this organization, which differ in both scope and intensity. Therefore, it is up to the country to determine its path of reforms and to choose its mechanism of cooperation with the Alliance,’’ says Bissell.

She points out that it is now important to list all the challenges which Armed Forces of BiH (AFBiH) are facing.

‘’But they cannot be transformed and modernized on their own. They need an appropriate and predictable budget, which will also include funds for modernization and pay raises so that the AFBiH could improve their capabilities and competencies,’’ Bissell points out.

However, she thinks that, despite all the problems, the AFBiH are working hard within the resources available in order to enhance interoperability with NATO and improve their readiness.

‘’For such small country, BiH is very committed to contributing to peacekeeping and security missions, and more than ten percent of the people of AFBiH have already been to peacekeeping operations abroad. Currently, about 65 AFBiH members serve in Afghanistan. Also, AFBiH has an important role when it comes to assisting civilian authorities in the event of natural disasters,’’ says the commander of NATO Headquarters in BiH, adding that, despite the lack of funds for modernization and salary raises for soldiers, the people from AFBiH are striving to be successful, vijesti.ba portal reports.

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